PKK hacks Ministry of Finance website

The Turkish Ministry of Finance has said their official website was hacked late last night by members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for “purposes of dirty propaganda.”

Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek. AA Photo
Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek. AA Photo

The ministry deactivated the website soon after, assuring citizens that it would be back online as soon as possible.

Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek further said an investigation has been launched to find those responsible.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Anatolia News Agency

PKK ordered singer Tatlıses’ shooting, indictment claims

An indictment concerning the near-fatal drive-by shooting of singer İbrahim Tatlıses in March of this year says the attack was ordered by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in August visited singer İbrahim Tatlıses in the hospital where he has been receiving treatment for a second time after the singer was shot in the head in March. (Photo: AA)
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in August visited singer İbrahim Tatlıses in the hospital where he has been receiving treatment for a second time after the singer was shot in the head in March. (Photo: AA)

The indictment, prepared by İstanbul Specially Authorized Prosecutor Muammer Akkaş, was forwarded to the İstanbul 17th High Criminal Court on Thursday. The document mentions 12 suspects, nine of whom are currently under arrest. The prime suspect in the case is Abdullah Uçmak, who is accused of having solicited Ersin Altun, the suspected hitman, to stage an attack that left Tatlıses seriously injured. The prosecution has established that Altun had been trained in the PKK’s Makhmour camp in northern Iraq.

Possible PKK involvement in the shooting had been suspected since the first day after the attack. An email message from Ruşen Mahmutoğlu, a PKK-affiliated lawyer, was found on Uçmak’s computer, accusing Tatlıses, himself a Kurd, of standing too close to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) politically. In fact, Tatlıses had agreed to run as a nominee for the AK Party in the general elections, but the AK Party decided not to nominate him as his health situation remained unclear after the attack. There was also a second attempt on the singer’s life while he was undergoing treatment at Maslak’s Acıbadem Hospital.

Tatlıses — who received several bullets to the head and had to undergo at least two brain operations — returned last week from Germany, where he had traveled to receive physical therapy after a two-week stay at a hospital in İstanbul. No statement on his health was released after his return, but his doctors in Turkey had said prior to his departure that the singer had shown an amazing recovery, although it was too early to say whether partial paralysis of his left side would be permanent.



03 November 2011, Thursday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

88 assassination guns found buried in cornfields in Mardin

The Mardin Police Department seized a total of 88 long-barreled weapons along with binoculars and ammunition belonging to terrorists over the weekend.

Short-range, long-distance and night-vision guns and mounted binoculars that belong to terrorists were discovered buried in the corn fields of Şırnak’s Silopi district, according to intelligence received by the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime teams of the Mardin Police Department.

According to police, the weapons were smuggled from northern Iraq to members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in a rural area of Şırnak known to be a PKK stronghold. Mardin Governor Turhan Ayvaz and Mardin Police Chief Mustafa Aygün, who provided journalists with information regarding the weapons, said these guns were the type of weapons used for assassinations.

They added that the discovery of these weapons was a large blow to terrorist operations.

Ayvaz said that three people had been detained in the ongoing investigation. According to police, a wounded terrorist and bomb expert was detained in the district of Derik.

The discovery of the weapons comes after the killing of 24 soldiers in Hakkari’s Çukurca district two weeks ago in a series of attacks by the PKK.



30 October 2011, Sunday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

Deadly suicide bomb blasts in E.Turkey

The blast occurred close to the office of the ruling AK Party, and police said the suspected suicide bomber was a woman.

A suspected suicide bomber killed two people and wounded at least 10 others in eastern province of Bingol on Saturday, police said.

The blast occurred close to the office of the ruling AK Party, and police said the suspected suicide bomber was a woman. One of the wounded was in a critical condition, hospital sources said.

Sahin was speaking at a news conference in Van, where he was part of a team overseeing the relief effort.





BDP’s constitutional expert among detained in new anti-KCK operation

Professor Büşra Ersanlı, a constitutional law expert and a member of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) intra-party constitutional commission, was detained along with dozens of others on Friday as part of an investigation into the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organization for all groups related to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Professor Büşra Ersanlı (Photo: Cihan)
Professor Büşra Ersanlı (Photo: Cihan)

Counterterrorism units launched simultaneous operations against suspected KCK members early on Friday and detained 41 people. Police raided various BDP offices in İstanbul as well, including the BDP İstanbul Politics Academy and several BDP branches.

Ersanlı, who has been taking part in the BDP’s preparations for a draft constitution, is also among the detainees. Sources said the number of detainees may increase as the operation is still under way.


BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş strongly criticized the new wave of detentions on Friday. “We will not be able to talk about a healthy constitution-making process if we go ahead like this. We will have no party member who can join efforts for [drafting] a new constitution,” Demirtaş said.

Turkish police have recently stepped up operations against the KCK. The KCK investigation started in December 2009 and a large number of Kurdish politicians, including several officials from the BDP, have been detained in the case. The suspects are accused of various crimes, including membership in a terrorist organization, aiding and abetting a terrorist organization and attempting to destroy the country’s unity and integrity. The suspects include mayors and municipal officials from the BDP, which has said the investigation is the government’s method of suppressing its politicians, denying any links between the suspects and any terrorist organizations.





28 October 2011, Friday / TODAYZAMAN.COM,

US defense official visits Turkey to strengthen cooperation against PKK

US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow led an interagency delegation to Ankara on Thursday to discuss ways to improve US-Turkey cooperation against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a statement from the US Embassy in Ankara said.

US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow. (Photo: Reuters)
US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow. (Photo: Reuters)

Ambassador Vershbow’s delegation met with a broad Turkish interagency team, headed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Halit Çevik. Ambassador Vershbow met separately with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, and Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.

“Ambassador Vershbow underscored the continued support of the United States in this effort and the commitment of the US against the PKK, which is a common enemy of Turkey, Iraq, and the United States,” the statement said.

The statement recalled that after a series of PKK attacks on the Turkish military on Oct. 19, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Davutoğlu agreed to work to improve counter-PKK efforts, and US President Barack Obama told Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he would send a team to Turkey to carry out this work.



28 October 2011, Friday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,

Two policemen killed in PKK attack in southern Turkey

Two police officers were killed in an attack by the suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southern province of Osmaniye today, daily Hürriyet reported on its website.

Police officers came under attack by PKK militants and returned fire. Two police officers and one PKK member were killed in the ensuing clash.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Friday, October 28, 2011
From online dispatches

New thermal cameras to aid surveillance of Turkey’s borders

Turkey’s mountainous southern border is frequently traversed by smugglers and militants who operate from camps in Iran, Syria and Iraq.

In a move to assist authorities to better monitor cross-border smuggling and the activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an agreement between the European Union and Turkey will see the importation of advanced surveillance technology to monitor Turkey’s southern border.

The 28 million euro project will see the implementation of a new generation of thermal cameras and advanced optics in border monitoring operations as well as five new patrol boats to be used by the Turkish Coast Guard (SGK).

The thermal cameras are expected to aid surveillance efforts at Turkey’s often porous southern borders, where security officials have often complained that existing thermal cameras are few and far between.

Turkey’s mountainous southern border is frequently traversed by smugglers and militants who operate from camps in Iran, Syria and Iraq.

A militant captured in the wake of attacks in Hakkari last week that killed 24 soldiers and wounded 18 others, told police that the PKK often receives intelligence from smugglers who cross with impunity into Turkey from neighboring countries.

“We obtain intelligence about Turkish forces in border regions from Iranian and Turkish smugglers who cross the border very frequently,” the detained militant stated.

The militant also stated that the increasing presence of border monitoring technology has helped make crossings more difficult. “We occasionally put X-ray films over our clothes to prevent getting caught by the thermal cameras, and we sometimes would crawl while passing locations that Turkish forces were likely to be watching,” he said.




27 October 2011 Thursday

Thousands hold anti-terrorism protests in various cities

Thousands of people held protests in various cities in Turkey on Sunday, condemning terrorism in the wake of the killing of 24 soldiers in Hakkari’s Çukurca district last week in a series of attacks by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The killings led to nationwide public outrage, with almost all segments of society, including figures from the country’s Kurdish population, speaking out against the PKK. The Turkish military has launched a massive operation against the PKK.

People gathered in city squares and parks in the provinces of Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Gaziantep, Artvin, Mardin, Şırnak, Artvin, Adana, Zonguldak, Mardin, Kayseri, Antalya, Çanakkale, Denizli, Muğla, Balıkesir, Manisa and Denizli and also marched short distances to express their anger towards terrorism.

In Ankara a group of people from the Confederation of Public Workers’ Rights Labor Union (HAKSEN) walked to Güvenpark, where they recited prayers for the dead soldiers. Another group that organized through social media had also gathered in Güvenpark and visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of nation’s founder Atatürk.

İzmir was the scene of a protest by some 60,000 people who congregated at Gündoğdu Square with placards reading “We are all soldiers, we will bring down the PKK.” Approximately 2,000 people separated from the crowd and walked to the headquarters of the İzmir branch of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and threw stones at the building. Police tried to prevent the group from hanging a Turkish flag from the BDP building after which a skirmish occurred. When police allowed the group to hang the flag on the building, the conflict subsided.

In Gaziantep a group of people gathered at Democracy Square. Carrying Turkish flags, they walked to the house of martyred soldier Fevzi Kazak, who died in the Çukurca attack. The group then returned to the square and sang the national anthem.

A number of political parties and civil society organizations staged a protest in Artvin under the theme “Condemn terrorism, respect martyrs.” The meeting was sponsored by the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Democrat Party (DP) and the Felicity Party (SP). Carrying Turkish flags, the group walked from Cumhuriyet Street to a nearby car park and then dispersed.

In Mardin a group of people got together at Yenişehir Square and shouted slogans against the PKK. Orhan Kandemir, head of the Temporary Village Guards Association, who spoke at the meeting, said that the PKK should not speak on behalf of the Kurdish people.

Elsewhere, in Şırnak, people gathered in front of the building of the Yeşeren Youth Association and recited prayers for the soldiers who died in the attack at Çukurca.

In Antalya motorcycle riders rode between Antalya and Kemer, carrying Turkish flags.

Denizli was the scene of a protest staged by some 15,000 people at Dlikçınar Square, while in Marmaris protestors were joined by fishermen in their boats who blew their horns in support of the protestors.

In Balıkesir approximately 12,000 people demanded that capital punishment be reintroduced in Turkey. They hung an effigy of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, in protest.

Meanwhile, a group of people who had gathered after a call to protest by the Union of Turkish Associations of Germany (ATDB) held a demonstration in Germany’s Cologne. Some 500 people gathered shouting slogans such as “Damn PKK” and “Turkey will be Apo’s graveyard,” in reference to Öcalan.

ATDB Chairperson İsa İlyasoğlu said they strongly condemn the Çukurca attack by the PKK. He added that Turkish people have no problem with Turkey’s Kurdish citizens.

In addition, Gülten Kaya, widow of Kurdish musician Ahmet Kaya, said in regards to Turks and Kurds that it is sad to see that the country’s people, who share so much in common, are in pain.

Kurdish businessmen in northern Iraq stated that they strongly condemn the attacks by the terrorist PKK against Turkish security personnel, civilians and businesses.

There are hundreds of Turkish businessmen who have invested millions of dollars in northern Iraqi cities and are working side by side with Kurdish businessmen. A Kurdish businessman from northern Iraq who cooperates with a Turkish businessman from Kayseri said the PKK has shown its real face with the latest attacks and that the PKK cannot ruin Turkish-Kurdish brotherhood.



24 October 2011, Monday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

Three Turkish soldiers dead, six injured in clash with PKK, blast

Three Turkish soldiers were killed while six others injured in clashes with terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and a land mine blast in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari bordering Iraq.

Hakkari Governor Muammer Türker told the state-run Anatolia news agency that one Turkish soldier was killed in clashes with the PKK members in Kazan valley in Hakkari’s Çukurca district and six other soldiers injured.

He said two soldiers were also killed when Turkish soldiers were passing by a hand-made land mine in Tekeli neighborhood of Şemdinli district.

Türker said military operations in the region continue.



23 October 2011, Sunday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM ,