Ankara, August 26, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has declared an “all-out war” against terrorism in the wake of an attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that claimed at least 11 lives and wounded 78 others in the Cizre district of the southeastern province of Şırnak on Aug. 26.
“No terrorist organization can enslave the Turkish Republic. We’ve declared all-out war against these terrorist groups,” Yıldırım said during a press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov in Istanbul on Aug. 26.
He added that the country would “bear its pain and continue to fight against terror.”
“Like the Veteran [founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk] said during the War of Independence: ‘Either independence or death,’” Yıldırım said, vowing that the deserved response would be given to “these vile people.”
PKK militants targeted a police checkpoint some 50 meters away from a riot police station in the Konak neighborhood on the Cizre-Şırnak highway early on Aug. 26 with a bomb-laden truck, leaving 11 police officers dead and 78 people, including three civilians, wounded.
Ambulances, police water cannons and fire department vehicles were dispatched to the scene.
A statement released by the Şırnak Governor’s Office said the incident was a suicide attack.
The explosion caused huge damage in the riot police station building. Police blocked entrances and exits to the district following the attack, while security forces conducted an operation to apprehend the fleeing militants.
Cizre District Governor Ahmet Adanur was among those wounded and was taken to the Cizre State Hospital. His condition was not said to be life-threatening.
A seven-month-old baby was also among the wounded and was taken to a hospital.
Health Minister Recep Akdağ said four people were in a critical condition.
“Health personnel in Şırnak were urgently called to duty. The hospitals in the neighboring provinces were also put on alert,” read a statement released by the Health Ministry.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed that Turkey would thwart the “dirty wishes” of forces aiming to disturb the country’s peace through terror attacks.
“Cizre is a district where the separatist organization [PKK] is buried in the holes it digs and where the people are united with the state. The terrorist organization, which doesn’t get support from the people of Cizre, wants to show its existence with these kind of attacks,” Erdoğan said, adding that the attack would only increase the determination of the country and the people at a time when “Turkey is fighting against terrorist groups inside and abroad.”
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also released a statement on the attack, vowing that “no one will be able to bring Turkey to its knees.”
“The subcontracting murder groups and their bosses who attack our unity should know this: You won’t be able to bring Turkey to its knees,” Çavuşoğlu wrote on his official Twitter account.
Elsewhere, two workers were killed and two others were wounded on Aug. 26 when PKK militants staged an attack on a worksite in the Yüksekova district of the southeastern province of Hakkari, Doğan News Agency has reported.