The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella group that encompasses the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has announced that it ended the unilateral cease-fire it declared ahead of the Nov. 1 repeat election, amid already escalating tension in predominantly Kurdish region, with a police officer killed during clashes with PKK terrorists in the Silvan district of Diyarbakır province on Thursday.
In a statement disseminated by the Firat news agency, which is close to the militant group, on Thursday, the KCK leadership group announced that they decided to end the cease-fire because “it is no longer possible to be ineffective against the [Justice and Development Party] AK Party's pro-war policies and its operations [conducted against the PKK].”
The KCK had told its members to avoid violent acts against Turkish security forces after calls from in and outside Turkey for a "fair and just election" early in October unless they were attacked by security forces.
Tension has already increased in the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey after the AK Party government regained its parliamentary majority in Sunday's election, with curfews being imposed and operations being conducted in those regions.
Turkish authorities imposed curfews in some parts of Diyarbakır and Elazığ provinces on Thursday.
Curfews that were imposed in some neighborhoods of the Lice and Hani districts of Diyarbakır on Wednesday evening were lifted in the early hours of Thursday, but a curfew was introduced in 22 neighborhoods of the Dicle district on Thursday due to ongoing operations by the Turkish military against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
A statement released by the Diyarbakır Governor's Office said the curfews have been imposed in some neighborhoods to maintain the safety of the civilians because of the ongoing operations against the PKK. The statement did not mention when the curfews would be lifted.
A curfew that was imposed on Diyarbakır's Silvan district on Tuesday was still in effect on Thursday.
A police officer succumbed to his wounds on Thursday after he was injured during an operation against the PKK in Silvan. Necmi Çakır, of the special operations team, died at the Dicle University Medical Faculty Hospital despite doctors' efforts to save him. The operations against the PKK have been ongoing in the area since Tuesday.
Elazığ province's Arıcak district, which borders Dicle, also faced a curfew in some of its neighborhoods as of the early hours of Thursday.
In the meantime, a statement released by the Şırnak Governor's Office on Thursday noted that 10 PKK members who fled the terrorist organization have surrendered to Turkish security forces, adding that a total of 999 PKK members have turned themselves in between March 21, 2013 and Nov. 4, 2015.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also released a statement on its website on Thursday announcing that in addition to the 15 PKK terrorists that were killed during clashes with the security forces in Hakkari's Yüksekova district on Wednesday, an additional 16 PKK terrorists have also been killed in aerial strikes by the Turkish military.
Tensions have been running high in the country's Southeast since the beginning of this week when the TSK began to hit PKK targets in the region and across the border in northern Iraq following Sunday's vote in which the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) emerged victorious, winning 49.3 percent of the vote, thus keeping the government's promise to continue fighting against the group after the elections.
On Wednesday two soldiers and one civilian were killed in separate incidents in the region. A statement released by the General Staff on Wednesday said that two soldiers were killed while another soldier was injured during clashes with the PKK in Yüksekova.
The civilian death took place in Silvan as a 20-year-old man identified as Sertip Polat was shot dead during skirmishes between security forces and the PKK's youth wing, the Patriotic Revolutionist Youth Movement (YDG-H).
On Wednesday evening, a 24-year-old man, Engin Gezici, was also shot during clashes in Silvan. Gezici's aunt, İsmet Gezici, 55, was injured when she went to the scene of the clashes to see her nephew. Both of them later died at the Diyarbakır Teaching and Research Hospital where they had been taken for treatment.
Also on Tuesday three civilians, one in Diyarbakır and two in Hakkari, were killed during clashes between Turkish security forces and the PKK.
Ever since a suicide bombing in Suruç killed 33 activists and injured 100 more on July 20, clashes involving the PKK have grown in number. Two police officers were executed by PKK members on July 22 in retaliation for the Turkish authorities' perceived failure to prevent the Suruç attack. The violence and PKK-led attacks further escalated when Turkey carried out air strikes on PKK bases in neighboring northern Iraq.
The violence has effectively shelved a settlement process with the PKK that began in late 2012 and its accompanying cease-fire. More than 150 members of the security forces have been killed in clashes with the PKK or in attacks by the terrorist group since violence resumed in late July.
PM Davutoğlu orders continuation of anti-PKK ops during winter
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu ordered the TSK to continue with military operations during the coming winter during a top security meeting on Wednesday.
Davutoğlu chaired a security summit at the Çankaya palace, where senior state and military officials discussed recent developments in Syria as well as security measures to be taken against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the PKK.
A statement released following the summit said the participants had agreed that the TSK should continue its operations against the PKK without any let-up and that Davutoğlu ordered the TSK to continue the operations during the winter.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who spoke in Ankara on Wednesday, also said operations against the PKK would continue until PKK terrorists lay down their arms. Turkey will continue its fight against the PKK until every last militant is "liquidated," Erdoğan said, implying eradicated, and adding that now was not the time for discussion.