PKK kidnaps three in eastern Turkey

This file photo shows PKK militants training at a base in northern Iraq.

Members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group have kidnapped three people in eastern Turkey, Turkish media report.

On Friday, the PKK militants kidnapped a contractor and two workers at a construction site of the Bingol-Mus Railway in Genc town of Bingol Province and set fire to some vehicles in the vicinity, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.

According to the report, the militants transferred the three abductees to a forest in the Bingol Province.

The Turkish government had reached a truce agreement with former PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in March, halting a 28-year armed struggle between the two sides. The truce called on the PKK militants to lay down their arms and retreat to northern Iraq.

In May, the PKK announced that it was withdrawing from Turkey to settle in bases in northern Iraq, as part of the peace deal.

Ocalan, who had been captured by Turkish security forces in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in 1999, is serving a life sentence at Imrali Island prison on charges of leading the PKK in its armed campaign against Ankara.

The PKK appointed new leaders in July. According to local media, Cemil Bayik, a founder and close ally of imprisoned Ocalan and Bese Hozat, who led the PKK womenâ„¢s wing, were named as the groupâ„¢s new leaders.

The new PKK leadership later threatened to call off the historic truce between the group and the Turkish government if Ankara does not change its approaches toward the militant group.

The PKK’s new commander recently said the situation is changing and the PKK militants will not lay down their arms.

Murat Karayilan, the new leader of the groupâ„¢s military wing, criticized the lack of concessions from Ankara, saying the Turkish military was still active in parts of Kurdish-populated southern Turkey.

The group warned Ankara against Å“provocations and clashes,” which it said could hamper the retreat.

The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey since the 1980s.


Republished with permission from: Press TV