Turkish forces have killed five suspected Kurdish militants
at a popular tourist resort in western Turkey
frequented by Europeans.
Police and gendarme units launched an operation on Thursday after detecting a group of seven suspected PKK militants in Turkey’s Mugla province.
Special units cordoned off the forest area in Koycegiz district after five of the militants were killed in clashes.
Authorities said the operation continues to locate and capture the two remaining militants, who are suspected to be members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Koycegiz region is particularly popular with British and German tourists due to its picturesque lake and the nearby hugely popular river resort of Dalyan.
Turkey’s southwest, where key tourist destinations like Izmir, Selcuk, Pamukkale, Bodrum, Antalya and Fethiye are located, are usually quiet and relatively safe.
PKK militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
On Wednesday, Turkish fighter jets targeted five PKK terrorists who were preparing for an attack in eastern Erzincan province’s Refahiye rural area, Turkish Armed Forces said in statement on Thursday.
Turkish warplanes also carried out airstrikes on PKK camps in Iraq’s Metina region, destroying their hideouts, as well as arms and munition depots, it added.
An image of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader, Abdullah Ocalan, is seen hanging from a tree at a militant base in northern Iraq on August 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The PKK has waged a bloody insurgency inside Turkey since 1984, leaving tens of thousands of people dead.
PKK, which seeks independence through militancy, is designated as a terror group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.