Early this week, a leader of the PKK or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party announced that the group is planning a series of violent attacks in Turkey after the ceasefire between them and the local government broke down.
Only a year after the ceasefire was imposed, PKK commander Murat Karayilan said there was little choice for him except to respond to the bombing raids in their Iraq bases that were ordered by the Turkish government.
Reports say the group will now focus their eyes on major cities in Turkey, instead of merely targeting army bases in Kurdistan.
This means that the western part of Turkey will likely be the subject of the planned attacks. These areas are known to attract plenty of tourists from different countries, and also businessmen. In the last 10 years however, it has not been exempted from bombings.
More than 2 million tourists from Britain alone descend on Turkey every year. Foreign officials are now advising tourists to forego their travel plans except on essential business specifically in the South Eastern portion of the country, where they say threats are high on terrorist attacks.
Four years ago, in 2006, the Marmaris Resort Hotel was hit by three bombs. In 2007, at least a hundred people sustained injuries after a suicide bomber rattled Ankara’s shopping district. Five people were reported to have died during the blast in the country’s capital.
The PKK is a separatist group from Kurdistan and has a running conflict with the local government for about 26 years.
Karayilan declared that their group will form a democratic autonomy in Turkey’s Kurdish regions whether or not the Turkish government is willing to accept it.
Almost 40,000 people have died in the ongoing war between the two groups, and Karayilan is confident that they can continue fighting the government for another half century.
Recip Erdogan, who now stands as the Turkish prime minister, has time and again been assailed for yielding to the separatist group. He recently announced that bombing raids will commence in different bases of the PKK in Kurdish areas.
One of the prominent raids exercised against the PKK took place in the Qandil Mountains.
Prime Minister Erdogan has said that his strategy is to improve relations with neighboring areas to force out opposing groups in Kurdistan.
He has extended his hand to some leaders belonging to autonomous regions in Kurdistan, in the northern part of Iraq. Commerce between the two countries is now estimated to amount to US7 billion dollars.
In exchange for good business, Turkey is now asking the regional government of Kurdistan to turn over Karayilan and some 247 other commanders of the PKK that are currently staying in their territory, to Ankara.