Four Soldiers injured in PKK Attack Says Turkish Military

turkey372x192Militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have opened fire on Turkish soldiers in the eastern province of Ağrı, injuring four soldiers, Turkish military said in a statement on April 11.

Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan, who is the main government figure in the ongoing Kurdish peace process, condemned the attack with a Twitter message.

“Involving pressure, violence and arms in the political competition, trying to forcefully control the people’s will cannot be accepted,” he wrote. “Those who play with fire will lose.”

The clashes come two months before a general election on June 7 and amid a delicate ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish military, which has held for over two years.

Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the PKK, urged the outlawed group to convene an extraordinary congress to “end the 40-year-long armed struggle” against Turkey in a letter read out during the Nevruz celebrations in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on March 21.

In his letter, Öcalan also stressed the need for a “democratic solution” to Turkey’s Kurdish problem, arguing that the “meaningless and merciless identity wars” were the result of “the neoliberal crisis caused by the imperialist capitalism and its local collaborators.”

He issued his first call on the PKK to declare a ceasefire during Nevruz in 2013, which was followed by a peace process involving negotiations between the government, the HDP, and Öcalan.