DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish security forces called an end to operations in the town of Nusaybin near the Syrian border and in Sirnak province near the border with Iraq on Friday, security sources said, after nearly three months of clashes in which more than 1,000 people dead were killed.
Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been engulfed by the worst violence in two decades after the collapse of a ceasefire between the state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in July.
While security forces completed Nusaybin and Sirnak operations, a round-the-clock curfew was still in place, the sources said. A total of 495 PKK militants and 70 Turkish soldiers have been killed since the operations in Nusaybin began on March 14, the local governor’s office said in a statement.
Another 473 PKK militants have been killed in the same period in Sirnak province, and 1,430 handmade explosives were found during the operations, according to security sources.
Nusaybin, in Mardin province, is just across the border from Syria.
The PKK, which has taken up arms to seek autonomy for Turkey’s Kurdish minority, is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies. It launched its insurgency in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk and Seda Sezer; Editing by David Dolan