ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish security forces have killed 7,600 Kurdish militants since July 20, 2015, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, citing the date when the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) abandoned a two-year ceasefire.
“The terror organization had its biggest defeat in its history. The bomb mechanisms to divide the nation blew up in their own hands,” Erdogan said in a televised speech where he addressed families of security forces who have been killed in the violence, most of it in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast.
“We will continue our operations with determination,” he said.
The PKK has waged a decades-long armed campaign for greater autonomy in the impoverished southeast region. The conflict reignited last July after a ceasefire and peace process spearheaded by Erdogan collapsed.
Reporting by Seda Sezer; Editing by Gareth Jones