Turkey mourns soldiers dead in PKK attacks / VIDEO

Erdogan said Turkey has never gave in by violence, after PKK attacks.

Turkey mourns soldiers dead in PKK attacks / VIDEO

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday Kurdish militants would "drown in their own blood" as he lead political and army chiefs in paying respects to troops killed in PKK attacks.

The Saturday attacks killed 11 soldiers and 12 PKK militants in the southeastern province of Hakkari, near the border with Iraq.

The soldiers' coffins, draped in red-and-white Turkish flags, were laid out on tables for a ceremony at a military base in the city of Van where Erdogan and armed forces chief General Ilker Basbug listened to a Muslim prayer with other leaders.

"Today we will not make the traitors happy," Erdogan said. "We will defend this ground heroically. Resolute against enemies, resolute against terrorism."

"I say here very clearly, they will not win. They will gain nothing. They will melt away in their own darkness...they will drown in their own blood," he said.


Erdogan said Turkey has never gave in by violence and would never be afraid of them.

"Such kind of bloody attacks will not be able to divert the direction of our nation to grow and to be a strong and estimable country. Those heinous attacks will not be able to wear out our solidarity and fraternity and disrupt our determination of the security forces. We will defend those territories heroically," he said.

"We are not living on an ordinary piece of land. This territory is different, it is holy. This territory is a part of 73 million people. It is our homeland. There is the blood of martyrs in every piece of this territory," he said.

The death toll in Saturday's clash was one of the highest in recent years in a conflict which has killed more than 40,000 people since 1984.

A similarly deadly PKK attack on a military unit in Hakkari in 2007 was followed in early 2008 by a cross-border land offensive against PKK targets in northern Iraq.

After Saturday's attacks, the Turkish air force struck PKK targets in the mountains of northern Iraq, where several thousand of the militants are based.

Military sources said on Sunday one Turkish soldier was killed and one injured overnight in a PKK attack on a military outpost in the southeastern province of Elazig.

They said the militants threw a hand grenade at the base before opening fire with rifles in the Palu district of Elazig.

Erdogan said on Sunday that the heinous terrorist attacks could not wear out Turkey's solidarity and fraternity.



Related news reports:

Erdogan says PKK attacks "a tool" of plots against Turkey

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Haziran 2010, 13:51