Newsletter: 4/2008 - Pkk Terrorist Attacks Continue Unabated

Bratislava Büyükelçiliği 13.10.2008

4 October 2008. Seventeen Turkish soldiers were killed and 20 wounded, after a PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist attack from northern Iraq with the firing of heavy weapons at a military outpost in the Semdinli region of Turkey bordering Iraq and Iran.

8 October 2008. Diyarbakir. One civilian and four police officers killed. 21 people injured.

11 October 2008. A woman, suicide bomber, member of the PPK captured in İstanbul carrying more than 8 kg explosives as well as several detonators. The amount of material the suspect was carrying suggested she was preparing an attack on a scale as murderous as the twin bombings in Istanbul in July that killed 17 people…

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The terrorist attack in Semdinli is widely condemned by the international community including the EU and NATO. The Presidency of the EU reiterated that it stand firm besides Turkey in its fight against the PKK, underlining that the PKK appears on the EU list of terrorist groups and entities. NATO expressed firm solidarity in the fight against terrorism.

The Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the attack and expressed support and solidarity with the Turkish authorities in the fight against terrorism.



16 July 2005. PKK bomb attack at Kuşadasi resort of Western Turkey. 5 killed, 13 wounded among them foreign tourists.

23 May 2007. PKK bomb attack at a shopping mall in Ankara at the rush-hour. 6 people killed, more than 80 people injured.

30 September 2007. PKK terrorist attack against a minivan mostly carrying workers of a water supply pipeline. Beasagac village of southeastern province of Sirnak. 12 killed including a seven-year-old boy.

3 January 2008. PKK bomb attack killed 6, including three children and wounded 110 in Diyarbakir.

27 July 2008. PKK bomb attacks in İstanbul-Gungören. 18 people killed. 150 wounded. All civilians. Five children and an unborn baby were among the killed.

A number of PKK terrorist attacks targeting civilians were also prevented. Among these failed terrorist attempts detection and elimination of a minivan loaded with explosives in Ankara on 11 September 2007 and a failed bomb on a passenger train running from Eastern provinces to Istanbul, carrying 300 people, on 10 October 2007, were most heinous.


Established in 1978 as a Marxist-Leninist group, PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) started its terrorist activities in 1984 after a preparatory period of numerous murders and attacks, with the objective of establishment of a Marxist-Leninist independent Kurdish state by disintegrating Turkey.

During 23 years, PKK evolved to be a transnational terrorist and criminal organization although it mainly targets Turkey. It’s transnational character is evident when it is considered that, it operates in several European countries, the CIS and the Middle East as well. Around 40% of the PKK terrorists are known to be of Syrian, Iranian or Iraqi nationality. Among its terrorist cadres there are also citizens of European countries, including minors who were abducted and transferred illegally to the training camps in the north of Iraq.

Since 1984, PKK’s terrorist activities have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Turkish citizens, among who were civilians, teachers and other civil servants. From 1984 to October 2008, 5560 civilians lost their lives as a result of PKK /KONGRA-GEL. Among the victims there are 8 mayors, 21 journalists, 6 doctors, 2 prosecutors, 62 mukhtar (town/village elected registry service provider), 117 teachers and 27 clerics.

PKK/KONGRA-GEL perpetrated 14 suicide attacks killing 14 security personnel and 16 civilians between 30 June 1996 and 1999, 1 in 2006, 8 in 2007 and 3 in 2008.

Following the arrest of its leader Abdullah Öcalan who was captured in the Greek Embassy residence in Nairobi, with a Greek Cypriot passport in his possession in 1999, PKK went through turbulent times and the leadership cadres of the organization began claiming that they switched their strategy to political struggle from then on.

In line with pretending as a newly-born legitimate organization and to convince the international community accordingly, the same leadership cadres decided to change the name of the organization as KADEK (Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress) in April 2002, alleging that PKK has fulfilled its historical mission.

In October 2003, the organization underwent another name change to KONGRA-GEL (Kurdistan People’s Congress). The decision was announced by a press statement from Qandil Mountain, its base in northern Iraq, on 15 November 2003.

On 1 June 2004 the People’s Defense Forces (HPG), the group’s militant wing renounced its self declared “cease-fire”.

In March 2005, the group reverted to PKK in conjunction with KONGRA-GEL.

Despite the name changes and the so called unilaterally declared “ceasefires”, PKK/KONGRA-GEL has continued its acts of terror when and where the possibility arose.


The most imminent and clear danger from PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorism targeting Turkey currently stems from the north of Iraq.

In 2003, following the war in Iraq, not only PKK/KONGRA-GEL presence and activities in the north of Iraq, but also the attacks against Turkey perpetrated by the groups trained by PKK increased.

Since 2003;

·Northern part of Iraq serves as a shelter for both PKK’s crossborder attacks on Turkey and the centre of PKK’s armed training activities, logistic support, recruitment and propaganda.

·There are close to 3500 terrorists in PKK camps in the north of Iraq.

·Leading members of the PKK, as well as other militants freely conduct their activities from there.

·The PKK terrorist organization continues to carry out the following activities in the north of Iraq without any restriction:

§Recruitment for the organization.

§Armed training and indoctrination in the camps.

§Terrorist training activities on suicide-bombing, remote-controlled explosives and landmines.

§Procurement of its logistic needs (arms, ammunition, equipment, food, etc).

§Making propaganda through its media outlets such as newspapers, radio stations.

·The PKK generates a significant amount of its funds through such activities as:

§Arms and drug smuggling through the borders between Iran and Iraq as well as Turkey and Iraq.

§Extorting money from the smugglers in Qandil mountain and adjacent areas through its so-called check-points.

·It is estimated that PKK/KONGRA-GEL spends 4-5 million Euros/year for its presence in the north of Iraq. A significant part of its financial support in this region is generated mainly through its organized crime activities.

·PKK’s affiliated formations and political parties such as the PCDK, DCP, HAW-PAR carry out their propaganda campaign without any restriction in the north of Iraq.

·PKK terrorists recruited in other parts of the world as well as PKK leaders freely travel to and from north of Iraq through Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports.


Yunus Demirer Ambassador
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