Turkish authorities blame the Kurdish PKK of shooting rockets at a civilian airport in Diyarbakir in southwestern Turkey Saturday night, sending passengers and staff scrambling for shelter, Dogan news agency reported. There were no casualties. According to Dogan, four rockets were shot at a police checkpoint outside the airport’s VIP lounge just before midnight. According to Turkish TV, the rockets did not hit their target but landed instead in an open field nearby. Diyarbakir governor Huseyin Aksoy told the TV news channel there was no disruption in the flights schedule.
The PKK has been fighting the Turkish government since 1984, and is considered a terrorist organization by the US and the EU.
On Friday morning, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim reported that 11 police officers were killed and 78 wounded, including three civilians, in a truck-bomb attack in the Cizre district of the southeastern province of Şırnak.
According to Dogan, the attack took place at a police check point outside a riot police station in the Konak neighborhood on the Cizre-Şırnak highway. After some shooting, the bomb on the truck was detonated, destroying the riot police building.
Speaking at a press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov in Istanbul, Yildirim vowed to overcome all attacks against his country, saying, “No terrorist group could hold Turkey captive,” and “the brotherhood will not be damaged.”
“Let our nation know that we have opened a total war against these terrorist groups,” Yildirim announced, then quoted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founding father of modern Turkey, who paraphrased on Patrick Henry when he declared, “Give me independence or give me death.” Yildirim added that “these vile people” would get their just deserts.