PKK terrorist responsible for 2017 attack faces life in prison

PKK terrorist responsible for 2017 attack faces life in prison

Turkish prosecutors are seeking aggravated life imprisonment for a PKK terrorist who carried out a 2017 terrorist attack in eastern Van province’s Çatak district during which two security forces were killed.

Van Chief Prosecutor’s office completed its investigation into the terrorist with the initials Ş.T. and the codename “Garzan,” who was listed in the gray category of the Interior Ministry’s most-wanted list. According to the final indictment that was accepted by the Van Criminal Court, the prosecutors are demanding three aggravated life sentences, as well as 420 additional years in prison.

Ş.T. is accused of interrupting the state’s unity and integrity, planned murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of dangerous materials and harming public property. The indictment stated that Ş.T was the perpetrator of the 2017 terrorist attack.

According to the indictment, the investigation process into Ş.T. started after the suspect surrendered to security forces with the demand of benefiting from the active remorse law.

The indictment also included statements from 19 surrendered members of the PKK, including the ones with the initials O.T. and G.K.

O.T. confirmed Ş.T.’s role in the 2017 terrorist attack, while G.K. stated that Ş.T. is the group’s “Çatak force head.”

Ş.T., on the other hand, denied all the accusations and stated that despite being a senior figure in the terrorist group, he or she never participated in any armed attacks or ordered any attacks within Turkey.

The hearing of Ş.T.’s case is expected to begin in the upcoming days.

Two soldiers were killed in a PKK terrorist attack in Van on April 14, 2017. Security forces were reportedly conducting a search on the road leading to the village of Kaçıt when an explosion occurred, taking the lives of a sergeant and a village guard. According to the incident reports, the PKK detonated an improvised explosive device (IED).

Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism activities in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey, where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence.

Security forces have adopted a strategy of “ending terrorism at its root” and “attack rather than defend” for operations across the country.

As Turkish security forces carry out counterterrorism operations in and outside Turkey, many terrorists continue to surrender voluntarily. Surrendering terrorists commonly confess that many others cannot do so out of fear for their lives due to threats by high-ranking terrorist members.

A total of 321 terrorists surrendered in 2020, Interior Ministry spokesperson Ismail Çataklı said on Jan. 5.

Once the terrorists surrender, they are provided with many opportunities, including the right to education and the freedom to live without fear of oppression. They are not ill-treated, can contact their families freely and are provided with essential judicial assistance. The Turkish state offers a variety of services to ensure their social reintegration.

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