History of Terrorism: Chronological order of deadly PKK attacks

The PKK terrorist organization has been waging a bloody terrorist campaign against Turkey for four decades, attacking both security personnel and civilians, including women, children and infants. Here is how the terrorist organization developed into a threat to the nation and the stability of the region.

The PKK was established in the Turkish capital Ankara in 1974 as a Marxist-Leninist organization by mostly left-leaning Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan. The group initially sought to establish a joint independent entity in Kurdish-dominated areas of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, calling it “Kurdistan.”

On Aug. 15, 1984, PKK terrorists carried out their first armed attacks against Turkey in the southeast: in the Eruh district of the Siirt province and the Şemdinli district of the Hakkari province.

On Jan. 22, 1987, the terrorist group stormed a wedding reception in the village of Ortabağ in Şırnak, killing eight people, including four women and two children. The PKK also stormed a village in the Ömerli district of the southeastern Mardin province, killing 30 people, including 16 children.

One day later, the bloody terrorist group killed 10 people in the Midyat district in the Mardin province, including two infants.

On March 7 of the same year, a PKK terrorist firing squad killed a total of eight people, including six children.

In its attempts to seize land in the region by spreading fear, the PKK did not hesitate to kill those who opposed the terrorist group.

The year 1987 went down in history as one marked by PKK massacres.

On May 9, 1987, in a village in Mardin’s Nusaybin district, the terrorist group killed 11 people, including eight children and two women.

On July 8 of the same year, PKK terrorists struck a village in the Midyat district and killed nine people from the same family – two women and seven children.

On Aug. 18 of that year, terrorists targeted the Eruh district in Siirt and killed 25 people, including two infants. Notably, 14 of those massacred had not reached their 18th birthday.

1990s: Massacres peak

The PKK terrorist organization continued its massacres in the 1990s and the years to come, showing no discrimination between security forces and civilians.

On March 21, 1990, PKK terrorists blocked a road in the Kovancılar district in the eastern Elazığ province and the terrorist group’s firing squad killed nine engineers and a laborer.

The same year, PKK terrorists attacked a village guard’s house in the Güçlükonak district in Şırnak and killed 27 people, including seven women and 12 children.

The terrorist group also massacred civilians in larger cities, including throwing Molotov cocktails at a store in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district on Dec. 25, 1991.

On July 14, 1991, PKK terrorists raided villages in the Çağlayancerit and Pazarcık districts of the southern Kahramanmaraş province and killed nine people, including women and children.

The terrorist group also attacked vehicles carrying civilians in Midyat in 1991 and brutally murdered 19 of them.

On May 23, 1992, the PKK attacked a village in Şırnak and killed four people, including two women and two children.

On Oct. 1, 1992, PKK terrorists raided a village in Bitlis province with a group of 100 terrorists. Members of the group told the village guards to lay down their weapons, pledging that they would not harm the women and children. The village guards then dropped their weapons, but the terrorists went broke their word and killed 30 people, including women and children.

On June 22, 1992, PKK members raided the village guard’s house in a village in the Gercüş district of Batman province and murdered 10 people. A month-old newborn was among their innocent victims.

On June 27, 1992, the PKK, known for its hostility toward religion, raided a village mosque in the Silvan district of the southeastern Diyarbakır province, killing 10 people.

That same year, the terrorist group killed 12 civilians in the Hani district in Diyarbakir, including four women and four children.

Unarmed soldiers massacred

On May 24, 1993, PKK terrorists blocked the Bingol-Elazig highway in the country’s east and killed 33 unarmed soldiers who were traveling to their military units by bus.

On July 5, 1993, a terrorist PKK firing squad set the village of Basbaglar in the eastern Erzincan province on fire, killing 33 civilians.

The PKK continued its massacres that year, killing 24 people in eastern Van province, 14 of them children.

On the first day of 1994, the terrorist group stopped a passenger bus in the Maden district of Elazig and killed eight people.

PKK terrorists attacked the village of Hamzalı in Diyarbakır on the first day of 1995, killing 20 people, including women, children and the elderly.

Teachers killed

On Sept. 11, 1994, six teachers working in Tunceli were shot dead by PKK terrorists.

One month after the massacre, PKK members abducted five teachers, who were working in the villages of Katranlı and Taşkesen in Erzurum, and killed four of them.

On July 24, 1995, PKK terrorists raided a village in the Gürpınar district of Van, but they met resistance from the villagers. Shortly after, PKK terrorists attacked houses in the village with rockets, killing 12 civilians and injuring 13 others.

PKK terrorists also raided a mine in the Samandağ district of the southern Hatay province on Sept. 5, 1995. The terrorist group’s firing squad killed nine miners.

The terrorist group then started targeting civilians in city centers with suicide bombers, attacking the historical Spice Bazaar, one of Istanbul’s most crowded spaces, on July 9, 1998. Seven people died and 121 were injured in a bomb blast.

On May 22, 2007, the capital Ankara also became a PKK target. In a suicide bomb attack, nine people were killed and more than 100 civilians were injured.

On July 27, 2008, two bombs planted by the PKK exploded in the Güngören district of Istanbul, and 18 civilians, including five children, were killed and 154 injured.

On Aug. 5, 2012, PKK terrorists killed three villagers in the Menemen district of the western coastal province of Izmir. Two days later, they also attacked a vehicle carrying military personnel in Izmir’s Foca district. In the Aug. 7, 2012 attack, two soldiers were killed and 25 people injured, including civilians.

Teens giving food to the needy killed

In October 2014, the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) called on people to take to the streets, triggering violent clashes with security forces. Two police officers along with 31 civilians lost their lives, while 221 civilians and 139 police officers were wounded.

Government prosecutors have charged the HDP with ties with the PKK – essentially acting as a PKK front – and are currently seeking the party’s closure.

Among those killed in the 2014 clashes were Yasin Börü, a 16-year-old, and two of his friends, who were trying to deliver food donated during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to neighbors and poor families.

On Aug. 30, 2015, 13-year-old Firat Simpil left his home to buy fruit and vegetables for his family in the Silvan district of Diyarbakir, but a roadside bomb planted by the PKK exploded and killed him.

On Sept. 28, 2015, PKK terrorists attacked a police car with rockets. Elif Şimşek, a 9-year-old girl, was killed after her house was targeted by the PKK.

On Nov. 10, 2016, Muhammet Fatih Safitürk, the district governor of Derik in Mardin, died in hospital a day after a bomb attack in his office by PKK terrorists.

Dürümlü massacre

PKK terrorists detonated a bomb-laden truck in the village of Dürümlü in Diyarbakir’s Sur district on May 12, 2016, reportedly following an argument with a group of villagers, who spotted the vehicle and began chasing it. The blast killed 16 people and injured 23 others.

On the evening of Dec. 10, 2016, just after a football match attended by thousands, two explosions caused by a car bomb and a suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş municipality killed 48 people and injured 166 others.

Attacks on teachers

On June 9, 2017, a PKK attack killed 22-year-old music teacher Senay Aybüke Yalçın as she was returning home from school in Kozluk in the Batman province.

Another 23-year-old teacher, Necmettin Yılmaz, became the victim of a PKK attack on June 16 of the same year.

His vehicle was torched by PKK terrorists in the Pulumur district of Tunceli, while his body was recovered on July 12 near a stream.

Children, teens and babies cut down by PKK terrorists

On Aug. 11, 2017, a 15-year-old boy was killed by PKK terrorists in northern Turkey.

Eren Bulbul died from gunshot wounds as he helped gendarmerie forces track PKK members in Maçka, a town 22 kilometers (14 miles) south of the Black Sea city of Trabzon.

On July 31, 2018, an 11-month-old baby, Bedirhan Karakaya, became one of the youngest victims of the PKK when he was killed along with his mother as they were returning from a visit to his father, Gendermarie Sgt. Serkan Karakaya, in Yuksekova, in the southeastern Hakkari province.

On May 5, 2019, 23-year-old Servet and his cousin, 13-year-old Diyar Bilen, fell victim to a PKK terrorist attack while returning from a picnic in the Mount Cudi region in southeastern Şırnak’s Silopi district.

On July 15, 2019, a young brother and sister, 8-year-old Ayaz Güloğlu and 4-year-old Nupelda, were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by the terrorist group while they were collecting flowers in a field in southeastern Tunceli province’s Ovacık district.

On April 8, 2020, five civilians were killed when PKK terrorists attacked a group of forest workers heading to collect wood in the southeastern Diyarbakır province.

On Nov. 4, 2020, PKK terrorists killed at least three construction workers in the Dereck district of the Hakkari province.

On Oct. 2, 2021, two utility workers were killed in a roadside bomb blast by the PKK terrorist group in Genc in the eastern Bingöl province.

In 2021, only 26 terrorist attacks took place within Türkiye’s borders, all of them carried out by the PKK and its divisions. A total of 16 security forces died in the attacks.

Most recently, on Nov.13, 2022, a PKK terrorist group carried out a deadly attack on Istanbul’s popular pedestrian Istiklal Street, killing at least six people and injuring 81 others, two critically.

In its more than 35-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S. and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including innocent women, children and infants.