The Turkish military said on Saturday(10-22-11) its forces had killed 49 Kurdish militants in the southeast over the last two days, during an offensive to avenge the killing of 24 soldiers by Kurdish fighters earlier this week.
The counter-insurgency operation against separatist rebels from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), involving thousands of troops and into its third day, has focused on both sides of the mountainous Turkey-Iraq border.Ankara’s reaction to one of the deadliest attacks on its security forces in a conflict that began three decades ago has ignited speculation that Turkey could move to a full blown incursion to clear out PKK camps deeper inside northern Iraq.
A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey Sunday(10-23-11), collapsing about 45 buildings according to the deputy prime minister.
Only one death was immediately confirmed, but scientists estimated that up to 1,000 people could have been killed.
The worst damage was caused to the town of Ercis, in the mountainous eastern province of Van, close to the Iranian border. The city of Van also suffered substantial damage.
“Around 10 buildings have collapsed in the city of Van and around 25 or 30 have collapsed in Ercis, including a dormitory,” Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said.
Atalay said authorities had no information yet on remote villages, adding that the governor was now touring the region by helicopter to assess damage. The quake’s epicenter was in the village of Tabanli.