Funeral services were held across Turkey on Monday for 13 citizens martyred by the PKK terror group in northern Iraq, with attendees chanting slogans against the terrorists.
Gendarmerie Pvt. Suleyman Sungur, 27, was laid to rest in his hometown in the southeastern Siirt province.
His mother Sirin and father Salih were present at the ceremony, which was attended by the provincial gendarmerie commander, Gen. Arif Cetin, as well as many other officials and members of the public.
Following the funeral prayers, citizens chanted slogans against the PKK, calling for an end to terrorism.
On Sunday, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the bodies of 13 Turkish citizens were found during Operation Claw-Eagle 2 in the Gara region of northern Iraq.
Turkey launched the operation on Feb. 10 to prevent the PKK and other terror groups from reestablishing positions used to carry out cross-border terror attacks.
Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle started last June in northern Iraq to ensure the safety of the public and Turkey’s borders.
We won’t let PKK be pleased
In the southeastern Adiyaman province, a funeral was held for Aydin Kose, another victim of the PKK.
The ceremony in the Kahta district was attended by Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, along with local officials and ordinary citizens.
“Our country’s determination will continue,” Pakdemirli told the crowd. Counter-terrorism efforts will go on until the last terrorist is neutralized both at home and in neighboring countries, he added.
The martyr’s cousin said: “You cannot divide this country. We are not crying … We will not let the PKK terror group be pleased.”
Another funeral ceremony was also held in the southeastern Mardin province for police officer Vedat Kaya. He was buried in the Artuklu district.
Kaya’s father Sehmus and mother Emine attended, along with his relatives and government officials, including Deputy Interior Minister Muhterem Ince and Security Director General Mehmet Aktas.
The crowd chanted slogans against PKK terrorists and honored the martyrs.
Kaya was kidnapped by the terror group in July 2016 when he was en route to southeastern Diyarbakir’s Lice district together with his family.
His father prayed for the country, and pledged to protect the honor of the Turkish flag.
Martyrs kidnapped in 2015
In the Black Sea province of Samsun, Muhammet Salih Kanca, 38, was given a burial service in the Ilkadim district.
The service was attended by his relatives, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, political figures, local officials, and members of the public.
In Kahramanmaras, another southeastern province, Air Defense Specialized Sgt. Huseyin Sari was laid to rest in a ceremony attended by his parents Hasan and Bedia Sari, as well as siblings Ramazan and Hatice Nur Sari.
Among the attendees were Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez, local and military officials, and political figures.
The martyr’s brother Ramazan, who is serving as soldier in the eastern Malatya province, attended the ceremony in uniform.
Sari was kidnapped by PKK terrorists in August 2015 from a passenger bus on the Diyarbakir-Bingol highway.
Gendarmerie Pvt. Sedat Sorgun, 35, was buried in his hometown in the eastern Erzurum province. Citizens condemned the PKK terrorists during the funeral service.
Among attendees at the ceremony were deputy government ministers, military and local officials, and political figures.
Sorgun was kidnapped by the terrorists in August 2015 when he was serving in the eastern Van province’s gendarmerie command. He was stopped on the Diyarbakir-Bingol highway and abducted by PKK terrorists.
Father of 3 among victims
A funeral ceremony was held for police officer Sedat Yalabak in the southern Mersin province’s Bozyazi district.
His mother Unzile, father Kadir, wife Burcu, daughter Zeynep Sena, and brothers were present at the ceremony, which was also attended by Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Deputy Foreign Minister and Director for EU Affairs Faruk Kaymakci, as well as other local and military officials, and common citizens.
His 7-year-old daughter wore a police uniform, and gave her father a police salute.
Yabalak, a father of three, was kidnapped by PKK terrorists in 2015 when he was en route to the southeastern Sanliurfa province with his family. He was stopped by terrorists in Lice, Diyarbakir.
Umit Gicir, 35-year-old specialized gendarmerie sergeant, was also among the victims. A funeral ceremony was held in his hometown Balikesir in the country’s northwest.
Along with his family and relatives, the ceremony was attended by deputy government ministers, local and military officials, political figures, and members of the public.
In the central Eskisehir province, specialized Gendarmerie Sgt. Mevlut Kahveci was laid to rest.
His funeral service was attended by Kahveci’s family, relatives, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Catakli, as well as other political figures, local authorities and other citizens.