The Turkish government has admitted that nine Turkish soldiers have been killed by the Kurdish separatist movement PKK in a roadside bomb (and apparently some kind of shoot out), reports the BBC.
The attacks come at a bloody time for the country. Since July more than 30 Turkish soldiers and 10 Kurdish rebels killed, reports Al Jazeera, hurting any hopes held for a peace treaty. The PKK has also claimed responsibility for attacks on the Turkey-Iran gas pipeline.
Another big factor at the moment in Turkey is the “Sledgehammer” coup plot that has placed 250 Turkish military officers in jail and caused many other high ranking generals to retire early.
Whether the coup was real or not — and there is some debate over that — ‘s government is clearly seeking to limit the power of the Turkey’s military, who have frequently shown themselves willing to get involved in Turkish politics — The modern Turkish nation was itself founded by the military and four elected governments have been deposed by the military since 1960.
However, as the military loses power — one tenth of officers are currently detained — the country may also begins to lose its ability to fight the PKK.
The BBC’s Jonathan Head says that the government will soon ask the police to play a bigger role in counter-insurgency.
But even with that help, we can’t help but wonder if the PKK are sensing a window of opportunity.