Residents of Hakkari, where 12 Turkish soldiers were recently lost to the terrorist violence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), have commemorated the martyrs and staged a protest against terrorism.
Approximately 15,000 citizens gathered at a Hakkari stadium almost fully covered by the red and white of the Turkish flag. They chanted “Martyrs don't die,” “Turks and Kurds are brothers,” “We're all soldiers; we can overcome the PKK,” and “PKK, keep your hands off Hakkari.” Combatant Veterans of Hakkari President Reşit Tatlı and Turkey Veterans, Martyrs, Widows and Orphans Association Hakkari President İbrahim Adıyaman made speeches at the event.
“Those who want us to clash won’t be able to reach their goal. We’ve been living on this soil for more than a thousand years. They can’t destroy that. Turk and Kurd, we’re all against terrorism. We have to show that we can live together as we did in the past. We lost 312 of our soldiers to terrorism in Hakkari and have 436 veterans,” Adıyaman said. At the stadium residents sang the national anthem and observed a moment of silence. Later they walked to the city square, where they prayed for the martyrs.