Three Turkish Journalists Freed After Kidnapping by PKK

ISTANBUL (Reuters) -

Three journalists from Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency were freed on Sunday after being kidnapped by members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) while on assignment in the mainly Kurdish southeast, the news agency said.

 

The journalists were kidnapped while in the southeastern city of Mardin more than 48 hours ago, Anadolu confirmed earlier Sunday

The three – a correspondent, a photojournalist and a cameraman – were assigned last week to Mardin’s Nusaybin district to cover stories in the region, Anadolu said. Southeast Turkey has been scorched by waves of violence since the July collapse of a cease-fire between the PKK and the Turkish state.

Security sources in the southeast told Reuters the three were believed to have been kidnapped after filming in a PKK-stronghold without permission from the terrorist group.

The PKK, which has waged a three-decade insurgency for autonomy against the government in which more than 40,000 have been killed, is seen as a terrorist organization by Ankara, Washington and the European Union.

The government says the PKK, working together with Syrian Kurdish terrorists, was behind a car bomb in the capital Ankara on Wednesday that killed 28 people in the administrative heart of the city.

A splinter Kurdish terrorist group, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), has since claimed responsibility for the bombing.

This has been dismissed by the government, which says TAK is shielding the international reputation of the Syrian Kurdish terrorists whom Washington is backing in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.