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Turkish media reported that Kevser Elturk, aka “Ekin Van”, was the “PKK terrorist” killed by a special operations team on 10 August in a rural area of the Varto district – Gimgim. According to Save Kobane, a pro-Kurdish group: “The photo of the fallen guerrilla (without any censor bar) was initially shared by the Turkish security forces who took the picture, circulating within Turkish nationalistic networks who have been celebrating the picture with pride.”
Kurdish activists have taken to Twitter to condemn Turkish police after photos of the naked and bloodied corpse of a female militant was leaked, apparently by members of the country’s special forces.
After being shot dead by the Turkish forces, Elturk – who used the nom de guerre Ekin Van – appears to have been stripped and photographed. Leaked images of her naked corpse have since gone viral, with Kurdish activists furious at the attempt to humiliate the dead female fighter.
Following the release of the graphic images, the governor of Turkey’s eastern province of Mus vowed to investigate how the image entered the public domain.
He refused to comment on the nature of Elturk’s death, however.
The female fighter was a member of the PKK – a Kurdish militant group considered by Nato to be a terrorist organisation.
Turkey has long fought against Kurdish insurgents in the south and east of the country and has been carrying out airstrikes on Kurdish targets it claims are linked to the PKK over the border in Iraq.
Many believe that Turkey’s long delay before eventually agreeing to carry out airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq because it fears Kurdish forces being strengthened by ISIS’ losses.
Hostilities between Kurdish militants and Turkish forces have grown since Turkey began carrying out airstrikes on suspected PKK linked groups in Syria and Iraq.
As a result, the PKK has strengthened its campaign in southern and eastern Turkey, with a total of 150 people – including 13 civilians – believed to have been killed in little over a month.
Turkey’s twin-pronged campaign against Kurdish forces and ISIS militants comes despite the Kurds so far providing by far the best ground resistance against the terror group.
Kurdish fighters with the Peshmerga in Iraq, and People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) in Syria have reclaimed vast swathes of land from ISIS over the past few months.
In fact the Kurds – who coordinate their ground assault with airstrikes by warplanes from the American-led anti-ISIS coalition – have proven to be such an effective force that they are now in full control of areas that were not under their control before the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
NATO member Turkey – which has been accused of both turning a blind eye to ISIS and even worse worst actively cooperating with the the terror group – is concerned that the Kurds will be reluctant to give up this land, which they may then use as the basis to found a Kurdish state on Turkey’s border.
The news comes as a jihadi proclaiming allegiance to ISIS appeared in a video urging fellow Turks to rebel against ‘infidel’ President Tayyip Erdogan and help conquer Istanbul, highlighting the threat the NATO member faces as it battles the radical insurgents.
Turkey has been in a heightened state of alert since launching a ‘synchronised war on terror’ last month, which included air strikes against ISIS fighters in Syria and the opening of its air bases to U.S.-led coalition forces.
The moves marked a major policy shift by Ankara after years of reluctance in taking a frontline role against the Islamist fighters pressing on its borders. The steps followed a suicide bombing, blamed on ISIS, in the Turkish border town of Suruc on July 20 which killed 34 people.
The people of Turkey have been called to war against the “treacherous” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and to conquer the city of İstanbul, according to a video released by extremist terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
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Reciting verses from the Quran, a militant clad in grey combat gear and sporting an ashen beard said that on the command of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the “amīr al-mu’minīn,” translating to “commander of the faithful,” also used to signify caliphs, “all believers should conquer İstanbul, [the city] that the treacherous Erdoğan is trying, day and night, to give to the crusaders.”
Speaking in accent-free Turkish, the jihadi, a rifle propped against his body, accused Erdogan in the video of ‘selling the country to crusaders’ and of allowing U.S. access to Turkish bases ‘just to keep his post’.
‘Turkish people: without losing any time you have to rebel against these atheists, crusaders and infidels who have made you slaves,’ he said, as two other armed and bearded men, their heads covered with turbans, sat silently beside him.