Istanbul, Nov. 14. 201 Sixteen military personnel and one civilian were injured in explosions at the ammunition depot in south-eastern Turkey.
The blasts took place at 10:30 p.m. (1930 GMT) and 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday at the 20th Armored Brigade Command in the province of Sanliurfa, Gov. Abdullah Erin said in a statement.
Erin said that the first explosion triggered a second blast, followed by a fire on the border the province shared with Syria.
The civilian, who was wounded, was on the balcony of his home at the time of the explosion.
Erin said ambulances and fire engines were quickly rushed to the scene and the fire was brought under control.
According to the governor, preliminary investigations revealed the cause to be a technical issue.
He added that further probes were under way and the Defence Ministry would make a final evaluation.
Edited by Halima sheji/Ese E. Ekama
Turkey’s total COVID-19 cases climb to 229,891
Turkey confirmed 967 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the total infections to 229,891, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
Meanwhile, 15 people died from the deadly respiratory virus in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 5,674, Koca tweeted.
Turkish health professionals conducted 43,236 tests in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall number of tests to 4,754,331, he said.
A total of 982 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, raising the total recoveries to 213,539 in Turkey since the outbreak, Koca added.
Turkey reported the first COVID-19 case on March 11.
Turkish forces “neutralize” 6 PKK/YPG members in Iraq, Syria: ministry
Turkish Defense Ministry said on Thursday that six PKK/YPG members were “neutralized” in northern Iraq and northern Syria.
Three PKK members, identified through surveillance and reconnaissance, were neutralized by an air operation by Turkish forces in the Avasin-Basyan region in northern Iraq, the ministry said in a statement, stressing that the operation will continue.
In a separate statement made by the ministry, three other PKK/YPG fighters, who were preparing to attack the area of Operation Peace Spring in Syria, were also neutralized.
The term “neutralized” was used by the Turkish authorities to imply the extremist in question surrendered or was captured or killed.
Turkey sees the YPG group as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria in order to create a YPG-free zone along its border within the neighboring country.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the EU, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for over 30 years, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.
Turkey ready to host confidence-building meeting with Greece: minister
Turkey told Greece that Ankara is ready to host the fourth meeting for confidence-building measures between the two neighbors, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported Thursday.
“We notified the other party that we are ready to hold the fourth meeting in Ankara. We expect the Greek side to attend these meetings,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters late Wednesday in Ankara.
Akar recalled that two of the previous meetings for confidence-building measures were held in Athens, while one of the same kinds was held in Ankara.
Tensions in the eastern Mediterranean have escalated in recent days amid Greece’s concerns over Turkish military build-up to conduct seismic research in the waters between Turkey and Libya following a maritime delimitation deal with the North African country.
Ankara and Athens recently launched talks mediated by Germany to solve differences in the eastern Mediterranean. The two neighbors have also been holding negotiations for a while between the military officials in a bid to realize confidence-building measures aimed at preventing confrontations in the Aegean Sea.
Turkey and Greece have a series of ongoing disagreements over their respective continental shelves in the Aegean Sea, as well as the militarization of certain Aegean islands and Cyprus.
Turkey, Azerbaijan hold military drilling
Turkey and Azerbaijan held a large-scale joint military exercise with the participation of air and ground forces, the Turkish defense ministry said on Thursday.
The joint drilling in Azerbaijan continues with the participation of Turkish army’s aviation elements, the ministry tweeted.
The military exercise involving jets and helicopters started on Wednesday and will continue until Aug. 10, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.
The drills came following tense clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia along their border, which happened more than two weeks ago, claiming numerous lives on both sides.
Ankara affirmed its full support to Baku immediately after the border clashes erupted on July 12.