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15 August 1984 PKK attacks
Part of Kurdish–Turkish conflict
Date 15 August 1984
Location Şemdinli, Hakkâri and Eruh, Siirt, Turkey
Result Start of the Kurdish–Turkish conflict[1]
Belligerents
Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey Flag of Kurdistan Workers' Party 1978.png Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Commanders and leaders
Turkey Kenan Evren Flag of Kurdistan Workers' Party 1978.png Mahsum Korkmaz[2]
Flag of Kurdistan Workers' Party 1978.png Abdullah Ekinci[3]
Casualties and losses
1 soldier killed[4]

2 police officers killed[1]
7 soldiers wounded[4]
1 police officer wounded[4]

None
3 civilians wounded[4]


The 15 August 1984 PKK attacks, which were led by Mahsum Korkmaz (known as "Agit"),[2] marked the start of the Kurdish–Turkish conflict.[1][2]

Since the PKK's second party Congress, which was held from 20 to 25 August 1982 in Daraa, Syria, it was decided that the PKK would start preparing for an insurgency inside Turkey. Training camps were opened in Syria and in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley and propaganda teams were sent across the border to make contact with the local populations. After years of preparation, the PKK launched its first major attacks on 15 August 1984.[1][2][4] The attack was led by the founder of the PKK's military wing.[2]

PKK forces attacked the gendarmerie station in Eruh in Siirt and killed one gendarmerie soldier and injured six soldiers and three civilians. Simultaneously, PKK forces attacked a gendarmerie open-air facility, officer housings and a gendarmerie station in Şemdinli, Hakkâri[4] and killed two police officers[1] and injured one police officer and a soldier.[4]

Initially, Turkish authorities did not take the attacks seriously,[5] however the attack was followed up by a raid on a police station in Siirt on 17 August,[4] which was soon followed by an attack that killed three of General Kenan Evren's Presidential Guards in Yüksekova and an ambush which killed 8 Turkish soldiers in Çukurca, in Hakkâri province.[5]

Insurgent violence in the predominantly Kurdish South-East of Turkey escalated heavily after the attacks.[2] Around 2,500 people were killed during the conflict between the 15 August 1984 and 1991. This number rose to 17,500 between 1991 and 1992[6] and the Turkish state puts the number of people killed by the insurgency at 44,000 as of September 2008.[7]

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