At least two Turkish soldiers have been killed in clashes with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the east of the country, military sources say.
The army soldiers were attacked and injured while carrying out an operation in the province of Tunceli, the sources said on Monday.
They were transferred to hospital but succumbed to their wounds there, hospital officials said.
Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale anti-PKK campaign in its southeastern border region over the past few months. The Turkish military has also been pounding the group’s positions in northern Iraq as well in breach of the Arab country’s sovereignty.
A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the militants in July 2015 following the Turkish strikes against the group.
Turkey has also toughened its crackdown on the Kurdish population in the country’s southeast after an abortive coup on July 15, claiming it is hunting down militants of PKK.
Ankara has arrested more than 37,000 people as part of the ensuing crackdown, accusing most of the suspects of having ties to Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric whom Ankara accuses of masterminding the coup. Tens of thousands have also been dismissed or suspended from their positions in the military and public institutions.
The opposition has fiercely criticized the widening crackdown, with top figures in the Republican People’s Party (CHP) accusing the government of capitalizing on the failed coup to stifle dissent.
Western governments and major rights campaigners have also censured the crackdown, saying Ankara has acted beyond the law in its hunt for coup plotters.
Turkey has criticized the EU for not doing enough to condemn the abortive coup. The EU says Ankara has been acting beyond the rule of law in its post-coup clampdown.