MARDIN, Turkey

People who suffered at the hands of a terrorist PKK car bombing at a police station in 2016 in southeastern Turkey say the pain is “still fresh,” even years later.

On June 8, 2016 a bomb-laden vehicle exploded outside a police station in Midyat in the Mardin province. Three women police officers – one of them pregnant – were martyred by the blast, along with three civilians, and 50 others were injured.

Nearly 500 people were also affected, and 616 businesses and houses as well as vehicles were damaged.

Mehmet Sabri Yesilmen, whose house and workplace suffered severe damage, said the “pain is still fresh in their hearts.”

“It’s been four years now. I was here on the day of the explosion, hoping not to experience it again,” he told Anadolu Agency.

“We had martyrs and injured. It was almost like a warzone. We can’t forget that day. May Allah never again give our nation such pain.”

Yesilmen, who lives right across the police station, said whenever he sees the site he remembers that horrible day.

“The pain is still in our hearts. I wish God’s grace to our martyrs,” he said.

Another witness, Mehmet Sancar, echoed those sentiments.

“The terrorist group [PKK] will never reach its goal. We can’t forget that day,” he said.

“We have a workplace opposite police headquarters. Every time we look at the district police department, we relive that day. We’ll never forget.”

The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

In the years since 2016, the YPG/PKK – the PKK’s Syrian offshoot – has also continued to target civilians with car bombs in areas of northern Syria, near Turkey’s border, largely cleared of terrorist groups by Turkish security operations.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan in Ankara

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