Turkish troops have struck back at Kurdish militants in the South East of the country near the border with Iraq killing 21 according to security sources.
The operation was mounted in retaliation for a series of attacks on Wednesday morning on military bases in which 24 soldiers died and at least 18 were wounded.
It was reported Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, speaking on Turkish television, said troops were conducting “hot pursuit” operations and added: “The terrorist attacks show that the PKK is trying to provoke the society and trying to destabilise the peace of the Turkish nation.”
The killings follow on the back of a roadside bomb on Tuesday in which five policemen and four civilians including a two-year-old-girl were killed. It was planted by suspected Kurdish rebels.
The deaths are the latest in a conflict that started in 1984 when Kurdish rebels took up arms seeking an independent Kurdish homeland. Since then more than 40,000 have died.
The PKK is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.