At least 20 militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been killed in air strikes launched by the Turkish air forces, broadcaster NTV said on Wednesday.

F-16 fighter jets struck the outlawed militant group in northern Iraq's Hakurk region, near Turkey's border, where the leadership of PKK has training camps, Andolu News agency reported, citing security sources.

This is the first time the military has carried out air strikes since the failed coup attempt on 15-16 July. In 2015, a ceasefire between the Turkish state and PKK fell through, which prompted some of the worst violence in three decades of Kurdish insurgency.

Turkey is facing numerous security threats from both the Islamic State (Isis) and the PKK. On Friday, a wing of the military attempted to overthrow the government, but failed due to lack of public support and a police force that is loyal to President Erdogan.

The Turkish public responded to calls by the president and came out on the streets in huge numbers to show support for the government.

Ex-Turkish air force chief General Akin Ozturk and 25 other generals have been arrested on suspicion of plotting the coup. Around 50,000 people across the army, police, judiciary, intelligence agencies, universities and religious affairs have been sacked by the government.

Erdogan has blamed US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-exile in Pennsylvania, for the coup attempt. Gulen, however, said the coup was staged by Erdogan himself to launch a crackdown on his opponents.

The conflict between Turkey and PKK dates back to 1984, when the Kurds demanded an independent Kurdistan to be established in the south eastern region of Turkey.

turkey coup 2016 erdogan supporters
Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wave Turkish flags during a pro-government demonstration at Taksim square in central Istanbul, Turkey, on 19 July [File picture] REUTERS/Ammar Awad