Mayor of Uludere district of Sirnak province Fehmi Yaman said that the bodies were found in Ortasu village in Sirnak after the attacks on Thursday morning.
Earlier in the day, Ertan Eris, an official within the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) had put the death toll at 23.
Eris added that the dead people were among a group of 35 to 40, aged from 16 to 20, who had crossed the border for “smuggling purposes.”
The death toll might increase due to snow and rough terrain, which make the search for bodies difficult, Eris said.
Meanwhile, local security sources said the group was “smuggling gas and sugar into Turkey from northern Iraq” and may have been “mistaken” for Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists.
The Turkish military began an operation in northern Iraq in October after 24 Turkish troops were killed in an attack by the PKK in the town of Cukurca near the Iraqi border. The army killed 36 PKK members in Kazan Valley of Hakkari province.
On October 31, Deputy Chairperson of the BDP Meral Danis Bestas accused the Turkish army of using “chemical weapons” in the operation.
The PKK launched an armed campaign against Turkey in 1984 in a quest to gain independence for Kurds living in the southeast of the country.