By Muhammed Boztepe
ANKARA (AA) – Security forces neutralized 68 wanted so-called senior executives of YPG/PKK/KCK terror groups during nationwide and overseas operations since Jan. 1.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered, were killed or captured.
According to Turkish security forces' data on anti-terror operations held between Jan. 1 and Sept. 8, the terror group's 68 wanted so-called executives, including 12 who were mentioned in the red category, were neutralized.
The Interior Ministry's wanted list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and gray.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.
– 6 most wanted terrorists neutralized
On June 28, Sefer Acar, codenamed "Welat Gever", was neutralized during an operation in eastern Bitlis province.
Acar, who was in the red category, was the perpetrator of a terrorist attack against Turkish gendarmes during an operation in 1998 in the north of Iraq. Turkish gendarmes' Sikorsky helicopter was shot down during the attack in which 15 soldiers were martyred. Acar was killed 20 years later.
On July 30, Musa Cetiner, codenamed "Cetin Kombat", was the plotter of simultaneous terrorist attacks on a local police station and gendarme outpost in eastern province of Tunceli in 2016. A Turkish soldier was martyred in these attacks.
In 2011, Cetiner ordered PKK terrorists to attack a police headquarters in eastern Igdir province. He was also neutralized by Turkish forces this year.
On Aug. 15, a senior PKK/KCK figure in Iraq's northern Sinjar province, Ismail Ozden, codenamed Mam Zeki Sengali, was neutralized in a joint operation by Turkish Armed Forces and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in Sinjar.
Ozden, 66, was reportedly the first PKK/KCK terrorist in the red-category who had been neutralized by Turkey in an operation abroad.
Ibrahim Coban, codenamed "Atakan Mahir", was in the Turkish Interior Ministry’s red category of wanted terrorists list; he had been the so-called Dersim region head of the terror group for the past 25 years. He was killed on Aug. 11 in eastern Tunceli province.
Codenamed "Turk Tarik", Baris Oner, another PKK terrorist who was wanted in the red category, was neutralized on Aug. 19.
Oner was the perpetrator of several terrorist attacks in 2016 and 2018 in the Black Sea province of Giresun; he had martyred a sergeant in 2016 and attacked a gendarmerie building in Giresun by a rocket launcher. On July 9, Oner martyred another sergeant in a rural area in Giresun.
Mehmet Yakisir, codenamed "Zeynel", PKK's so-called top member in the Black Sea region, was also neutralized on July 15.
Yakisir, who was in the red category of Turkey’s wanted list, had killed 15-year-old Eren Bulbul last August in Macka district of Trabzon province.