PKK terror group suffers heavy blow in eastern Turkey

By Yunus Okur and Cemal Asan

ERZURUM/VAN, Turkey (AA) – YPG/PKK terrorists in eastern Turkey have dealt a heavy blow in first nine months of 2018 as operations of Turkish security forces continue.

According to data compiled by Anadolu Agency, a total of 307 YPG/PKK terrorists were "neutralized" in eastern Turkey in 2018, including six on the red category of the Interior ministry's wanted list as well as other senior figures of the terror group.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

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.

The operations in eastern Turkey were conducted in provinces of Erzurum, Erzincan, Tunceli, Agri, Kars, Van, Mus, Bitlis, Hakkari and Bingol between Jan. 1-Sept. 26.

The neutralized six terrorists on the red list included Medeni Sayilgan, Musa Cetiner, Ismail Ozden, Sefer Acar, Ibrahim Coban and Yusuf Sek.

Sayilgan was the terror group's so-called Erzurum representative, while Cetiner was the Dersim region head, Ozden was PKK/KCK executive council member, Acar was PKK/KCK's so-called “Garzan province” head, and Coban was the planner of multiple terror events.

Cetiner, other than being placed on the red wanted list, had a bounty of 4 million liras (around $650,000) on his head by the ministry.

Behcet Arvas, also among the neutralized terrorists, was one of the attackers against main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu's convoy in August 2016 in Black Sea province of Artvin.

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. YPG is the terror group's Syrian branch.