By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has made historic success against terror groups under our rule, the Turkish president said Tuesday.
"Turkey has gained historic results against terror groups, gangs and drug dealers, and any other action targeting peace in our term [since 2002]," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, in an address to his Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group.
The AK Party won the November 2002 election with two-thirds of the seats in parliament. It became the first party to win an outright majority in over a decade.
To date 2,000 people have been arrested, 7,000 others deported and around 70,000 people denied entry to Turkey over their links to the Daesh terror group, Erdogan said.
"[They include] 761 terrorists in the country, 1,092 in northern Iraq, 3,000 in Operation Euphrates Shield, and over 4,500 in Operation Olive Branch were neutralized in the operations since July 2016," he said.
Launched in 2016, Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield saw Turkish troops — backed by the Free Syrian Army — liberate large swathes of northwestern Syria from terrorist groups.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to free northwestern Syrian city of Afrin of YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists. On March 18, Turkish troops and the Free Syrian Army liberated the Afrin city center.
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 death of some 40,000 people, including those of women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.