UPDATE – Turkey: 1,451 PKK terrorists 'neutralized' in a year

UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS FROM SOYLU

By Ahmet Sertan Usul

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish security forces "neutralized" 1,451 PKK terrorists in a year, the country's interior minister said on Tuesday.

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

"Over the past year, 1,451 PKK members, 40 members of a far-left terrorist organization were neutralized and 336 Daesh members were remanded in custody," Suleyman Soylu told a news briefing in the capital Ankara.

He said in the same period, 91,297 operations were conducted against the PKK; 38,725 against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO); 2,483 against Daesh and 655 against far-left terror groups.

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 some 40,000 people, including women and children.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the July 15, 2016 defeated coup in Turkey which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

More than 300 people lost their lives in Daesh-claimed attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bomb, rocket, and gun attacks in recent years.

Soylu also spoke about Turkey's fight against drug traffickers and drug addiction, said that the number of people who died directly from drugs in Turkey had risen to 941 in 2017, up from 232 in 2013.

In the first eight months of 2018, the number of deaths linked to drugs reached 149, he said.

In a year, Soylu said 18.7 tons of heroin and 88.2 tons of marijuana was seized in anti-drug operations and 21,947 suspects were remanded in custody.

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