UPDATE – Turkey: 44 PKK terrorists 'neutralized' over past week


By Sertac Bulur

ANKARA (AA) – At least 44 PKK terrorists have been "neutralized" as part of anti-terror operations across Turkey over the past week, the country’s Interior Ministry said on Monday.

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

In a statement, the ministry said the Turkish Armed Forces carried out 2,451 ground and air operations from July 30 to Aug. 6.

The ministry said 25 of the terrorists were killed, 10 captured, and nine others surrendered to authorities.

During the operations, 152 people were arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting the PKK terrorist group and 21 others for their suspected links to the Daesh terrorist group.

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 women and children.

Also, another 334 people were arrested for suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the July 2016 defeated coup, which martyred 251 people and injured nearly 2,200, and four others were arrested for their links to leftist terrorist groups, in the past week.

Security forces also destroyed three terrorist shelters, including several caves, and seven improvised explosives during operations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Erzurum, Hakkari, and Adiyaman, the statement said.

In addition, security forces seized 13 hand grenades, 23 assorted weapons, and 4,484 rounds of ammunition.

During the operations, security forces also arrested 511 suspects for crimes linked to terrorism, and 98 others for human trafficking, while 2,798 people were held for crimes linked to drugs and smuggling.

Additionally, 2,376 anti-drug and contraband operations arrested 409 suspects, the statement read.

The raids also led to the seizure of 872 kilograms (1,922 lb.) of heroin, some 2.23 million pills or other forms of illegal drugs, and over 43 tons of smuggled oil.