86 terrorists 'neutralized' across Turkey in March

6 terrorist acts, 1 intended to be carried out with bomb-laden drone, thwarted in March: Interior Ministry spokesman

Orhan Onur Gemici   | 06.04.2021
86 terrorists 'neutralized' across Turkey in March


Turkey neutralized a total of 86 terrorists in March, the deputy interior minister said Tuesday.

Turkish security forces neutralized 86 terrorists, including six dead and eight surrendered, during domestic anti-terror operations, Ismail Catakli, also the spokesman for the ministry, told a monthly news conference in the capital Ankara.

Several terrorists neutralized last month were on the Interior Ministry's wanted list, including one sought with the top red category, one in orange, and two in the grey category, he added.

Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

He also noted that 22 of those 86 terrorists were Daesh/ISIS members.

In its fight against Daesh/ISIS, Turkey became one of the first countries to declare it a terrorist group in 2013.

At least 16 terrorist acts, one of them intended to be carried out with a bomb-laden drone, were thwarted in March.

A total of 8,410 counter-terrorism operations in rural areas and 1,753 in urban centers were conducted, he said.

Additionally, 3,059 suspects were arrested, with 361 remanded over aiding terrorist organizations and their links to the terror groups.

Security forces destroyed 132 hideouts, seized 98 guns, 28 mines/handmade explosives, 79 hand grenades, 94 kilograms (207 pounds) of explosives, and a large number of various ammunition.

Through persuasion efforts of Turkish security forces and with the impact of the resistance of Diyarbakir mothers, the number of surrendering terrorists has risen, while the number of those joining the terrorist organization has dropped to almost zero, he stressed.

Families in southeastern Turkey seeking the return of their children kidnapped by the terror group PKK have continued their protest of the PKK since September 2019 in Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakir, when three mothers said PKK terrorists had forcibly recruited their children.

In fighting drug trafficking, Catakli said at least 26,505 suspects were arrested in 19,262 operations held in March.

During the operations, over 5.8 tons of marijuana, more than 2.5 tons of heroin, 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of cocaine, 237 kg (522 lbs) of bonsai, 309 kg (681 lbs) of methamphetamine, 460,616 ecstasy pills, 355,960 synthetic drugs, and 11,367 cannabis roots were seized.

He noted that 10,114 irregular migrants, including 1,251 of them in the seas, were held, and 572 human traffickers were arrested in March.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

* Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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