'Turkey destroyed nearly 13K terrorists since 2015'
In 5 years, country eliminated considerable number of senior terrorists PKK gathered for years: Turkish president
Turkey “destroyed” over 12,900 terrorists inside and outside the country, the Turkish president said on Wednesday.
“[Since July 2015], More than 12,900 terrorists, including 6,000 in the country and 6,900 abroad, have been destroyed,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a Cabinet meeting at the presidential complex.
“In these operations, nearly 1,300 terrorists were injured, while more than 1,300 terrorists were captured alive,” he said, adding that at least 2,243 terrorists surrendered to security forces.
“Thus, the number of terrorists neutralized reached 17,750,” he noted, saying Turkey, over the last five years, has eliminated a considerable number of senior terrorists that the PKK terror group gathered for years.
Erdogan said Turkey has been fighting terrorism for 40 years and made every effort to eradicate it.
The terror group, which has become a pawn of some countries in the region and global powers, has been reactivated with many tools since 2013, he said, adding Turkey carried out extensive anti-terror operations to eliminate the terror group.
Speaking about the July 15, 2016 defeated coup in the country, the president said the Turkish nation taught a historical lesson to those who tried to bring Turkey to its knees by using every method from coup to terror.
Recalling that at least 251 people were martyred on the night of July 15, 2016, while 2,734 people were injured, Erdogan said Turkey carried out a number of operations to break a terror corridor that was created along the country’s southern borders.
He said Turkey has never shed blood of any innocent and has “no shame of colonizing a single geography or society in the past and will never have.”
Erdogan said that since July 2015, the number of security forces martyred in operations carried out inside and outside Turkey is 1,259, including 401 soldiers, 443 gendarmerie personnel, 299 police officers, and 116 security guards.
In its more than 30-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.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.