Turkey 'neutralizes' 13 senior terrorists since January

Interior ministry says top members of different terror groups neutralized in counter-terrorism operations

Muhammed Boztepe   | 09.04.2019
Turkey 'neutralizes' 13 senior terrorists since January


Turkey has “neutralized” some 13 top members of different terror groups since the beginning of 2019, 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. 

Speaking in the capital Ankara, Suleyman Soylu said: “13 top terrorists from all terror groups have been neutralized since the beginning of this year.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry said Turkish Armed Forces "neutralized" a key PKK terrorist leader in an air offensive in northern Iraq.

The ministry identified the terrorist as Mehmet Soysuren, codenamed Savas Porsipi, who was on the red -- the top priority -- category of Interior Ministry’s wanted terrorist list.

Soylu also said some 6,320 people have been remanded in anti-drug operations across the country since the beginning of the new year.

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 nearly 40,000 people, including many women and children.


Local polls

Speaking of alleged irregularities in Istanbul’s Buyukcekmece district during the March 31 local elections, Soylu said: “There is a crime here. There is corruption at polls.”

“I’ve never seen 201 [votes] to be registered as 0 [vote] and this [situation] has happened over and over again, in my life. Turkey has not experienced such an election before," he said.

The interior minister also said that holding a new vote in Istanbul would prevent the individual, who will be elected, from being in the shadow of the disputes.

Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose Turkey’s mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials), and members of elder councils for the next five years.

According to unofficial results in the Istanbul mayoral race, before any recounts, Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), leads with 48.79% of the vote, ahead of the AK Party’s Binali Yildirim with 48.51%.

Contesting the results, the AK Party has asked for a recount, saying the recount might change the results.

* Writing by Nilay Kar Onum

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