Turkey: Over 117 terrorists neutralized in August
Interior Ministry spokesman says terrorists neutralized during nationwide counter-terrorism operations
Turkey “neutralized" 117 terrorists during counter-terrorism operations across the country in August, the country’s deputy interior minister said on Wednesday.
Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
Ismail Catakli, also Interior Ministry spokesman, told a monthly briefing that some 117 terrorists were neutralized in August.
**A total of 10,800 counter-terror operations were carried out in rural areas and 895 in cities, he added.
The neutralized terrorists included 10 senior operatives. One was in the orange category and seven in the gray category of the Interior Ministry's wanted list.
The wanted list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and gray.
Catakli said 52 terrorists were killed, 41 captured and 23 surrendered to security forces.
Also, 2,179 suspects were arrested over their suspected links to terrorist organizations and 272 of them were remanded in custody.
The security forces destroyed a total of 54 caves, shelters and hideouts used by the PKK terrorists during the operation.
He added that over 100 weapons including 61 heavy and long barreled guns, 29 mines, 61 hand grenades and 25 kg of explosives were seized.
Internal security and drug operations
Referring to the ongoing Operation Kiran, Catakli said a total of 12 terrorists were neutralized -- eight of them were killed, two caught alive and two surrendered.
He added that the security forces destroyed 43 caves and seized three rockets, four rocket launchers, 150 rocket ammunitions and many other weapons and emplacements.
On Aug. 18, Turkey launched Operation Kiran against PKK terrorists in Van, Hakkari and Sirnak provinces, followed by the launch of Operation Kiran-2 on Aug. 27 in the Mardin, Sirnak and Batman provinces.
Underlining 10,850 anti-drug operations were carried out in August, he said nearly 14,750 people were arrested and 1,587 were remanded in custody in the same month.
He said that the anti-drug operation team seized nearly five tons of marijuana, 648 kilograms of skunk weed, 1.3 tons of heroin and 84 kg of cocaine.
He added that 1,901 suspects were arrested over their links to drug trafficking and 14 of them were remanded in custody.
He also said that that the ministry initiated a legal procedure against 333 people as part of its fight against cyber crimes.
Syrian refugee issue
He said a total of 47,316 irregular migrants were held the country in August.
He added that nearly 352,000 people returned to their homeland and 761 human smugglers were arrested in the same month.
Referring to a possible wave of migration from Syria’s Idlib, he said Turkey is geared-up for a new migration flow.
“Of course we do not want it [new wave of migration] in anyway. We especially want reestablishment of stability [in the region] as soon as possible, finding a solution to prevent more people from suffering,” he added.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross to Europe since 2011, when the civil war in Syria began.
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, children and infants.
*Writing by. Gozde BayarAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.