150 ‘wanted’ PKK militants killed in last two years
ERZURUM – Anadolu Agency
At least 150 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants on Turkey’s official “wanted” list have been killed in counterterrorism operations over the last 20 months, according to data compiled by state-run Anadolu Agency.
Counterterrorism raids against senior PKK members mentioned in the Interior Ministry’s “wanted” list are ongoing in eastern and southeastern provinces including Tunceli, Şırnak, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Hakkari and Adıyaman.
Security forces have carried out airstrikes using helicopters, warplanes and armed aerial vehicles as well as ground operations using artillery, thermal cameras and armored vehicles.
Nearly 150 senior members of the PKK were killed during these operations between Sept. 1, 2016 and April 30, 2018.
The wanted list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and grey.
Hülya Eroğlu, known by her code name “Gülbahar,” was among 31 militants killed in a counterterrorism operation in the Bestler-Dereler region of the southeastern province of Şırnak.
The perpetrator of an attack in the Kutudere district of the eastern province of Tunceli, which claimed the lives of a police officer Cem Kerman and his wife Dilay Turan Kerman six years ago, was killed in an operation in the province in March 2017.
Operations in Bingöl, Diyarbakır
Among those killed was Edip Yetut, code-named “Erhan Siser.” Iranian national Salar Acem, codenamed “Saro,” was among 40 militants killed in Şırnak in April 2017.
Another senior member, Ahmet Tekin, codenamed “Bahoz,” was killed in an operation in the eastern province of Bitlis in April last year.
Mehmet Fudeyil, codenamed “Roni,” was among seven militants killed in Tunceli in May last year, while Akif Albay, codenamed “Roger Helbis,” was also killed in Diyarbakır.
Another senior member Azat Cüngüş, codenamed “Gürbüz Topcu,” was killed in a counterterrorism operation in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş in August last year along with five others.
Zozan Cudi, codenamed “Zozan Temir,” was killed during an airstrike in Sirnak province on Nov. 15, 2017.
In another operation in Tunceli, Murat Dag, codenamed “Ferhat Yilmaz,” was killed on Dec. 16, 2017.
Senior PKK member Murat Uçer, codenamed “Eylül,” was among those killed in Diyarbakir along with another regional head of the group, Veli Taşkıran.
22 militants neutralized over last week
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry stated on May 7 that a total of 22 militants were “neutralized” as part of counter-terror operations across Turkey last week.
The Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
The ministry said security forces had carried out 1,495 counterterror operations from April 30 to May 7.
The ministry specified that one of the militants was killed, 16 were captured, and five surrendered to authorities.
During the operations, 150 people were arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting the PKK, while 94 were arrested over suspected links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).