735 PKK suspects detained in vast operations

735 PKK suspects detained in vast operations

ANKARA
735 PKK suspects detained in vast operations

Security forces have arrested 735 suspects who were allegedly plotting an attack on the anniversary of the capture of the outlawed PKK’s jailed leader ahead of the local elections in Turkey, security sources said on Feb. 17.

The Interior Ministry said that at least 150 counter-terror operations were carried out against PKK members and their supporters prior to the polls on March 31.

The PKK members were planning to mark the 20th anniversary of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s arrest, security sources said.

He was caught by Turkish security forces on Feb. 15, 1999 in Kenya and sentenced to death for forming armed gangs under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment as the death penalty was abolished in Turkey in 2004.

Öcalan has been in a jail on the İmrali Island in the Marmara Sea since his capture in Nairobi by Turkish forces.

In the operations, security forces seized long barreled weapons, shotguns, heavy weapon ammo, pistols, mines and handmade TNT explosives.

Turkish authorities have arrested 61 suspects and released 226.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

Turkey, Counterterrorism, PKK