1,068 PKK militants killed in last nine months in Turkey: Interior minister

1,068 PKK militants killed in last nine months in Turkey: Interior minister

1,068 PKK militants killed in last nine months in Turkey: Interior minister A total of 1,068 militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been killed in the last nine months, according to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

“Some 1,068 were killed, 27 were wounded, 369 were captured alive and 289 surrendered. These are the numbers of the last nine months,” Soylu said in a speech at the Malazgirt Gendarmerie Command in the eastern province of Muş on June 10, adding that the numbers were the result of the “determination, ability and struggle presented by the security forces.”

“Caution is also very significant. A total of 360 incidents were prevented in the last nine months. This is also an important number. This is the result of the success put forward by our security forces,” he also said. 

In his address to soldiers, Soylu said the country was going through a very significant period regarding the struggle against terror and that all security forces in the country were displaying a common understanding.

There are 10,000 gendarmerie and police officers and village guards on duty in the Lice district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır alone, Soylu said, claiming that they were struggling against terror and drugs with “great determination.” 

Soylu also shared information regarding security operations in Lice, the İkiyaka Mountains in the southeastern province of Hakkari and Mount Kato in the southeastern province of Şırnak. 

“We received recent numbers from Kato. A total of 107 shelters were destroyed. They [PKK militants] created major living spaces for themselves. The operations in Lice, İkiyaka Mountains and Kato, as well as the other areas, drive the terrorist group insane. We are doing the same in the cities. We will work, try hard and will clear our country of this malice. This will strengthen our economy, the youth’s dreams and hopes,” he added. 

During his speech, Soylu said the security operations in Mount Kato had been continuing for 52 days and that many caves used by PKK militants had been cleared, adding that traps were being set up in some caves by the outlawed group. 

“Security forces confiscated a total of 786 weapons. We are aware of everything. New-generation missiles are coming. It’s obvious where they’re coming from. These are the new-generation missiles that were given by those we knew as friends to the groups that they are cooperating with or trying to cooperate with. The financial power of the terrorist organization is also weakening,” he also said. 

Asking security forces, district governors and governors to reach the families of those joining the PKK, Soylu said persuasion efforts were bearing results. 

“[The efforts are effective] especially with those who are not involved in any crimes. We are very successful in that. The persuasion efforts are bearing positive results when families reach [militants]. This is one of the most important blows to the terror group,” he said. 

Soylu also gave a speech in Muş’s Hasköy district, where he said five people had joined the PKK in May.

“According to our findings, only five people joined the PKK in May. In the first five months of 2017, the number was 45, which was thousands in the past. This is the result of the understanding, unity and the fondness between each other. When we decrease these numbers, our children find jobs,” he said.