190 PKK militants arrested, 21 ‘neutralized’ in past week: Interior Ministry

190 PKK militants arrested, 21 ‘neutralized’ in past week: Interior Ministry

190 PKK militants arrested, 21 ‘neutralized’ in past week: Interior Ministry

A total of 21 outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants were “neutralized” during operations across Turkey over the past week, the Interior Ministry announced on May 21. 

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

In its statement, the ministry said the Turkish Armed Forces carried out 1,388 operations on May 14-21 with the assistance of land and air forces.

The ministry said 11 of the militants were killed, eight others were captured, and two surrendered to authorities.

During the operations, 190 people were arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting the PKK and 35 others for their suspected links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

Also, another 527 people were detained for suspected links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), widely believed to have orchestrated the deadly coup attempt on July 15, 2016 which left at least 250 people dead and many more injured.

Security forces also destroyed six shelters, including several caves and seven improvised explosives, during operations in the eastern provinces of Şırnak, Batman, Mardin, and Diyarbakır, the statement said.

In addition, they seized 326 kilograms (718 pounds) of explosives materials, 63 hand grenades, 17 assorted weapons and 1,100 rounds of various ammunition.

During the operations, security forces also arrested 768 suspects for crimes related to terrorism, and 75 others for organized migrant trafficking crimes, while more than 4,560 people were held for undocumented migration, the ministry said.

After monitoring 803 social media accounts, the Turkish police’s cybercrime division launched legal proceedings against 413 people.

Additionally, a total of 2,516 anti-drug and anti-contraband operations were carried out, during which 3,216 suspects were captured, according to the statement.

The raids led to the seizure of 1,684 kg of marijuana, 328 kg of heroin, some 37,433 pills or other forms of other illegal drugs, and nearly 63 tons of smuggled oil.