68 'terrorists neutralized' in one month, Defense Ministry says
A total of 33 security operations, including nine large scale and 24 medium scale, were carried out domestically and abroad, and 68 “terrorists were neutralized,” the Defense Ministry said on Dec.13.
Within the scope of border security operations, a total of 5,753 persons, who attempted to cross the border illegally, were apprehended and 34,264 others were blocked or pushed back before they crossed the border, the spokesperson of the ministry, Marine Lt. Col. Şebnem Aktop, said in a statement.
Among these people, 39 terrorist organization members, 24 of whom were members of FETÖ — the group Ankara accuses of being behind a defeated 2016 coup — were caught, she added.
“The PKK/YPG terrorists, who attempted to attack and infiltrate to disrupt peace and tranquillity established in the operation areas in Syria, are neutralized by our hero commandos. In this context, 202 terrorists, 29 of whom were the members of DAESH [ISIL], were neutralized in the last month,” she said.
Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
Elaborating on the tension between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean to Greece, “Turkey is in favor of good neighborly relations,” she said.
But Greece “maintains its uncompromising attitude that escalates tension with exercises, harassment, violations and provocative statements in the region,” Aktop added.
She also said that Turkey would continue to support the Tripoli government in Libya. “The training in the five training centers in Libya are continuing,” Aktop said.
Stating that the work to establish a joint observatory center with Russia to monitor the ceasefire in Azerbaijan is continuing, Aktop said the Turkish army continues to provide training to the Azeri army within the scope of bilateral agreements.
The ministry spokesperson noted that Turkish troops in Azerbaijan were conducting land mine search and destruction activities in the liberated lands and carrying out relevant training with Azerbaijani soldiers.