152 Daesh terrorist attacks foiled, tons of explosives confiscated
security forces have foiled 152 terrorist attacks by Daesh terrorists in the past year, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Wednesday. “We prevented 152 terrorist attacks by Daesh in 2020, and confiscated 26.8 tons of explosives ... We also foiled terrorist attacks by the PKK and DHKP-C,” Soylu said in a live broadcast on TGRT Haber, adding that Turkish security forces work around the clock to ensure security. In 2013, Turkey became one of the first countries to declare Daesh a terrorist group. The country has since been attacked by Daesh terrorists multiple times with at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks and four armed attacks killing 315 people and injuring hundreds more. In response, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks. In the fight against the PKK terror group, Soylu said 162 PKK terrorists have laid down their arms so far this year as a result of persuasion efforts by police and gendarmerie forces. The number of terrorists who surrendered through persuasion efforts in the last three years exceeded 700, he said. “No other country utilizes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) better than us,” Soylu said, in reference to the use of drones in the fight against the PKK terrorists.
INTERIOR Minister Soylu referred to UAVs as the “hands, feet, arms and eyes” of security forces, highlighting their indispensability in the fight against terrorism.
On the long-running sit-in in Turkey by families whose children have been kidnapped by PKK terrorists, Soylu said these mothers are not only trying to save their children but are also struggling against terrorism and the destabilization of the region by the terrorist groups.
He announced that the 17th family would reunite with their child, Serkan Akkuş, who had been recruited by the PKK and recently laid down arms and surrendered to Turkish security forces. After Soylu’s announcement, the reunion has taken place yesterday as the protesting family welcoming their child.
The protest began on Sept. 3 last year in southeastern Diyarbakır province, when Fevziye Çetinkaya, Remziye Akkoyun and Ayşegül Biçer said their children had been forcibly recruited by the PKK terrorists.
The sit-in outside the office of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – which the government accuses of having links to the YPG/PKK terror group – has been growing every day.
The grieving demonstrators have vowed to continue the sit-in until every family is reunited with their children. Offenders in Turkey linked to terrorist groups who surrender are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law.
PKK CONDUCTS DRUG TRAFFICKING
The interior minister also touched upon the direct links between the PKK and drug trafficking. “The PKK manages a significant part of the drug trade in Europe,” Soylu said, adding that although European countries seem to be indifferent now, they will soon come begging Turkey for help against the terrorists.
Soylu had previously stated that the PKK terrorist group controls 80% of the drug trade in Europe, earning around $1.5 billion (TL 11.5 billion) per year. Turkey’s fight against drug trafficking came as a major blow to the PKK’s fundraising capabilities, much of which depends on drug trafficking.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
WANTED PKK TERRORIST DETAINED
Meanwhile, Turkish police detained a wanted PKK terrorist, known as the group’s “expert saboteur,” as he was attempting to carry out a suicide attack with an improvised explosive device in northern Turkey’s Amasya province, a statement by the governor’s office in eastern Erzincan province said yesterday.
Terrorist Ahmet Herdem, code-named “Baver-Çektar,” who was listed under the orange category of the Interior Ministry’s wanted list, was caught in the act in an operation coordinated by the intelligence unit of Erzincan Police Directorate, in cooperation with police units from Amasya and southeastern Şanlıurfa provinces. The Interior Ministry’s wanted list is divided into five color codes: red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and gray.
The suspect attempted to blow himself up as police caught him, the governor’s office said. The detained terrorist was responsible for the PKK’s activities in the rural areas of eastern Tunceli province and was behind several terrorist attacks. He also provided training for other PKK suicide bombers, the statement said.
Security forces found two fake identity documents on the 33-year-old terrorist when they detained him and confiscated weapons and ammunition buried in Erzincan province. The terrorist was arrested on Sept. 18.