Interior minister says 2,603 arrested over PKK links in past 5 months

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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has announced that in the past five months a total of 8,477 people have been detained while 2,603 of them have been arrested due to alleged links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Soylu said operations against the PKK intensified during the winter and that Turkish security forces entered each and every base and shelter used by PKK militants.

“During the winter, 129 operations were conducted against 125 so-called [PKK] bases and shelters. Over the past five months, 661 shelters were destroyed across 22 provinces,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Soylu also noted that 126 attacks planned by the PKK were foiled before they were put into action.

With regards to the number of PKK terrorists killed in security operations, the minister said 689 PKK terrorists have been killed over the past five months.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the PKK, carried out deadly attacks over the past months in Turkey. TAK claimed responsibility for twin bombings in İstanbul on Dec. 10 that killed 45 people and injured 166 as well as a car bomb attack in Kayseri province on Dec. 17 that killed 15 soldiers.

Following the breakdown of a cease-fire in July 2015 between the PKK and the Turkish authorities, clashes intensified between the PKK and Turkish security forces in the country’s Southeast.

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