A total of 1,190 militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been killed in 2017, according to information gathered from Turkish Interior Ministry weekly briefings, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, 2,195 PKK members have been “neutralized” this year, including 1,190 killed, 521 apprehended and 464 surrendered. Sixty-two of those “neutralized” were on the Turkish Interior Ministry’s list of wanted terrorists. Another 62 terrorists who were not on the list were in senior positions of the terrorist organization.
Turkish security forces arrested 19,759 PKK suspects in the same period, Anadolu reported.
At odds with Interior Ministry figures, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli had stated on Nov. 9 that 2,304 PKK militants have been “neutralized” since Jan. 10, 2017.
Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015.
Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.
More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.