Turkish law enforcement carried out a large-scale operation against individuals carrying unlicensed weapons and arms smugglers in the wake of Sunday’s suicide bombing near parliament in Ankara, detaining 928 suspects, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced on Tuesday.
On Sunday two attackers arrived in a commercial vehicle and detonated explosives near the Turkish parliament. The Interior Ministry labeled the incident a “terrorist attack.” One attacker detonated himself, while the other was “neutralized.” The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the attack.
As an overnight police operation targeted suspected PKK members across the country, detaining 67, another operation targeted arms smugglers and individuals carrying unlicensed firearms and spanned 64 provinces, resulting in the seizure of numerous illegal weapons.
64 İLDE “KAHRAMANLAR OPERASYONLARI” KAPSAMINDA RUHSATSIZ SİLAH TAŞIYAN ŞAHISLARA VE SİLAH KAÇAKÇILARINA YÖNELİK OLARAK DÜZENLENEN OPERASYONLARDA; 7️⃣4️⃣4️⃣ RUHSATSIZ TABANCA, 2️⃣4️⃣ UZUN NAMLULU TÜFEK, 7️⃣4️⃣ RUHSATSIZ AV TÜFEĞİ ELE GEÇİRİLDİ❗️9️⃣2️⃣8️⃣ ŞÜPHELİ ŞAHIS GÖZ ALTINA ALINDI.… pic.twitter.com/3pGijScdse
— Ali Yerlikaya (@AliYerlikaya) October 3, 2023
According to Yerlikaya’s post on X, the operation led to the confiscation of 744 handguns, 24 long-barreled shotguns and 74 hunting rifles, all unlicensed. The minister emphasized the government’s determination to bring organized crime groups and those supplying them with weapons to justice.
Yerlikaya praised the efforts of the provincial gendarmerie commands and police departments involved in the operation.
The announcement comes amid heightened scrutiny of Turkey’s security measures following the Ankara suicide bombing, which exposed potential lapses in intelligence and law enforcement. The operation appears to be part of a broader effort to tighten security and restore public confidence.