Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Wednesday updated the number of PKK terrorists left in Turkey, stating that after a series of counterterrorism operations the number is down to 438 as of June 2020.
"We hope to see that the numbers will gradually fall below 400 first and then 300. Finally, we will see them all escaping out of fear," Soylu said.
Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism operations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence.
The military has adopted “ending terrorism at its root” and “attack rather than defense” strategies through its operations across the country.
Some 122,054 operations, including 116,650 in rural areas, targeted PKK terrorists in 2019 alone, successfully detained or killed many of the group's top figures.
There were around 2,780 PKK terrorists in Turkey in 2016, according to the report, and this number has dropped to below 500 since then.
According to Interior Ministry data, there were between 835 and 1,995 PKK terrorists in January 2017, while the number dropped to between 1,100 and 1,200 by January 2018, 755 to 876 in January 2019 and under 500 in January 2020, equating to an 83% drop over four years and the lowest figures in three decades.
More importantly, while around 5,558 terrorists joined the PKK in 2014, this number fell to 130 in 2019 and to 13 in the first five months of 2020, a whopping 70% drop year-on-year.
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