Five more PKK terrorists have surrendered to Turkish security forces after successful persuasion efforts by the authorities, the Interior Ministry confirmed Saturday.
The ministry said the terrorists surrendered after deserting the terrorist group, thanks to persuasion efforts by police and gendarmerie teams, bringing the number of terrorists who have surrendered through persuasion this year alone to 107.
The surrendered terrorists joined the PKK between 2009 and 2015 and were active in Iraq, Iran and Syria, the statement added.
According to Turkish officials, in recent years, the PKK – battered and demoralized by Turkish security forces' successful operations – has been hemorrhaging members and failing to recruit new ones.
In its more than 35-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.
The dissolution of the PKK has accelerated due to Turkey's successful counterterrorism operations and strategies both at home and abroad. In recent years, Turkey has seen record numbers of PKK terrorists giving themselves up in the face of determined domestic and cross-border counterterrorism operations.
Protests by a group of families in front of the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters in Diyarbakır demanding the return of their sons and daughters, who were recruited to fight for the terrorists, has also helped increase the number of people surrendering.
The protest started when Hacire Akar turned up at the doorstep of the HDP’s Diyarbakır office one night after the PKK abducted her son. A week later, on Sept. 3, 2019, families inspired by Akar transformed her solo stance into a collective sit-in protest.
The calls by the families to their children urging them to come back home and surrender, as well as the persuasion efforts by security forces, have been influential. The Interior Ministry recently announced that another family would soon reunite with their child.
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