Since Jan. 1, 2020, a total of 71 PKK terrorists have surrendered to the security forces, the Interior Ministry said Sunday.
Expressing that the latest addition to the surrendered terrorist list was made on Sunday, the ministry expressed its appreciation for the efforts of the security forces as well as the families of the terrorists. The number of surrenders continues to rise daily.
On Sunday, Abdurrahman Kayıhan, code-named "Andok," who joined the terrorist group five years ago and most recently carried out terrorist activities in Syria, surrendered to the security forces in the southeastern province of Mardin.
There has been a surge in the number of terrorists laying down arms and surrendering to Turkish security forces after a series of successful domestic and cross-border anti-terror operations.
The surrendered terrorists include individuals whose parents have been participating in a demonstration in front of the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır headquarters, demanding the return of their children kidnapped by the terrorist group.
Nine families, whose children were kidnapped by the terrorist group, have been reunited with their sons and daughters.
Many terrorists lack the courage to leave the group because they would face severe punishment if caught.
In its more than four-decade terror 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 YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
The Interior Ministry in a statement on Nov. 26, 2019, said the dissolution of the PKK has been accelerated due to Turkey's successful counterterrorism operations and strategies both at home and abroad.
The statement said a significant number of terrorists have fled the PKK and surrendered. More than 235 terrorists have surrendered to Turkish security forces in 2019 alone.
Once the terrorists surrender, they are provided many opportunities, including the right to education and the freedom to live without fear and oppression.
They are not ill-treated, can contact their families freely and are provided with essential judicial assistance. The Turkish state offers a variety of services to ensure their social reintegration.
According to some former terrorists, PKK ringleaders have risked the lives of others to save their own ranks and threatened those planning to surrender with torture.
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