Participation in the PKK terror group has reached its lowest level in recent years, the deputy interior minister said Sunday.
Releasing a statement on Twitter, Ismail Çataklı said that 185 PKK members surrendered to security forces through persuasion efforts in the last 10 months.
“The number of group members who surrendered through the method of persuasion since 2016 is 807. Participation in the group stands at the lowest level of recent years. They have become unable to conduct activities,” he said.
Çataklı also stated that the terror group and its supporters have been spreading false and baseless claims to manipulate public opinion.
“The terrorist organization and its supporters were disturbed by the disengagement from the terrorist organization as a result of the recent persuasion efforts and started to produce fake news,” he 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. In recent years, the dissolution of the PKK has accelerated due to Turkey's successful counterterrorism operations and strategies both at home and abroad.
Once the terrorists surrender, they are provided with opportunities, including the right to education and freedom to live without fear of oppression. The surrendered terrorists are not mistreated, can freely contact their families and are provided with essential judicial assistance with the Turkish state offering a variety of services to ensure social reintegration. According to former members, the PKK ringleaders risk the lives of others in order to save their own and threaten those that surrender with torture.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.