Turkish security forces eliminated two PKK terrorists, one of whom was wanted by Interpol, the country's interior minister said on Monday.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu wrote on Twitter that Necati Utku Kiraz, code-named Azat Kendal, was in the orange category of Turkey's wanted list and also wanted by Interpol for his role in plotting numerous terror-related crimes.
The interior minister said that after a protracted period of monitoring, the terrorist was eliminated by intelligence, local police and gendarmerie units in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
According to the Interior Ministry, Kiraz's name was linked to the horrific bomb attack in March 2016 at Güvenpark in Ankara's Kızılay, a busy shopping area and a major public transportation hub, that killed 38 people and injured 349 others, using an explosive-laden vehicle.
He was also a part of the group responsible for the rocket attack on the Hezan military base in Diyarbakır in 2019 as well as a roadside bomb blast in eastern Bingöl province last year.
The wanted list is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and gray.
Another terrorist was also eliminated along with Kiraz, Soylu added.
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.
Security forces also carry out operations abroad where the terrorist organization poses a threat. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) regularly conduct cross-border operations in northern Iraq, a region where PKK terrorists have hideouts and bases from which to carry out attacks against Turkey.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
The Turkish military also eliminated two YPG terrorists in northern Syria, authorities said on Sunday. The YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK terror group.
The terrorists were planning an attack on the Operation Peace Spring zone, the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful counterterrorism operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).