Turkish security forces have eliminated 1,595 terrorists in counterterrorism operations abroad as well as within the country’s borders so far this year, according to the National Defense Ministry.
The ministry on Thursday stated during a press briefing that 40 operations, 10 of which were large-scale and 30 medium-scale, have been conducted within the past two months.
It added that, within the scope of the Turkish Armed Forces’ successful operations, at least 18,000 terrorists have been eliminated since July 2015. Furthermore, 229 terrorists were eliminated in the operation areas in Syria in the past two months, including Daesh terrorists.
The ministry further underlined that Turkey has been increasing its border security amid increasing news of a new migration wave of Afghan refugees. It was stated that the ministry will continue to strengthen border security in the upcoming period.
Turkey has seen a surge in the number of illegal Afghan migrants in recent years. It is believed that the surge is tied to the increasingly volatile situation in Afghanistan.
Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives. According to Interior Ministry figures, Turkey hosted 4.2 million refugees in 2017. The number reached 4.9 million in 2020, of whom 3.6 million were Syrians. Security forces held 1.2 million irregular migrants and over 27,000 human traffickers between 2015 and 2020, according to the statistics.
Security sources have previously stated that footage of increasing numbers of Afghan refugees crossing the border does not belong to Turkey’s borders, nor was it up to date.
To ensure the safety and security of the Turkish-Iranian border, a 295-kilometer (183-mile) long wall will be constructed along the entire shared border, Emin Bilmez, the governor of the eastern province of Van, said Tuesday. Officials hope that the wall will help prevent illegal crossings and the trafficking of contraband and that it will also hinder terrorists from infiltrating the country.
In the past two months, more than 31,000 people were stopped from entering Turkey. Some 74 of these were determined to be terrorists.
In its more than 40-year 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 at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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