Turkish security forces have eliminated a so-called high-ranking terrorist, Hikmet Gezici, during a counterterrorism operation in Turkey's eastern Bitlis province, the Interior Ministry announced Friday.
Gezici, code-named “Eriş Garzan,” was responsible for the Garzan area. The ministry stated that Gezici was killed along with two other terrorists in an operation Thursday and was in the gray category of the ministry’s most wanted list.
The ministry further stated that a joint operation with the provincial gendarmerie and special forces squads had begun in the rural areas of Bitlis and Tatvan as part of the Eren-11 operation.
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.
Operation Eren, named after Eren Bübül, a 15-year-old boy killed by PKK terrorists Aug. 11, 2017, began in January with the aim of completely eliminating terrorism in the country.
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 at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.