Following Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's comments that Turkey has entered a new phase in counterterrorism, which he described as "attacking rather than defensive," the government is set to take four critical and immediate steps.
In a decision taken at a recent Cabinet meeting as well as at the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Central Executive Board (MYK), the four steps are expected to be implemented over the upcoming days, including an increase in the number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to minimize Turkish soldiers' active intervention with the PKK terrorists.
The Cabinet and the AK Party's MYK have both agreed on increasing the number of UAVs to 10 times of its current figures to prevent Turkish soldiers from casualties and active engagement against the PKK terrorists.
The second step was to have the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) maintain its control over rural regions instead of withdrawing to military posts. The government also aims to maintain its connection with citizens in the region through this method and to prevent PKK from putting pressure on locals. Under a continuous presence of the TSK soldiers, the return of PKK near the spring months will also be prevented.
Furthermore, another significant government initiative is determining enhanced counter terrorism methods abroad and carrying them out. Accordingly, money laundering and other illegal activities by the PKK-affiliated associations and institutions, especially in Europe, are to be documented and presented to the relevant country's officials.
Finally, the governor and sub-governor of particular districts and provinces will meet with leading figures and families on a scheduled basis. The government aims at enhancing ties with locals through these meetings, as well as preventing youth from joining terror groups.
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