BY DAILY SABAH WITH AA
Terrorism will be completely eliminated within Türkiye’s borders in the year 2023, which marks the country’s centenary, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu assured on Saturday.
Speaking at Parliament in the capital Ankara, the minister noted that while the PKK recruits 5,558 members a year, Türkiye managed to decrease the number of PKK terrorists within its borders to 120. “The number of people who joined the terrorist group was 71 last year and was 52 this year,” Soylu highlighted.
Soylu underlined that Türkiye is pursuing the PKK both within and across its borders with operations like Claw-Key.
Meanwhile, two more PKK terrorists surrendered to Turkish security forces, the Interior Ministry announced on Friday.
The terrorists had joined the group in 2014-2015 and operated in both Syria and Iraq, the ministry said in a statement.
With the latest surrenders, the number of terrorists who have laid down their arms through persuasion efforts in 2022 now stands at 119, it added.
A significant number of suspected terrorists have abandoned the PKK and surrendered, but many terrorists lack the courage to leave the terrorist group out of fear of severe punishment if caught.
The PKK’s leadership is struggling to recruit both militants and higher ranks, according to reports. Many terrorists are reluctant to enter Türkiye from Iraq to carry out attacks because of the high number of casualties.
In Türkiye, offenders linked to terrorist groups who surrender are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law.
In recent years, Türkiye has ramped up domestic operations and efforts across its borders against the terrorist group and convinced a substantial number of members to abandon the PKK.
Protests by a group of families in front of the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters in Diyarbakır demanding the return of their sons and daughters, who were recruited or kidnapped to fight for the terrorist group, have also helped increase the number of people surrendering.
Calls made by the families to their children urging them to return home and surrender, as well as the persuasion efforts by the security forces, have been influential.