Turkey has detained nearly 700 suspects, who allegedly have links to DAESH terrorist organisation, during nationwide security operations since early 2016, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency.
A total of 693 DAESH suspects have been detained over the first three months, with 160 of them being remanded in custody, the data indicates.
Of the total suspects, 554 were detained between January and February, 98 were arrested following their detentions.
In March, security forces rounded up a total of 139 suspects during raids, and 62 of them were remanded in custody.
Security forces have also seized a large number of organisational documents, weapons and ammunition belonging to the DAESH terrorist group.
Cross-border fire against DAESH
Turkish security forces have also conducted air strikes and used artillery fire against DAESH targets in northern Syria and northern Iraq, killing hundreds of terrorists during the same period.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Jan. 14 that Turkish artillery shelled DAESH targets 500 times in Syria and Iraq, killing almost 200 terrorists, in response to the Fatih suicide bombing that killed 10 German tourists and injured 15 others on Jan 12.
The attack was carried out by a Syrian suicide bomber who was born in Saudi Arabia according to Turkish authorities.
More recently, Turkish fighter jets hit four DAESH positions in northern Iraq on Saturday, following a stray projectile incident that left one Turkish soldier dead and another wounded in the Bashiqa military camp in northern Iraq where Turkish forces have been training Iraqi national armed forces and Peshmergas.
"Four DAESH terrorist positions in the north of Iraq have been hit by warplanes of the [international] coalition," Turkish General Staff said in a statement following the incident.
"Right after, four additional targets were heavily bombarded by the Turkish Armed Forces planes and the targets were destroyed," the statement added.
Davutoglu confirmed the strikes were in line with engagement rules in the aftermath of the projectile incident, which came during a gunbattle between DAESH terrorists and Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces who are stationed in the Bashiqa military base.
DAESH attacks in Turkey
In addition to the Sultanahmet blast, DAESH has been linked to several suicide bombings and attacks in Turkey.
In January, two people died after a school in southern Kilis Province was hit by a rocket fired by the DAESH terrorist group from Syria across the border, according to Turkish authorities.
In October 2015, 103 people were killed in a double DAESH suicide bombing attack in Ankara while a suicide bomb attack carried out by DAESH in Suruc district of Sanliurfa Province claimed 34 lives on July 20.
The latest DAESH attack in Turkey took place on March 19 when a DAESH-linked terrorist carried out a suicide attack in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district, killing five people including himself and wounding 39 others.