According to a statement issued on Saturday by the Sirnak governorate in southeastern Turkey, a total of 747 members from the outlawed PKK have surrendered to the Turkish authorities between March 21, 2013 and June 13, 2015.
The figure was revised up after the Turkish Armed Forces announced on Friday that seven militants from the PKK had surrendered in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sirnak.
In a statement on its website, the Turkish Armed Forces said that “seven separatist terror organisation members have surrendered in Sirnak without guns and equipment.”
The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as NATO and the EU.
A peace process was initiated in 2012 by the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to resolve a 30-year-old armed conflict between the PKK and the Turkish government, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people and injured thousands more mainly in the country’s southeastern provinces.
Following the peace process initiatives, imprisoned PKK leader and founder Abdullah Ocalan made a call to withdraw all armed PKK members from Turkish lands and put an end to the armed conflict in a letter that was read out by members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) at the 2013 Newroz celebrations, a festival that the Kurdish population of Turkey see as an important traditional event.