Erdogan says security forces kill 5,359 terrorists since July

Turkish President says Turkish Security Forces have killed 5,359 PKK terrorists in anti-terror operations since last July

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the war academy in Istanbul, Turkey March 28, 2016, in this handout photo provided by the Presidential Palace.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said at least 5,359 PKK terrorists have been killed since July 2015, when Turkey started its anti-terror operations across the country.

Speaking at a news conference, held after his visit to Turkish War Colleges on Monday, Erdogan stated that 355 Turkish soldiers, policemen and village guards have died mostly in Turkey’s southeast in the same time period.

Erdogan’s remarks came after his spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, stressed on Monday that Turkey has blocked several potential terror attacks in recent weeks.

"All measures, in the finest detail are taken against terrorism. As a country, we are fighting against the terrorism threat. In the past weeks, lots of terrorists were captured while they were preparing attacks, as a result of our national intelligence service and interior ministry's joint operations,” Kalin said.

“Suicide bombers and bomb mounted vehicles were captured," he continued.

PKK’s umbrella organisation, the KCK, unilaterally ended a two-and-a-half-year-long ceasefire with the Turkish government in July, threatening the country with further attacks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during his visit at the Turkish War Colleges Command in Istanbul, Turkey on March 28, 2016.

Erdogan also criticised foreign diplomats who attended the two Turkish journalists, Can Dundar and Erdem Gul’s, espionage hearings.

"The consul general of a certain country went to the trial of a journalist charged with espionage, to support him. Moreover he gets a picture taken cheek to cheek and had it published," the President said.

"And he does not stop at that, on social media he says things like 'Turkey needs to decide what kind of country it will be,' words that exceed their intended meaning," he added.

"If this person could still go on working here that's because of our generosity and hospitality. If it were another country they wouldn't let a diplomat who exhibits this kind of behaviour to stay there a day more."

Last week, top diplomats, including the British consul to Istanbul, attended the trial of the two journalists who were arrested last year after publishing a controversial report regarding the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT).

The journalists also face charges of "knowingly and wilfully" helping FETO terror organisation.

TRTWorld and agencies