More than 850 suspects have been arrested in anti-terrorist operations across Turkey, launched against members of the outlawed Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK) and Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), Daily Sabah reports.
The operations have been carried out over the last three days in 34 of the 81 provinces in Turkey, according to information obtained by Turkey’s Daily Sabah.
At least “28 people, 13 of whom were of foreign origin were taken into custody on accusations of having links to ISIS in Sunday’s operation in three cities based in southeastern city of Gaziantep,” notes the Turkish newspaper.
“Meanwhile, 74 people were taken into custody in the operation against the PKK in Diyarbakır,” it adds.
The number of people detained in the nationwide operations has reportedly reached 851 in the last three days.
“Within the scope of the latest operations against terrorism, 104 terrorists in Istanbul, 21 in Izmir and 86 in Adana have been detained,” explains Daily Sabah.
Turkey has long been accused of ignoring the foreign fighters traveling through Turkish territory on their way to join ISIS in Syria.
Ankara has taken the opportunity to take on the PKK and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C) while cracking down on ISIS. Both the PKK and DHKP-C are considered foreign terrorist organizations by the United States, Turkey’s NATO ally.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, a group that is not considered a terrorist organization and has been backed by U.S.-led airstrikes in its fight against ISIS, has accused Turkey of attacking them.
Turkey, which has reportedly launched raids on ISIS jihadists in Syria and PKK militants in Iraq, denied the allegations, saying “it was investigating the claim but insisted that its forces were not targeting Syrian Kurds,” reports BBC.
“Turkish security forces have been conducting operations against ISIL, the PKK, the DHKP-C and the PKK’s youth wing, the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), in over two dozens of [the Turkish] provinces as part of the nationwide anti-terror operations launched on July 24,” reports Hurriyet Daily News.
“Police on July 24 launched major raids in 22 provinces against suspected ISIL and PKK members after a wave of deadly violence in the country, detaining 288 people” it adds.
NATO has called an emergency meeting amid Turkish security operations against ISIS and the PKK.
“Turkey requested the meeting in view of the seriousness of the situation after the heinous terrorist attacks in recent days, and also to inform allies of the measures it is taking,” NATO said, Al Jazeera reports.
“NATO allies follow developments very closely and stand in solidarity with Turkey,” it added.