TURKEY

Turkish security forces foil 515 terror attacks

TURKISH SECURITY FORCES FOIL 515 TERROR ATTACKS

Turkish security forces forestalled hundreds of terrorist attack through the counter-terrorism operations last year, and a great number of suspects were arrested due to terror crime after these operations, Turkish minister stated.

Turkey has conducted more than 68,000 counter-terrorism operations over the last year and 515 terror attacks have been averted, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Wednesday.

Following these operation, 30,167 suspects are in jail awaiting trial for terror offences, he added.

Speaking at a meeting of provincial governors in Ankara, Soylu said the 68,464 anti-terror operations targeted the PKK, Daesh, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and far-left terror groups such as the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

There were 40,215 operations targeting the PKK and 25,818 against FETO, which Ankara holds responsible for last year's attempted coup.

Soylu said 2,242 terrorists were neutralized -- a term that the Turkish military often uses to refer to killed terrorists.

Nearly 300 terrorists had been killed over the past 9 months by aerial drones operated by Turkish security forces. Turkey has increasingly turned to using armed drones, particularly against the PKK in rural areas, in recent months.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians.

Soylu also addressed border security on Turkey's southern frontier.

He said a concrete wall built along the Syrian border now extended for 755 kilometers (469 miles) and construction, which began in 2015 along the 911 km (566 mile) border, is continuing. A 38 km (24 mile) security fence had also be erected on the border of Hatay province, Soylu added.

Under measures to combat smuggling and illegal crossings, the 3 meter (10 foot) wall is topped with razor wire and incorporates watchtowers, electronic surveillance, thermal cameras, radar, remote-controlled weapons as well as seismic and acoustic sensors.

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