By Lale Koklu Karagoz
HATAY, Turkey (AA) – At least 11 PKK terrorists, including wanted members of the terror group, have been neutralized in the Mt. Amanos region in Turkey's south since Aug. 12, according to the Interior Ministry.
The terrorists were neutralized in rural areas around Mt. Amanos in Hatay province as part of Operation Yildirim-5, according to ministry records.
Turkish authorities often use the term “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
Two PKK terrorists were neutralized in Hatay’s Iskenderun town on Monday, in an operation that was hailed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
After Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced that the terrorists were neutralized, Hatay Governor Rahmi Dogan said at a press conference that the “PKK terrorist organization has been destroyed in the Mt. Amanos region.”
On Tuesday, security forces seized a paramotor belonging to the PKK terror group.
A week earlier, on Oct. 21, one terrorist was neutralized and another caught alive in an operation in the Mt. Amanos region.
The captured terrorist was Selim Celik, codnamed Savas, the son of former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Demir Celik.
Selim Celik was in the gray category of the Interior Ministry’s wanted list, which is divided into five color-coded categories, with red as the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange, and gray.
On Oct. 18, four terrorists were neutralized in Hatay’s Dortyol city.
These included Huseyin Acar, codenamed Dilser, who was in the blue category of the wanted list.
On Aug. 22, three wanted terrorists were neutralized in air-backed operations in Hatay.
Cihan Erbas, codenamed Huseyin, Serhat Aykul, codenamed Ciger-Amed, and Sefik Korman, codenamed Ali Norsin, were in the gray category of the wanted list.
Three M-16 rifles and a large amount of ammunition was also seized.
Turkish security forces have also destroyed many shelters and caves in Mt. Amanos – also called Mt. Nur – which is known to be used as a hideout by the YPG/PKK terror group.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.