By Sertac Bulur
ANKARA (AA) - A total of 28 terrorists, including a Daesh member sought by Interpol, have been "neutralized" in counterterrorism operations across the country between Jan. 22 and 29, said the Turkish Interior Ministry on Monday.
The ministry said in a statement that Turkey’s security forces had carried out 819 counterterrorism operations in the past week.
Demet Tasar, a Daesh member who was on the Interior Ministry's terrorist list and was sought by Interpol, was among the neutralized terrorist, the ministry said.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
The ministry specified that one of the neutralized terrorists was killed and 21 were captured while six surrendered.
During the operations, 450 people were also arrested for aiding and abetting the PKK separatist terrorist organization, 59 others for their suspected links to Daesh. Another 623 people were arrested for suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
- 311 arrested for spreading terror propaganda on social media
The ministry, in the same statement, said a total of 311 suspects had been arrested so far for spreading terror propaganda on social media with regards to Turkey's operation in Syria's Afrin.
After inspecting a total of 571 social media accounts, the anti-cybercrime branch of Turkish police launched legal proceedings against 208 suspects.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military has also said that only terrorist targets are being destroyed and the "utmost importance" was being given to not harm civilians. Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.