By Muhammed Boztepe
ANKARA (AA) - Security forces, neutralized 127 so-called senior terrorists of YPG/PKK terror group who were on Turkish Interior Ministry's wanted list, during the domestic and cross-border operations since Jan. 1.
Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
The counter-terrorism operations were supported by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), police, gendarmerie, and the National Intelligence Service (MIT).
During the operations, overall 127 so-called senior terrorists of YPG/PKK were neutralized. 12 of them were at the top category of Interior Ministry's most wanted terrorists list.
According to data compiled by Anadolu Agency, security forces conducted 125,552 operations against terrorist organizations and 1,358 terrorists were neutralized, while 45,384 arrest warrants were issued for the suspects.
Ishak Ozcaktu, codenamed "Erhan Garzan Porsipi", was the mastermind of numerous terrorist attacks in Turkey and wanted in the top category of the list.
He was behind the terrorist bomb attack that martyred 36 police and eight civilians at the Vodafone Park stadium of Besiktas football club in Istanbul in December 2016. Some 155 were injured.
Also, he was perpetrator of the deadly Ankara attack, which hit Merasim Street, close to the Turkish General Staff and parliament buildings, in February 2016. The bomb blast left 29 people martyred and 79 others wounded.
The terrorist was also accused of spearheading a bomb blast which martyred 15 soldiers, and wounded 20 others in Kayseri in December 2016 after targeting a military vehicle.
Musluh Ike, code-named "Tekoser Zagros", was so-called person in-charge of Metina region of northern Iraq, and the instigator of many actions held in Semdinli and Cukurca districts of Turkey's southeastern Hakkari province. He was wanted at the top category of the list and neutralized in a joint operation in Metina region by MIT and TSK.
Two of the so-called senior terrorists of YPG/PKK, Servet Aydin -- codenamed "Gulciya" -- and Soylemez Yasar -- codenamed "Tekosin Batman" -- were neutralized in an airstrike in northern Iraq.
Ozge Aydin, code-named "Ceren Gunes," who received military training in the YPG/PKK ranks, was neutralized during the clash that broke out in northern Syria on Nov. 3.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
* Writing by Havva Kara Aydin