UPDATES WITH ATTACKS TERRORISTS INVOLVED IN; ADDDS REMARKS BY INTERIOR MINISTER
By Davut Demircan
ANKARA (AA) – Neutralized in a domestic anti-terror operation in July, two PKK terrorists were revealed to be on Turkey’s most-wanted list, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.
Hejar Celik, codenamed Numan Batman, and Ishak Ozcaktu, codenamed Erhan Garzan Porsipi, were among five terrorists neutralized in an air-backed operation in the eastern Diyarbakir province on July 19.
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 two terrorists -- listed on the red category naming those most-wanted of the Interior Ministry -- were sought with 4 million Turkish liras ($696,360) bounty on their head each.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu used Twitter to comment on the incident.
"Porsipi. I will sleep well tonight. We were seeking you for a long time … If this had not happened, I would have died in disappointment," he said.
- Terrorists behind deadly attacks nationwide
According to the ministry statement, Celik was in charge of all terrorist attacks in the vicinity of Diyarbakir.
He also ordered the arson attacks on state schools in Diyarbakir in 2014 and the bomb attack on provincial police headquarters which left three police martyred in 2018.
Meanwhile, Ozcaktu was the mastermind of numerous terrorist attacks in Turkey, the statement said.
Among them were 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.
Ozcaktu was behind the terrorist bomb attack that martyred 36 police and eight civilians when it targeted Vodafone Park stadium of Besiktas football club in Istanbul in December 2016. Some 155 were injured.
The terrorist was also accused of spearheading a bomb blast which martyred 15 soldiers in Kayseri in December 2016 after targeting a military vehicle.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including many women, children, and infants.