UPDATES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE; ADDS STATEMENT OF INTERIOR MINISTRY; EDITS THROUGHOUT
By Ibrahim Toprak and Jeyhun Aliyev
BATMAN/ANKARA, Turkey (AA) - At least three PKK terrorists, including one woman, surrendered to Turkish security forces as a result of persuasion efforts, local officials said Monday.
According to a police statement in the southeastern Batman province, a female PKK/KCK terrorist had joined the terror group at age 14 after being manipulated by the terror group.
Turkish security teams contacted the terrorist and persuaded her to surrender, the statement said.
She surrendered in the southeastern Sirnak province and was brought to Batman and reunited with her family.
Life in the mountains is not like what the PKK says, the surrendered terrorist recounted, adding that she had decided to flee the terror group but was unable to make the move due to pressure.
According to the statement, the terrorist said she was able to flee the PKK under difficult conditions and that there are many other terrorists looking for ways to flee.
The terrorist also praised Turkish officials' welcoming approach to those who surrendered, calling on all parents to protect their children from becoming "a tool for imperialist states or powers."
The judicial process for the terrorist is ongoing.
In Turkey, offenders who are linked to terrorist groups and surrender are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law.
Separately, the Interior Ministry announced that two other PKK terrorists had also surrendered to Turkish forces.
The terrorists escaped the PKK and turned themselves in to security forces after the persuasion efforts of police and gendarmerie, the ministry said in a written statement.
The terrorists joined the PKK between 1993 and 2016, it said, adding they had operated in Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
With the latest additions, the number of terrorists who laid down their arms through persuasion efforts has reached 225 this year, it added.
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 some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
* Additional writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara