Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said that the Turkish army "neutralized" a total of 30,416 militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) since July 2015, meaning that they were either killed, wounded or captured.
Akar said that the militants were "neutralized" as part of the "new strategy" that was adopted against the PKK on July 24, 2015.
Turkish authorities release statements that outline their fight against the PKK at the end of each year without clarifying how many were killed, wounded or captured, using the vague term "neutralize" instead.
Speaking in a virtual year-end evaluation meeting that was attended by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler and force commanders on Dec. 30, Akar noted that some 3,646 militants were "neutralized" in more than 200 operations carried out in Turkey and across the border in 2020.
Akar said that "Turkey is determined to clean up the PKK terrorist organization starting from northern Iraq."
"By continuing our efforts with the same determination, we will save our nation from this terror scourge," he said.
"Terrorists have been dealt a serious blow, they continue to be hit. We are committed to this. Our fight against terrorism will continue with an increasing tempo and a spirit of constant offensive," the minister noted.
Akar also noted that 82,229 people were caught trying to make an illegal border crossing during the year.