Turkish Forces Detain Over 850 Suspected PKK Members Within Week



866 militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were detained in a total of 835 counterterrorism operations conducted from June 19 to June 28, during which a large number of militants' weapons were destroyed, according to local media.

The Turkish armed forces have detained 866 militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group outlawed in Turkey, and killed 36 others during hundreds of counterterrorism operations carried out over the past week, local media reported Wednesday, citing the Turkish Interior Ministry.

The PPK militants were detained in a total of 835 counterterrorism operations conducted from June 19 to June 28, during which a large number of militants' weapons were  destroyed, the Daily Sabah newspaper reported.

Some 50 suspected members of the Daesh terror group, outlawed in Russia and many other countries, were also detained by Turkish forces in the operations, according to the newspaper. 

In addition, the Daily Sabah said that 474 people suspected of having links to US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of staging a failed coup attempt in 2016.

The PKK is designated as a terrorist group in Turkey. Tensions between Ankara and the PKK escalated in July 2015 when the ceasefire collapsed because of a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by the militants.

In July 2016, Turkey experienced a military coup attempt. 

The takeover was suppressed by government forces, but resulted in over 240 people being killed, and an estimated 2,000 being wounded. 

Ankara has accused Gulen, who has lived in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the plot.

Following the attempted coup, the Turkish forces arrested thousands of people, including journalists, servicemen and activists on suspicion of having ties to Gulen.

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