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Turkey arrests over 1,000 in ‘anti-terror’ raids

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Demonstrators are detained by Turkish police officers during a protest condemning the deadly Suruc bombing in Ankara, July 25, 2015. (© AFP)

Turkey has arrested more than 1,000 people across the country in “anti-terrorist” operations launched after a recent deadly bombing in the border town of Suruc.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s Office of Public Diplomacy said in a Monday statement that 1,050 people had been arrested during the operations in 34 provinces, adding that most of the detainees have been accused of being members of ISIL, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

The country has launched a far-and-wide arrest campaign since at least 32 people were killed in a massive explosion in the Turkish town of Suruc, near the southern border with Syria, on July 20. The attack was attributed to the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group, which has swathes of territory in neighboring Syria and Iraq under its control.

Ever since the blast in Suruc, the country has also started conducting aerial attacks against PKK bases in northern Iraq as well as what it claims to be ISIL positions in Syria.

Turkey has been the scene of several protests since the bomb attack in Suruc, with police forces using water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds. Demonstrators condemn Turkish military campaigns in Iraq and Syria.

Turkish demonstrators put their fists in the air and chant anti-government slogans in Ankara, July 26, 2015. (© AFP)

 

The Turkish government is believed to be one of the main supporters of the terrorist groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since 2011, with reports showing that Ankara actively trains and arms the militants operating in Syria, and also facilitates the safe passage of would-be foreign terrorists into crisis-hit areas.

In a report published last Sunday, The Guardian quoted an unnamed senior Western official as saying that evidence on direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIL members was “undeniable.”


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