The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) introduced some legal arrangements to the government in a bid to strengthen the ongoing fight against terrorism, Chief of the General Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel has said.
Ozel’s disclosure came during a lengthy interview with Nuh Albayrak of daily Türkiye, which was published yesterday. Özel’s answers were provided in written form, the newspaper noted.
“It is being thought that there is need,” Ozel said in response to a question on whether laws currently in force were sufficient for effectively fighting terror and whether the TSK needed new legal arrangements for a more efficient fight against terror.
“Thoughts and proposals about the issue have been introduced to the competent authorities,” Ozel said.
The issue of Kandil Mountain has been widely discussed as part of internal politics, particularly since recent deadly attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has asked the government to launch an initiative to destroy PKK headquarters and military camps located in the Kandil Mountain, which is located along the Iranian border of Iraq. The PKK has been using the remote and mountainous region of northern Iraq as a safe haven and launch pad to attack targets in Turkey for nearly 20 years. More than 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts since the separatist PKK took up arms against the state in 1984. In recent months, fighting has escalated to the most intense level seen in more than a decade.
Operation to Kandil
Asked whether launching “a permanent operation” on Kandil Mountain was “technically possible,” Ozel said such an initiative was technically possible, but would not go further into detail. When asked whether it was impossible to eliminate leading executives of the PKK with surgical strikes, Ozel said: “They have been protected very well and they have been changing their location very frequently. We are trying to render [them] ineffective.”
“To render ineffective” is a term used particularly by the Turkish military which often means killing members of a terrorist organization.
According to figures given by Ozel, 110 soldiers have been martyred from Jan. 1 to Sept. 24 of this year. Along the same period, 427 terrorists were killed and 54 of them were captured either injured or alive, while 117 of them surrendered, he said./hurriyetdailynews.com/