By Ramazan Ercan
IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – Turkey is determined to clear the region of the terrorist group Daesh by mounting military and police operations both at home and abroad.
Turkey has recognized Daesh as a terrorist organization since 2013.
Since then, Turkey has been attacked by Daesh terrorists numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed attacks in Turkey.
These attacks killed 315 innocent people — including the martyring of 11 police officers and two soldiers — and injured 137 civilians, 62 police officers, and seven soldiers.
In response to these attacks, Turkey launched military and police operations at home and abroad.
In two cross-border military operations in Syria since 2016, Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch, Turkey neutralized 3,500 Daesh terrorists and arrested 5,500.
– Daesh attacks in Turkey
Daesh carried out four suicide bomb attacks in Istanbul, three in the capital Ankara, and a total of three in the southeastern Turkish provinces of Gaziantep and Sanliurfa.
March 20, 2014: Daesh attacks Turkish gendarmerie and police during patrols in the central Nigde province. Two officials martyred and one civilian killed.
Jan. 6, 2015: Daesh terrorist throws a hand grenade at Sultanahmet police station in Istanbul. One police officer martyred and two seriously injured.
May 18, 2015: Daesh carries out bombing attack in southern Mersin and Adana provinces, seriously injuring four people.
June 5, 2015: Daesh attacks eastern Diyarbakir province with two bombs. Four people die and 279 seriously injured.
July 20, 2015: Daesh carries out suicide bomb attack in Suruc, southeastern Sanliurfa province. A total of 34 people killed and 70 seriously injured.
Sept. 1, 2015: Daesh kills Turkish soldier and kidnaps military personnel in southeastern Kilis province.
Oct. 10, 2015: Daesh attacks capital Ankara's main train station with two suicide bombers. Over 100 people die, 391 seriously injured.
Jan. 12, 2016: Daesh suicide bomber kills 12 German tourists in Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. Sixteen people injured.
Jan. 16, 2016: Over the course of seven months, Kilis province faces Daesh attacks by howitzers and rockets from Syria. Some 24 people die in the attacks.
March 19, 2016: Three Israelis and an Iranian killed by Daesh suicide bomber in Istanbul's Taksim district. Some 45 people injured.
May 1, 2016: Daesh bomb attack on Gaziantep provincial security directorate in southeast martyrs three police officers, seriously injures 31.
June. 28, 2016: Three Daesh suicide bombers with heavy weapons carry out attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. A total of 45 people die and 163 seriously injured.
Aug. 20, 2016: Daesh attacks a wedding ceremony in southeastern Gaziantep province. A total of 57 people die and 163 seriously injured.
Oct. 16, 2016: Daesh attacks police in southeastern Gaziantep province with suicide bomber. Three police officers martyred, nine injured.
Jan. 1, 2016: Daesh attacks nightclub in Istanbul. One police officer martyred, 39 people killed, and 79 people seriously injured.
– Other Daesh attacks
June 11, 2014: Daesh attacks Turkey’s Consulate in Mosul, Iraq. Consul Ozturk Yilmaz and 49 staffers kidnapped. Later a Turkish operation rescues them.
2015: Two anti-Daesh Al Jazeera correspondents killed by Daesh in southeastern Sanliurfa province. Mohamed El Sarkat killed on April 10, 2015 in southeastern Gaziantep province, and Naji Jerf killed on Dec. 28, 2015.
– Turkey uses anti-terrorist skill to fight Daesh
Turkey has closed 14 associations linked to Daesh and 2,564 social media accounts to stop Daesh propaganda.
Some 9,350 Daesh-linked suspects have been detained and over 3,000 of them jailed, including 1,337 foreigners.
Some 18,500 terror suspects seeking to enter Turkey from airports, ports, and border gates have been detained, and 7,600 of them were deported.
Nearly 5,000 people from 99 countries trying to travel to conflict areas in Syria were deported.
Some 77,000 people from 151 countries were banned from entering Turkey.
A total of 22 suicide bombers were halted.
– Anti-terror operations
Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24, 2016 to eliminate Daesh and other terrorists and to help the safe, voluntary return of Syrians to their homes.
The operation lasted 216 days and ended on March 29, 2017. During the operation, 2,647 Daesh terrorist were killed and 413 terrorists neutralized. Jarablus, Al-Rai, Dabiq, Qabasin and Al-Bab were all liberated from Daesh terrorists.
Turkey launched its second operation in Syria, Operation Olive Branch, on Jan. 20, 2018.
One of the aims of the operation was to eliminate all terrorist groups such as the PKK/PYD/YPG and Daesh from its area of operation and ensure Turkey's border security.
Another aim was to rescue Syrians from the attacks of terrorist groups and help them return to their homes safely.
Over 4,500 terrorists were neutralized in the operation area.
Turkey has detained and arrested thousands of terror-linked suspects in operations at home and abroad.
In 2016, 500 terrorists were arrested. In 2017, 739 out of 4,765 terror-linked suspects were arrested. In 2018, 408 of 3,038 terror-linked suspects were arrested.
In the first nine months of this year, 704 of 1,848 terror-linked suspects were arrested.
Many Daesh members got heavy prison sentences.
* Writing by Fahri Aksut