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Turkey Arrests 29 Suspects in Anti-ISIS Raids | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 8, 2016. Reuters

Ankara – Turkish police forces arrested on Friday 29 ISIS suspects during major anti-terror raids in a number of neighborhoods in Istanbul and other Turkish cities.

The campaign was launched in the framework of a series of operations carried out by security forces throughout Turkey, exceeding 12,500 operation during which thousands of wanted and suspected members of terrorist organizations were arrested.

The Istanbul Security General Directorate launched campaigns to reveal ISIS activities in the country and prevent any terrorist attack, according to security sources.

Sources added that in addition to the security plans in Istanbul, the directorate carried out near-simultaneous raids on 51 houses in three Turkish cities.

Turkish authorities continue their operations to carry out pre-emptive strikes against terrorist elements ahead of a referendum on the constitutional amendment in Turkey, which is scheduled to be held on April 16.

Turkey received warnings from Australia and New Zealand regarding possible terrorist attacks on the commemoration of a World War I campaign that is being held this month.

ANZAC Day is an annual holiday commemorating the April 25, 1915 landings in Gallipoli — the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I.

Holland, Germany, USA, Israel and Iran warned their citizens in Turkey of terrorist threats and urged them to be cautious and not to go to Turkey, especially in the south and south-east areas of the country. Meanwhile ISIS called on its militants in Turkey to carry out attacks at all voting sites on referendum day.

“Choosing a lawmaker other than God is a curse,” ISIS said on its monthly magazine Rumiyah’s April issue.

“Like the ones who say “yes” in referendum are heretic, “no” voters are also heretic. Muslims must not go to ballot boxes – they must stay away from it and must declare their hostility to ones who go to vote.”

In a common matter, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on April 7 at an opening ceremony in the southeastern province of Şırnak that terrorist organizations will be erased from Turkey.

“Who has been harmed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) the most until today? It was you. It was Şırnak, Cizre, Idil and Silopi. They had dug trenches, burned down buildings, laid explosives, and martyred our police and our soldiers. These traitors will pay the price,” Yildirim said.

Following an 82-day long curfew, which was first imposed on March 14, 2016, many districts of Şırnak were destroyed due to the clashes between security forces and PKK militants.

Slamming the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for “acting along the PKK during the clashes,” Yildirim said the criticisms from European countries and institutions were biased.

“Now these HDP members go to Europe and complain about Turkey. They don’t mention terror, the pits and their politics of ditches. They say that the state had burned Cizre and Şırnak. The Netherlands, Switzerland or Austria may act as if they have believed it, but my citizens in Şırnak; Kurds, Arabs and Zazas know who did what,” he said.

“We have halted this atrocity and their terror politics,” he said.

Yildirim stated that the destroyed districts will be renewed by the state.

“We will reconstruct all the buildings that were destructed in the most beautiful way,” he added.