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‘Most wanted PKK terrorist’ killed in operation in Türkiye’s southeast

Türkiye’s “most wanted PKK terrorist” has been reported killed alongside six other terrorists in a counterterrorism operation carried out by Turkish Armed Forces in the country’s southeast.

The Interior Ministry announced on Saturday that Hamiyet Yalcınkaya and the other suspects were killed in a January 22 operation in coordination with gendarmerie forces in Sirnak province’s Bestler Dereler region.

“The so-called Botan Field Officer, code-named Leyla Amed, is in a yellow bag. Congratulations to our hero gendarme,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a social media post.

The image accompanying Soylu’s post showed three soldiers carrying guns and standing next to an oversized yellow bag with one firearm placed on top.  

Yalcınkaya was listed in the red category of the interior ministry’s most wanted list directory, which is divided into five colour-coded categories. Red is the most wanted, followed by blue, green, orange and grey.

Saturday’s announcement comes a day after the government reported that another operation in Mersin province captured 11 PKK suspects.

READ MORE: Senior PKK/KCK terrorist ‘neutralised’ by Turkish intelligence in N. Iraq

In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Extensive combat training

According to statements by captured PKK members, Yalcinkaya participated in many terror-related actions of the group.

She also took part in many armed operations in the rural areas of Diyarbakir between 1993-1996.

“Yalcinkaya told me that she participated in the attack that killed 9 security guards in Yuksekova, Hakkari on 19 June 2012,” said Firat Sisman, a PKK member code-named Ozgur Gabar, who was caught after being injured by the security forces in 2021.

Yalcinkaya was allegedly responsible for terror attacks that killed 49 people in total, including 12 Gendarmerie personnel, 10 Land Forces personnel, 14 security guards, three security personnel and 10 civilians between 2018 and 2023.

She had also given instructions for many actions carried out by the PKK in Sirnak, Siirt, Van and Mardin’s Dargecit district since 2018.

READ MORE: Terrorist who killed dozens captured by Turkish intelligence in Iraq

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