28 March 2016
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said 5,359 'terrorists' have been 'neutralised' since July 2015.
Speaking at a military event attended by the Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz and Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, Erdogan spoke of the success of the armed and police forces in the Kurdish regions of the country, saying "Since July, 215 soldiers, 133 police officers and 7 village guards have lost their lives, a total of 335 personnel. In the same time frame 5,359 terrorists have been neutralised, either dead, injured or captured inside the country or abroad."
Erdogan went on to say, "As you know, they call us the 'soldier nation'. We are a nation known for its military successes, its fighting spirit, its endeavour. Our skill in building states, strengthening and expanding them is reflected in the stars that decorate our presidential symbol."
In the period Erdogan refers to, Turkish state forces declared curfews and laid siege to many districts in the Kurdish region, with some lockdowns lasting more than 100 days. According to reports by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey more than 300 civilians have been killed. Unofficial figures suggest the number could be much higher.
An Amnesty International report also stated that the state was 'collectively punishing' the Kurds.