Turkish police detain over 1800 in nationwide raids

Turkish police on Saturday detained 1810 people in nationwide raids targeting terrorist organisations and narcotics traffickers, pro-government Islamist Yeni Akit newspaper reported.

Dubbed  'Turkey Trust Peace,’ the operation held across the country targeted, among others, suspects accused of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) - an armed group that has been in war in Turkey for over three decades - and the Gülen movement, a religious group that the government says carried out a July 2016 coup attemp, both of which Ankara has designated terrorist organisations.

A total of 68,132 police participated in raids in school entrances and venues outside of university campuses, shopping centers, entertainment facilities, as well as train and bus stations and terminals, Yeni Akit said.

"607,792 people were interrogated; 159,934 regular and 342 service vehicles were inspected and 20,973 public locations were searched,’’ the police said in a statement on the operations.

Two suspects sought for murder, eight for looting, 102 for causing injury, 76 for theft, 29 for fraud, eight for sexual assault, three for sexual abuse of children, 29 for drug trafficking and 10 for smuggling contraband goods were detained on Saturday.

Police detained five people for PKK and five people for Gülen movement membership, Yeni Akit reported, noting that 496 of those taken into police custody were detained for other crimes.