Turkish PM rebukes police chief on PKK remarks

“We have never wept and will never weep for terrorists killed in clashes with the Turkish security forces,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Turkish PM rebukes police chief on PKK remarks

World Bulletin / News Desk

“We have never wept and will never weep for terrorists killed in clashes with the Turkish security forces,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday in response to recent remarks made by a police chief.

Speaking during a parliamentary meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Erdoğan chided Diyarbakır Police Chief Recep Güven, who said Turkey's Kurdish problem will not be resolved unless tears are also shed for terrorists who are killed. Güven's remarks have also received criticism from opposition party members.

“Leave politics to politicians,” Erdoğan further stated.

The region where Diyarbakır is located has produced many admirable people in the past, with its geographical and historical richness, but that the region is today raising “monsters” due to a lack of supervision and control, Güven said during a meeting with journalists in Diyarbakır on Sunday, sparking a debate among politicians.

“It is because of our failure to reach out to people, to provide social services, not because of any other reason. If one youth is going up to the mountains [to join the PKK], we all have responsibility for this. How can we not engage in self-criticism?” he said. Güven, who spent five years in Diyarbakır as an intelligence officer in the 1990s, recently returned to the province as its police chief from the eastern province of Siirt.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu added his voice to the criticism of the police chief's remarks, saying he found them divisive.

“His [Güven's] remarks will cause a division between people,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the duty of a police chief is to ensure public security.

Oktay Vural, deputy chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) parliamentary group, also criticized Güven's statements.

“Instead of shedding tears for terrorists, the Diyarbakır Police Chief should fight against the terrorist organization who makes the nation cry,” Vural said on Monday during a press conference in Parliament. He asked the police chief, “Are you on the side of terrorists or the security forces?”

Meanwhile, speaking during his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli also lashed out at the police chief and called on him to resign.

“This police chief, who is affiliated with the terrorist PKK, should be removed from his post if he doesn't resign himself,” Bahçeli said.

The MHP leader also criticized Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who said he appreciates Güven's remarks on the fight against terrorism.

“I appreciate the remarks of a police chief who worked as an intelligence officer in Diyarbakır in the 1990s and has analyzed the bitter days of the past,” Arınç has said, adding that he got to know Güven while he was working as the police chief of Siirt province and that the police chief has achived much success in his work.

Turkey has lost around 40,000 people in its fight against the PKK since the militant organization took up arms in 1984. The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the United States, has stepped up its violence in recent years, killing hundreds of civilians and members of the security forces. Many link the PKK's emergence with the harsh policies implemented by the state against Turkish Kurds in past decades. Turkey has recently begun taking significant steps to allow Turkish Kurds to enjoy broader political and cultural rights.

Arınç also said the state is determined to continue to fight against terrorism and added that this will be achieved by gaining the support of people living in the country's Southeast.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ekim 2012, 13:37