World Bulletin / News Desk
Newly appointed Police Chief of Diyarbakır Recep Güven has said everyone shares some responsibility for youths taking up arms and joining the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), noting that the problem in the country's Southeast will not be resolved unless tears are also shed for PKK militants killed in clashes with security forces.
Güven's taboo-breaking statements came during a meeting with journalists in a coffee house in Diyarbakır on Sunday.
He said the region where Diyarbakır is located has produced many valuable people in the past, with its beautiful geographical and historical texture, but that the region is today raising “monsters” due to a lack of supervision and control.
“It is because of our failure to reach out to people, to provide human-based 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 self-criticize?” he said.
Güven, who spent five years in Diyarbakır as an intelligence officer in the 1990s, has recently returned to the province as its police chief from the eastern province of Siirt.
He said he had read hundreds of reports about the lives of young people who join the PKK and discovered that these individuals join the terrorist group due to the poor circumstances of their lives.
“These children wrote, ‘I want to contribute to our war of national independence.' This is their final sentence. When I ask one of them how old he is he says, ‘12.' His father is jobless and beats his mother. The social environment is terrible. He cannot perpetuate this life. He says, ‘I will fight.' He is fleeing from the circumstances he is in. If one of the reasons for this escape is me, the other reason is you. This means there is certainly a problem in this society. If we don't mention this, how will we be able to solve it?” asked Güven.
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 over the past 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 the past decades. Turkey has recently begun taking significant steps to allow Turkish Kurds to enjoy broader political and cultural rights.
Güven also said the state exists to serve its people, and he believes that a person's life has priority over the state.
“You let the people live so that the state can live,” Güven added.
Ahmet Davutogly will meet with Ban Ki-Moon next week.
Erhan Tuncel, the suspected mastermind behind the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink has been released.
Crew rescued by coastguard after water floods engine room.
Deputy PM Bulent Arinc said investigations have revealed the surveillance of tens of thousands of people.
The Russian plane remained in international airspace, according to a statement on the website of the military General Staff
It will be the first time Turkey's head of state is elected by the voters and not by the parliament following a change of the constitution
A Turkish court has ordered the release of former Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug.
The Turkish NGO appealed to International Criminal Court for fair result in the ongoing Mavi Marmara case against Israel.
Ocalan's supporters see the vote as a make-or-break moment for stalled peace talks aimed at ending 30 years of conflict
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey will back Crimean Tatars to protect their rights amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Abdullah Gul told reporters under a recently passed law authorities could block access to material on such sites if a person's privacy is violated.
One of the unique services of Turkish Airlines: 'Sky Library' application.
According to findings, 257,454 people had their phones tapped in 2012 and 252,063 had their phones tapped in 2013, totalling 509,516 people over the two year period.
Britain’s former Foreign Secretary David Miliband says Turkey deserves applause in receiving Syrian refugees fleeing the violence in their country.
Turkish Airlines increased number of passengers by a quarter in 2013.
Turkish dailies on Friday cover the top court decision to uphold former armed forces chief Basbug's appeal, which paved the way for his release, and Prime Minister Erdogan's statements during a private TV broadcast Thursday night.