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.
EU Commission releases its first report on the progress Turkey has made towards lifting visa obligations for Turkish citizens
Series of deaths come amid pro-Kurdish protests around country
Press TV journalist dies after her car crashed into a construction vehicle near the border
Turkish Foreign Minister said that Turkey was facilitating the passage of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters to Kobani to aid Syrian Kurds
'If oil prices continue to decrease over the next year, Turkey's budget deficit will fall by 10 percent,' says energy min
Monday's papers covered a meeting on the "solution process" between the Turkish government and the 'wise men' delegation of experts
The Turkish Central Bank has disclosed that the private sector has seen its long-term foreign debt increase to $166.2 billion since December
12 countries along with host Turkey will gather in Istanbul for four days of military drills on Oct. 20
The Turkish president has appreciated the “Wise Men Committee” for its role in the settlement process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
Turkey has welcomed the finalization of Iraq's cabinet and termed it "an important step of an inclusive political beginning"
The leaders discussed the situation in Kobani, along with steps to fight the advance of ISIL militants.
Davutoglu describes Turkey's Kurdish solution process as a national and unique project that must be protected from 'foreign hands'
Medical team at Kapikule on Turkey-Bulgaria border trained and equipped to deal with the deadly disease, Governor of Edirne border province says
The Turkish president says his country will continue to mediate between Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the Turkish troops established a peaceful environment in Afghanistan just like it did in Kosovo, Bosnia and Somalia
John Bass, who was sworn in as the new US Ambassador to Turkey on October 7, says Turkey and the US are "long-time friends and strategic partners"
Republican People's Party says Istanbul prosecutor's decision to drop 'December 17' case shows 'justice has stopped' in Turkey