Turkey to recruit 5,000 new ‘security guards’ for southeast
ANKARAThe government has decided to recruit 5,000 additional village guards in a bid to combat the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) east and southeast Anatolia, daily Habertürk has reported.
At a meeting at the presidential palace in the capital Ankara on Oct. 20, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told attendees of a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and 49 NGO representatives and opinion leaders from the region.
In line with the plans, the newly recruited personnel will officially be named “security guards” rather than “permanent guards” or “village guards.”
Ankara has also decided not to take from the new guards a “weapon fee,” worth 4,000 Turkish Liras, which was paid to the state once every five years.
Personnel benefits and social rights of village guards will also be improved, with their retirement age being reduced to 40 or 45, down from the current age of 55. Relatives of retired village guards will also be tenured, according to the new measures.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan gave a speech at the meeting about recent developments in Iraq’s Mosul and regarding the Euphrates Shield Operation in Syria. He reportedly spoke of Turkey’s “red lines” and warned of the possible effects of a further migration wave amid the clashes in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier, the gendarmerie general command had decided on Sept. 4 to recruit 1,000 extra village guards under 35 years old as specialist sergeants under the authority of the military. According to the decision, a special team to conduct operations against PKK militants in the east and southeast would be formed with existing village guards.