Five police chiefs reshuffled amid counter-terrorism operations in Turkey
DHA PhotoAn Interior Ministry decree to reshuffle the police chiefs in Bingöl, Çorum, Aydın and Diyarbakır provinces was published in the Official Gazette on Aug. 20, Anadolu Agency has reported.
According to the degree, signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Süleyman Pamuk has been assigned as head of the Bingöl Police Department, former Diyarbakır Police Department Chief Halis Böğürcü has been assigned as head of the Aydın Police Department, and former Aydın Police Department Chief Adnan Taşdan has been assigned as the head of the Diyarbakır Police Department. Siirt vocational police school head Murat Kolcu has been assigned as the head of the Çorum Police Department.
Former Bingöl Police Department Chief Atalay Ürker and former Çorum Police Department Chief Salih Erkan Tarancı have both been assigned to the General Directorate of Security.
The changes come at a time when Turkey’s security forces have been launching operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
Turkey has recently witnessed a significant wave of purges in the police department. According to decisions made at a supreme board meeting chaired by Turkish National Police Chief Celalettin Lekesiz late on Aug. 13, 118 chief superintendents and 148 superintendents were retired.
Among those 118 chief superintendents, 13 were first-degree, 16 were second-degree, 49 were third-degree and 40 were fourth-degree.
The board also decided to promote 444 third-degree chief superintendents to second-degree positions, 419 fourth-degree chief superintendents to third-degree positions, and 306 superintendents to fourth-degree chief superintendents.
The decisions went into force after approval from Interior Minister Sebahattin Öztürk.
A huge purge involving almost 1,800 police officers took place in April as part of moves against the Fethullah Gülen community, whose sympathizers were believed to be deployed within the police and judiciary to serve the interests of the controversial U.S.-based Islamic scholar.