Gendarmerie seeks help from locals to capture PKK militants prior to Bülbül's killing: Village head
TRABZONThe head of the village (“muhtar”), where Eren Bülbül, the 15-year-old boy recently killed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was residing, told Doğan News Agency in an interview that security forces had asked him two days prior to the incident to refer two people who knew the area well and that no one wanted to participate in the operation out of fear.
“The commander, who called me two days before the incident, said, ‘Muhtar, there are terrorists in this region. If we do not clear these areas, they will spend the winter here.’ He then asked me for two people who knew the area well,” said Nurettin Reis, the head of the Köpriyanı neighborhood in the Black Sea province of Trabzon’s Maçka district on Aug. 15.
Eren Bülbül, who was studying at a religious vocational school in Maçka, had informed security forces that PKK militants left a house with supplies on Aug. 11, after which he moved with security forces to indicate possible routes they could have escaped through. He was then killed during clashes between security forces and the militants alongside Gendarmerie Master Sgt. Ferhat Gedik.
Bülbül’s family then complained about the security forces taking the boy to the scene of the clash, with Eren’s mother Aysel Bülbül, also criticizing Nurettin Reis.
“Where is the village chief Nurettin Reis? Is he not the administrative chief of the village? Why is our 2002-born child being called in if there is scouting for the security of the village rather than the village chief?” Aysel Bülbül had told daily Hürriyet.
Nurettin Reis told Doğan News Agency how the events unfolded eventually leading to the death of the 15-year-old Eren Bülbül. He said that a while ago, Bülbül’s relatives had called him and told him that PKK militants had stolen supplies from a house. “They told me there were terrorists here and they took all the foodstuff from a house, by breaking its windows and doors. I notified the gendarmerie of the situation.
After they [the gendarmerie] came to the [broken-in] house and made their analysis, they understood terrorists had undertaken in this incident,” Reis said.
After the commander’s request to the village head that he find two people who knew the area well, the latter “took action and sent news to the villagers. No one wanted to do this job for a salary of 1,300 Turkish Liras. Some of them did not accept it because it was dangerous,” Reis said.
“On Friday [Aug. 11], Eren met with the soldiers and performed Friday prayers. Then his uncle sent Eren for him to show the [broken-in] house. When they came back home, the incident had occurred,” he said.
The village head also noted to the agency that he knew Eren personally as a “hard-working child” and indicated that his “family was poor.”