Huge financial rewards offered for terrorism suspects

Huge financial rewards offered for terrorism suspects

ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Huge financial rewards offered for terrorism suspects

AA Photo

A number of hefty financial rewards have been offered to those who give police information which leads to the arrest of around 200 people wanted on terrorism-related charges, with senior figures from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) such as Murat Karayılan and Cemil Bayık topping the “leaders of terrorism” lists, in a new strategy instituted to fight terrorism amid an upsurge in violence ripping through Turkey’s east and southeast.

Colors, namely, red, blue, green, orange and black, were assigned to five separate lists, each based on the hierarchal differences between the wanted individuals, with red list representing the most sought-after individuals such has leaders and senior figures of terrorist organizations, according to the amendment published by the Official Gazette.

Among 16 people on the red list are leading PKK figures Karayılan and Bayık, two outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) members, an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) member and an outlawed Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) member, according to security sources. 

The lists also contain information about the wanted individuals, including photos, biographies, the terrorist acts or murders they were implicated in and the dates they joined terrorist organizations.

The financial rewards will be managed by a commission headed and led by the Interior Ministry’s deputy undersecretary and will include six members.

Turkish village guards and foreign nationals, including Iraqis and Syrians, will also be rewarded if they give solid information about the leading figures of terrorist organizations.

The reward amount cannot exceed 200,000 Turkish Liras for each piece of information or crime reported, however, it can be increased up to 20 times the upper limit – a total of 4 million liras – if information pertains to a suspect who is a senior-level administrator of a terrorist organization. Awards greater than 200,000 liras may be bestowed upon a suggestion by the commission and approval of the Interior Ministry. 

The commission benchmarked similar counterterrorism practices in more than 10 countries, primarily in the United States and England, and prepared a comprehensive roadmap to institute one in Turkey. 

Websites will be launched to communicate the online names of the suspects and social media accounts will be used for managing the campaign’s public relations, while information handouts in Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, English and German will be delivered for high level communication of the practice. A call center for those who wish give authorities information on the wanted individuals will also be available.

There currently are 200 suspects stated on the lists, but the total number is expected to rise to 1,000, as regional and area representatives of terrorist organizations are still being weighed to be added to the lists.