Leaders condemn police chief’s remarks in unison

Leaders condemn police chief’s remarks in unison

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Leaders condemn police chief’s remarks in unison

Diyarbakır Chief of Police Recep Güven says ‘We hate those who turn these kids into terrorists,’ while visiting a school which was attacked by the PKK yesterday. AA photo

The Diyarbakır police chief’s statement that a human must be touched by the death of a terrorist on the mountain has drawn almost universal criticism from leaders in Ankara.

“We haven’t cried and will not cry for a terrorist who massacred our sons and who dies during this fight,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, adding that Recep Güven should know his place as a police chief.

“Our fight with the terrorist organization [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party – PKK] will continue in line with law and democracy with the same determination. Our reason for crying is for all of those are lost in this fight,” Erdoğan said, referring to soldiers killed in clashes between security forces and the PKK. “That’s why we say, ‘Let the teardrops of mothers cease.’ While we are screaming ‘Let the teardrops of mothers cease,’ nobody has the right to add teardrops to the teardrops of mothers,” he said.

Call for resignation

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli strongly criticized both Güven and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who on Oct. 8 said he personally appreciated Güven. Bahçeli also called for Güven’s resignation.

“This police chief has written a thesis on arrogance by saying ‘You are not a state if you are not integrating a terrorist who turned into a monster.’ Then he should not personally remain within this state and resign,” Bahçeli told his party’s parliamentary group.

Arınç welcomed Güven’s statements and described them as “very precious.” Arınç’s comments, speaking after a Cabinet meeting, came in response to a question, and he said he was expressing his personal views, not the government’s as the issue had not been discussed in the meeting. Arınç said by analyzing his past experiences, Güven was shedding light on today’s incidents. “I find the remarks by the police chief very precious,” Arınç said, adding that all police chiefs should also embrace society while fulfilling their duties like Güven has done.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also objected to Güven’s comments, in which he also said everyone must share in the blame when young people choose to “head to the mountains” to join the PKK.

“Although it seems humane at first glance, this expression is actually an expression which divides society,” Kılıçdaroğlu said late on Oct. 8 in an interview with private CNN-Türk news channel.

“What will the families of [fallen soldiers] say about this statement? There is no need at all for police chiefs to make such statements,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, arguing that both the military and the police should resolve the problems instead of complaining about those problems.

The only exception came from Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who criticized Erdoğan’s remarks on Güven.

“In a manner far from understanding resolution, the prime minister is saying ‘We can’t cry for terrorists.’ Later, he is saying ‘we shed tears for every person who dies.’ He is saying these things in the same sentence. Which one should we believe? What is he trying to say?” Demirtaş said.