‘Militant should have been captured alive’

‘Militant should have been captured alive’

NUSAYBİN - Doğan News Agency
‘Militant should have been captured alive’

Anti-terror police prepare to raid a house in Nusaybin district of Mardin. Mehmet Şirin Cebe, an alleged member of the PKK, was killed in the raid. DHA photo

The operation resulting in the death of a senior member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeastern province of Mardin has sparked criticism from local politicians.

On Jan. 13 anti-terror police in the town of Nusaybin encircled the home of Mehmet Şirin Cebe, who was reportedly responsible for Mardin’s PKK branch.

Clashes erupted when Cebe tried to escape through the back door. After taking refuge in the stairwell of a nearby house, Cebe allegedly responded to police with grenades and gunshots. He was found dead by security forces after gunfight.

“The person in question could have been arrested alive. Nobody has the right to instill a psychology of conflict in the middle of the town. A person who comes to the town center could have been ignored, but instead he has been executed. If you can’t arrest one person alive here, how can you make peace with thousands [of militants] in the mountains,” said Nusaybin Mayor Ayşe Gürkan, who is a member of the Peace and Democratic Party (BDP).

Gürkan visited houses targeted by police forces and warned that these sort of operations may have a negative effect on the ongoing peace process.

“It’s the first time in years that there has been a clash during the morning hours at the district capital. We say that there is a new process but if the citizens here are facing a psychology of conflict, how can we make them believe in the process?” Gürkan told reporters after her visit.