Turkish President Erdoğan promises police force full support
DHA PhotoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pledged full support to Turkey’s police force against any attempts to weaken it, in reference to the government’s fight against the Fethullah Gülen community, believed to have created a “parallel” state within the police and judiciary.
“I call on all my police brothers: rest assured! The people, the state are behind you. Don’t worry about this. The president, the government, stands behind you. Be at ease,” Erdoğan said during the ceremony for the commemoration of the 170th year of the foundation of the police department April 10.
“Each and every policeman doing his or her job in line with the law, conscious and morality are my brothers, my children,” he said.
Erdoğan’s statement came in reference to the ongoing massive purge within the police department as part of the fight against the Fethullah Gülen community, whose sympathizers were believed to be deployed within the police and judiciary to serve the interest of the community instead of the government.
“Our police are neither using a gun nor throwing stones. They are the ones [attacking with] fireworks, iron marbles and slings. They are the ones burning the TOMAs [anti-riot water cannon vehicles]. How can those who support these moves now be supporters of the police? We all have to stand behind our police,” he stressed.
Recalling the Turkish police was heavily criticized for launching an operation in the eighth hour of an incident last week, in which two terrorists took a prosecutor hostage at a courthouse in Istanbul, Erdoğan said the rescue operation could have taken place in the first hour of the incident but security officers preferred to wait until the last moment to save the prosecutor.
“But shotguns at the last minute… revealed the necessity to enter the room to kill the two terrorists there. I congratulate all my brothers taking part in this operation. They successfully carried out it,” he said.
Speaking on the Home Security Package law, which reinforces the power of the police, Erdoğan said, “They are disturbed by this law. Why? They have just one problem: The police should not be under a guarantee. They were annoyed because this law increases the guarantees the police have.”