Turkey seeks bounty hunters to seize terror suspects

Turkey’s Official Gazette says that Turkish government will award monetary for notifying security forces concerning terror attacks and suspects

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Militants of the outlawed PKK

Updated Sep 1, 2015

The Turkish government declared on Monday that it will be awarding money to those who notify police over the identities of suspects sought for offences listed under the Terrorism Combat Law and who help the government to catch the suspects.

According to the decision by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, those who help in seizing suspects or report their whereabouts or provide information on their identity will benefit from an award.

Bounty hunters do not have to be Turkish nationals and the size of the prize will be determined by a commision but will generally not exceed 200,000 Turkish liras, the statement said.

The prize could be as much as 4 million Turkish liras if the information provided concerns top PKK and KCK commanders such as Murat Karayilan, Cemil Bayik, Besi Hozat, Bahoz Erdal and 32 others. 

Other than the PKK, rewards are being offered for information concerning ISIS, Al Qaeda, the outlawed Turkish leftists militant group Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). 

Terror attacks have escalated in Turkey after a ceasefire with the outlawed PKK ended on July 11, when its umbrella organization - the Group of Communities (KCK) - announced the decision.

Since then, over 60 security officers and civilians have been killed in numerous terror attacks launched by the PKK in mostly southeastern region of the country.

Under part of Law 3713, people providing information to the police should not have taken part in a crime, and cannot be state employees but village guards are able to receive bounties if the information they provide is deemed useful.

If the information provided is helpful in shedding light on more than one crime, the individuals will receive differening sizes of rewards depending on each offence and the suspect.

‘Those wanting peace must disarm’

Responding to questions from reporters during the Victory Day reception on Sunday over a speculated “peace call” from imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan on Sept. 1, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu answered that “those wanting peace must first disarm.”

“The essence of a peace call is clear. On May of 2013, it was also decided that all armed elements must withdraw from Turkey. There is no meaning of a peace call itself while armed elements, terrorist groups remain in the country. Everyone must watch their step and obey rules of Turkey’s public order and the state of law,” Davutoglu underlined.

He also assured the public that security forces are taking all measures to ensure safety throughout the country.

Answering a question regarding the progress of the peace process which was established in 2013 to end the three decade long conflict between the PKK and the government, Davutoglu once again emphasised that democratic reforms - including issues related to the Kurdish minority - would continue as they did in the past 12 years.

“It depends on what you think of the Peace Process. If you see Peace Process as continuation of the democratic initiatives, we believe all the steps taken in this regard were right.  We will not give up from taking steps towards democratisation and freedom. But if you see the Peace Process as they so when it began in 2013, disarmament is part of the process. And, in order to continue this process, the promises given in 2013 must be held and until then, operations will continue,” he said.

Saying that arms, ammunition, and bombs found in Turkey's southeastern provinces - where the PKK's presence is strongest - are not part of the Peace Process, Davutoglu stated that Turkey’s conditions are clear on disarmament and that “No one should expect us to give up from conducting operations until public order is achieved in every single centimeter of the country.”

TRTWorld and agencies