Turkey’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Selami Altinok, announced on Saturday that Turkey has started a campaign to recruit 5,000 village guards in 22 different eastern and southeastern provinces in order to fight against PKK terror attacks.
Altinok said “with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s request, we now are ready to hire 5,000 new and young village guards to fill the vacancies caused because of retirements.”
On Aug. 26, Turkish PM Davutoglu ordered the recruitment of 10,000 new village guards in Turkey’s southeast following a request from members of the Anatolia Village Guards and Families of Martyrs Confederation.
Village guards are armed men and women placed in command of local gendarmerie forces and stationed in the Turkey’s southeast where the PKK mostly launches terror attacks.
The PKK is a militant group recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey as well as US and EU.
The group has increased terror attacks in Turkey since July 11, when its umbrella organisation the KCK unilaterally ended a two-year-long ceasefire with the government, and has killed nearly 30 civilians and 118 security officers since then.
The PKK issued a statement on July 18 threatening village guards for siding with the government.
Directly addressing village guards, the statement said, “Despite our warnings, you are taking part in the operations, road checks and standing guard alongside the enemy shows us you have ignored us.”
“While you are protecting the enemy, who will protect you? You should know we will not abstain from targeting you,” the statement said.
The number of the guards were approximately 63,000 before the beginning of the Peace Process, however, by February 2014 the number for paid village guards was reduced to approximately 48,000.
In early 2013, Turkey launched a peace process to end years of armed conflict wıth the PKK and reform Turkey's constitution.