Everyone must share in the blame for children choosing to “head to the mountains” to join the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Diyarbakır police chief Recep Güven said yesterday.
Appointed as a chief police officer to the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, where he worked between the years of 1991 and 1996, Güven said he felt both the heavy responsibility and the joy of returning to duty in Diyarbakır after 16 years.
Underlining that he served his duty in Diyarbakır between 1991 and 1996, Güven said: “They were known as the hardest years. If only they had not occurred. We knew that every evacuated village posed a threat to our future. We also knew that the people heading to unknown places could not be integrated in any system. I didn’t want to criticize the past, but the past lies behind the problems we are experiencing today,” Güven said.
Güven said people in Diyarbakır helped them to a great degree. “Since I came here, we prevented bomb blasts and attacks against public order department thanks to our citizens. State exists to serve citizens. People help to a great degree, the number of notices made to the [emergency] 155 police line surprises me. People try to protect peace. I observed that and appreciate it very much,” he said. When journalists asked if these statements were a self-criticism, Güven said: “I was invited to a conference held at Bahçeşehir University in 2005. During the conference, I made a statement which caused a great reaction among the guests. I received much criticism for that. I had said; you are not a human being if you are not touched by the death of a terrorist on the mountain. But if you cannot [prevent] a terrorist from killing people, including children, you are not a state. I hesitate between these two sentences.”
Güven said he cried for the “lost sons” who went up to the mountains. “I could not offer him a normal life, and could not prevent him to be terrorized,” Güven said.
“I get touched by every terrorist. Tears and blood should not be Diyarbakır’s fate. This is a very beautiful region with its history and people. It raised very kind people, but now we are producing monsters, why? Due to the lack of inspection, control and because we cannot reach our people and cannot provide human-focused services, that’s all. We are all partly responsible for a child’s going up to mountains. Why don’t I make self-criticism?” he said.
Güven also said he would begin learning Kurdish to set an example to colleagues.
(Hürriyet Daily News)