Turkey set to hire thousands of 'village guards'

Türkiye Materials 19 September 2015 22:33 (UTC +04:00)

Turkey is to hire 5,000 "village guards", Interior Minister Selami Altinok said Saturday, as violence in the southeast and east of the country shows no sign of easing.

Altinok said the guards would be deployed to 22 provinces in the region, where Turkish security forces are fighting PKK terrorists following the renewal of the group's armed campaign in late July.

According to the Federation of Provisional Village Guards, Turkey currently employs 46,000 guards under a militia system established in the 1980s.

"The Republic of Turkey can eliminate this trouble and is determined to tackle it," Altinok said at a veterans' lunch in Aksaray, central Turkey. "The fight against terrorism will be maintained in a determined way until the terrorist organization PKK lay down their arms."

"With the instructions of the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, we are set to start hiring almost 5,000 village guards in the 22 eastern and southeastern provinces to be more effective in the guard system."

Since July, more than 100 members of the security forces have been martyred and hundreds of PKK members killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq, including airstrikes.