New police chiefs to be appointed in eastern Turkey to prevent provocations
by Sena Alkan
ISTANBULJan 03, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Sena Alkan
Jan 03, 2015 12:00 am
Following the Oct. 6-7 Kobani protests that transformed into violent clashes between anti and pro-PKK groups, and the Cizre incidents where three people's lost their lives in clashes between rival Kurdish groups, the Interior Ministry reportedly decided to transfer 110 chief police in eastern and southeastern towns in order to prevent provocations and further deaths.
While the government is stepping up its efforts to end the decades-long outlawed PKK conflict in the region and to uphold Kurdish citizens' rights as part of the reconciliation process, the provocations in the last months of 2014 in which dozens of people lost their lives, occupied the country agenda.
These changes in chief police appointments in certain provinces are expected to help avoid further provocations, to prevent tensions from increasing in the region and the reconciliation process from stalling.
In October when the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) advanced in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani on Turkey's border, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) called for street protests to show support to Syrian Kurdish fighters and accused the government of not doing enough to help in the face of the ISIS threat. The resulting clashes between anti- and pro-PKK groups saw 38 people lose their lives and the police intervention came under scrutiny. It was alleged that in some cities police officers linked to the Gülen Movement did not deliberately intervene in the incidents and this increased tension there. During the Kobani protests, two police officers were suspended in the eastern city of Van. Only months after the Kobani incidents in December 2014, the clashes that started in the southeastern town of Cizre resulted in the deaths of Yasin Özer, Abdullah Deniz and Barış Dalmış and left three others wounded.