Turkey’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that arming politicians who are targeted by terrorist groups in eastern and southeastern Turkey is normal and necessary.
Responding to media reports that the government is arming people in eastern and southeastern Turkey against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the statement said the weapons are limited to those who are threatened and targeted by the terrorists.
“It is normal and what is supposed to be, arming people who are taking a stand against the PKK terrorist group in eastern and southeastern Turkey,” the Interior Ministry statement said. It also added that it is the duty of the ministry to protect the lives and property of its citizens against terrorist groups.
Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Oct. 23 that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would issue gun permits to its officials in eastern and southeastern provinces, in addition to security details.
“We will give all party officials gun permits. We will give them security details and guards. We may even give them village guards. We will protect them with long-range weapons,” Soylu said.
In October, the AKP chairman in Diyarbakır’s Dicle district, Deryan Aktert, and another AKP politician in the Şemdinli district of Hakkari province, Ahmet Budak, were killed in armed attacks carried out by PKK terrorists.