Two officers jailed after taking bribes while selecting village guards
Two officers who took up to 600.000 TL bribe in return to select unqualified personnel for village guards in Turkey’s Southeastern Diyarbakir province have been jailed pending trial, Mezopotamya News Agency reported.
Former Commander of District Gendarmerie Captain Ahmet Eren and Specialist Sergeant Soner Eren were incarcerated after being prosecuted to take bribes who were detained along with 36 other personnel in Ergani district of Diyarbakir four days ago as per an investigation by the district prosecutor.
Village guards (Turkish: Korucu lit. "Ranger"), are Gendarmerie General Command-aligned Border guards involved in the Kurdish-Turkish conflict, mostly made of Kurds themselves who support the state security.
Originally they were set up and funded by the Turkish state in the mid-1980s and their stated purpose was to act as a local militia in towns and villages against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The rationale behind the establishment of the village guards was that it would be helpful to the Turkish Army to have an additional force of people who knew the region and the language in order to assist in military operations against the PKK.
The monthly salary of a village guard is nearly 3.500 TL and currently nearly 50.000 village guards worked side by side with Turkish soldiers.
In September, the Interior Ministry announced that it will employ 4.500 more village guards.