ANF - Village guards in Sirnak province are refusing to take part in military operations of Turkish army against the Kurdish guerrillas. While 168 village guards quitted in the last 2 months 8 others quitted in Beytüþþebap district 3 days ago. The village guards stated that they were called to Beytüþþebap gendarmerie command on 12 July where they were insulted by the commander following their refusal to take part in an operation in Kato Mountain. The guards returned their weapons to the gendarmerie.
60 village guards in Catak district of Van province also quitted after one of their villagers who was a PKK guerrilla lost his life in a clash in Þýrnak two weeks ago.
Village guards are paramilitary forces composed of the Kurdish villagers armed by the Turkish army. Turkish army uses village guards in the operations as they are familiar with the landscape and lead the soldiers. The system is criticised on account of the fact that the armed villagers are abusing their power and pressuring the other villagers. Hundreds of village guards are blamed for homicide, robbery, rape and kidnappings.