The Turkish government has been rewarding its citizens who help security officials and intelligence arrest or kill those who are in the ‘wanted terrorists’ list of Ankara.
The ‘wanted terrorists’ include members of the Gulen Movement and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), pro-government daily Yeni Safak reported on Tuesday.
Turkish authorities have allegedly paid a total of nineteen and a half million Turkish Liras (more than $3,5 million) to 249 denunciators, according to the daily, which announced it as a ‘homeland award’ and called it a patriotic act.
“The interior ministry very carefully keeps the informers’ names top secret,” the report claims.
Ankara deems tens of thousands of Turkish nationals ‘terrorists’, tightening its grip on dissident people following the abortive coup of 2016. In an effort to encourage citizens to report those deemed ‘terrorists’ by the government, a ‘Reward Regulation’ came into force on August 31, 2015.
Security forces have received many tip-offs since then, according to the report, each of which is carefully evaluated, and only those informants whose information turns into actual operations are being rewarded.
“The value of the reward is determined by an Internal Affairs Ministry committee consisting of members from the General Directorate of Security and General Command of Gendarmerie,” reported the pro-government daily.
“The final approval is granted by Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, and informants are paid in cash by province governorships,” it added.
“Rewards have also been given for wanted persons under physical or technical tracking. In this case, the reward value is determined by the committee,” the report asserts.
The ‘wanted list’ of Ankara was updated in February 2016. The list includes three categories defined by three colors; red, orange and grey, according to the ‘importance’ of personalities.
The total amount put a price on those who were accused of supporting the coup in 2016 was 66,900,000 TL ($12 million). This included 12 people on the red list, one person on the orange list and 61 people on the greylist.
The list also included 672 people from PKK, 342 people from the Gulen Movement, 119 people from leftist organizations and 75 people from religious groups, all deemed terrorists.
According to the latest update, the list reached 1,208 people in total. Those on the list who were captured or killed have been listed separately, according to local media reports.