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Turkey offers reward up to $1.7 million for informants in terror cases

Informants who provide information on major terror activities or senior terror leaders can get up to 10 million lira ($1.7 million at the time this piece is published), Diken news portal reported on Tuesday.

The new regulation issued by the Turkish Interior Ministry which rewards those who help uncover terror crimes or evidence, or help authorities capture perpetrators allows the ministry to raise the current reward, which is set at 200,000 lira for most cases, by 50-fold in cases of major arrests.

The Turkish government, which started issuing rewards for tipoffs regarding terrorist groups and their leaders in 2015, has been offering up to TL 4 million ($700,000) for information on valuable targets until the newly-issued regulation.

Since 2016, people can submit information also about social media posts through an online form introduced by Turkish police to make the process easier.

According to the Interior Ministry’s new regulation, eligibility for the reward requires those paid not to take part in the crimes themselves, providing solid evidence and not being members of law enforcement or military or working as a paid informant.

It also allows foreign nationals in the country to qualify for the payment in exchange for crucial information in terror-related cases.

The reward money will also be paid for those helping in the capture of terrorists abroad, the ministry indicated in the regulation, adding that payment in those cases will depend on whether the terrorist is extradited to Turkey.

It is also underlined by the ministry that the informants will be paid separate sums for each wanted terrorist they help authorities capture.

A situation where the reward will not be paid to the informant is if the authorities already have critical information about the culprits that would eventually lead to their capture.

The regulation also stipulates that the amount of the reward will be determined by an eight-member committee consisting of officials from the Interior Ministry, the Security General Directorate, the Gendarmerie General Command, and the Coast Guard Command.

The practice described in detail by the Interior Ministry is based on Article 19 of Turkey’s Anti-Terror Law No. 3713, which elaborates that those “who help to apprehend criminals under this law … shall be entitled to a financial reward according to Law 1481 on the Prevention of Certain Crimes against Public Order.

An official website set up by Turkish authorities called “Teror Arananlar” (terror, wanted ones) involves photos and personal information about the Turkish government’s wanted terrorists.

It lists journalists, activists, and other dissidents along with members of the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), armed militant groups both designated as terrorist organizations by the Turkish government.

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