The crimes committed by the village guards, who are officially appointed as paramilitary forces against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey, have increased significantly in recent years. The crimes committed by the guards commonly include sexual assault against children, rape, murder of women, and the production and trade of illicit drugs.
Most recently, 17-year-old Firdevs Babat was killed by the gun of a village guard in Şenoba, a district of Şırnak (Şirnex) province.
Babat disappeared on 18 August, and her body was found two days later in a nearby stream. The forensic examination showed that she had been beaten before death, and the investigation determined that Ahmet Babat murdered the 17-year-old with the gun of his village guard brother, Ramazan Babat. It is also revealed that Ramazan Babat had raped a child last May, and he is now under arrest for rape.
The paramilitary institution, established under the name of village guards, is under the district governors in administrative terms and professionally liable under the Gendarmerie Company Commander. The village guards, first appointed in 1985, are officially armed within the scope of the fight against terrorism. There are a total of 54,000 village guards in 26 provinces in Turkey, as the Turkish Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu stated in November 2019.
Crimes committed by village guards in the last five years
Jinnews compiled reports of the crimes against women and children by the village guards in the region since 2017 and reported that 11 murders of women and children were perpetrated by the village guards in the last five years, and seven women and children died under suspicious circumstances, shot by weapons registered to the village guards. According to the report, the village guards also abused and raped at least 11 women and children.
The criminal record of the guards regarding crimes against women and children is as follows:
* Bedia Çakar was killed by her village guard common-law husband Kazım Osman with a firearm in the Ömerli (Mehsertê) district of Mardin (Mêrdîn) on 23 September 2017.
* A village guard (O.Ç.) killed his wife in Kulp (Pasûr) district of Diyarbakır (Amed) on 11 October 2018.
* In the Kulp district of Diyarbakır, village guard Orhan Çetin tortured and killed his wife Naile Çetin in 2018.
* Village guard Ömer D. killed his wife Songül D. and one of his children on 8 May 2019, in the Karlıova (Kanî Reş) district of Bingöl (Çewlik).
* On 27 January 2020, village guard Ahmet Tümen killed Fatma Tümen in the Genç (Dara Hêne) district of Bingöl. They were in the process of a divorce.
* Leyla Öztürk was killed with a firearm by her relative, Sebahattin Öztürk, on 26 November 2020 in the Tarsus district of Mersin. The perpetrator was a village guard in Elazığ (Elezîz) province.
* On 18 July 2020, in the Bîsmîl district of Diyarbakır, Mahmut Karaaslan and his 5 sons, who were village guards like him, murdered his common-law wife Hamdiye Şık and her son Kadir Karaaslan.
* Remziye Apaydın, who lived in the Kovancılar district of Elazığ, was murdered by the head guard Nihat Çay. The identity of the perpetrator was determined 6 months later.
* Village guard İzzet Deveci killed his sister Aysel Yaşar and his sister’s husband İbrahim Yaşarin Bozova (Heweng) district of Şanlıurfa (Riha) on 6 February.
* On 3 August, village guards and soldiers opened fire on a minibus carrying Afghan refugees from Saray District of Van (Wan). A 4-year-old boy died in the attack, and 13 others were injured.
* Firdevs Babat, 17, was killed with a guard gun by Ahmet Babat on 18 August in Şırnak.
* Reyhan A. died suspiciously on 13 August 2021 in the Sason (Qabilcewz) district of Batman (Êlîh). A. was forced to a common-law marriage with village guard S.Ç. and she wanted to leave him after finding out his addiction to drugs.
* Kader Y. was killed by a gun belonging to a village guard on 11 July 2021 in Bingöl, where she came for holiday from İstanbul.
* A 5-year-old died as a result of the child’s village guard father’s gun allegedly going off on 13 May 2021 in Midyad district of Mardin.
* Semanur Kaplan was killed by a bullet from a village guard gun suspiciously on 23 April 2021, in the Silvan (Farqîn) district of Diyarbakır.
* On 18 July 2020, 17-year-old Faruk Aslan was killed suspiciously by the gun of his village guard father in Kulp District of Diyarbakır.
* Nermin Ölmez was killed by a bullet from her guard husband’s gun in the Uludere (Qileban) district of Şırnak on 16 July 2019.
* Gülşen Yeprem was killed suspiciously with the gun of her father, who was a village guard, on 26 December 2019 in the Muratpaşa distirict of Muş.
Sexual assaults by village guards:
* In the Çatak (Shax) district of Van, in 2021, the village guard Riski Okan raped a child.
* In 2021, a village guard raped a mentally disabled woman in the Şirvan district of Siirt (Sêrt).
* A child was systematically raped by village guards for 4 years in the Uludere, Şırnak. On 19 March 2021, the village guards Cengiz Aydemir, Sami Yıldız were sent to prison as well as the child’s stepmother.
* On 23 December 2021, village guard Faik Dural raped a child in the Gürpınar (Payîzava) district of Van.
* A child was sexually assaulted by more than 30 people, including village guards, on the border of Şırnak’s Beytüşşebap (Bêşebab) district in November 2019.
* Village guards Faik Dural and Mahmut H. sexually assaulted a child in 2020 in Gürpınar, Van.
* On 22 November 2020, village guard Mehmet Ali K. sexually assaulted a child in Gercüş (Kercews) district of Batman.
* In February 2021, two village guards sexually assaulted a woman in Mardin.
* In the Eğil (Egîl) district of Diyarbakır, village guard Servet Karakaş (64) sexually assaulted a child in July 2021.
* Village guard Ramazan Babat raped a child in May 2022 in Uludere, Şırnak. Ramazan Babat’s crime was revealed with the murder of Firdevs Babat.
There are also three different procuring prostitution and eight separate grave threats and physical injury crime reported, in which the guards were identified as the perpetrators.