Istanbul police mired in financial woes, cannot supply weapons to district police

The Istanbul Police Department has requested that district police departments provide funds for their own purchase of weapons despite the district branches not having the budget to do so, fueling speculation that the Istanbul Police Department is out of money.
An official letter sent by the Istanbul Police Department in October said plans were in place for each district police department in Istanbul to have its Shorland armored vehicles equipped with two gas rifles and two defense rifles. Each rifle, accompanied by additional equipment for each armored vehicle, had a price tag of TL 7,400, the letter stated.
In the letter, it was also said there are plans for those districts police departments that donand’t have Shorland armored vehicles in its inventory to be endowed with two gas rifles and two defense rifles. The cost of a rifle was TL 6,260, the letter said.
The district police departments were asked to deposit money in the bank account of a foundation affiliated with the Istanbul Police Department, which will purchase the guns for the district police departments.
The Istanbul Police Departmentand’s request for the district police branches to cover the equipment expenses is not common practice as district police branches are not given their own budgets.
When a district police department decides to purchase equipment for its personnel, the department asks the Budget Branch Directorate of the provincial police department.
The latest move by the Istanbul Police Department might be a sign that the department is in financial difficulty.
Another development fueling such speculation surfaced in a letter sent by the Supply Maintenance Department of the National Police Department (EGM) to the Protection Department of the EGM.
The former responded to the latterand’s request for the purchase of 25 bullets for each police officers to be trained in a program called and”Protection of Important Facilities Against Terrorism Course.and” The letter said there was not enough ammunition to be distributed to the police officers attending the program.
The shortage of ammunition for the training program was addressed by reducing the amount of ammunition allocated for other training programs.
Against this backdrop of limited police finances, security officers are having to grapple with constant fighting against the terrorist Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK).
Ever since a suicide bombing in the Suruandc district of ianliurfa killed 33 activists and injured 100 more on July 20, clashes involving the PKK have grown in number. Two police officers were executed by PKK members on July 22 in retaliation for the Turkish authoritiesand’ perceived failure to prevent the Suruandc attack. The violence and PKK-led attacks further escalated when Turkey carried out air strikes on PKK bases in neighboring northern Iraq.
The violence has effectively shelved a settlement process with the PKK that began in late 2012 and the accompanying cease-fire. More than 150 members of the security forces have been killed in the conflict with the PKK or in attacks committed by the terrorist group since violence resumed in late July.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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