Al-Monitor columnist Pinar Tremblay says Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not only encourages snitching but also rewards it
On 29 February 2016, Al-Monitor’s Pinar Tremblay published an article in which it was claimed that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has asked mukhtars – elected heads of villages and towns - to keep track of every household.”1 Tremblay also claimed that snitching is both “encouraged” and “rewarded” in Turkey.
Tremblay refers to a speech made by Erdogan at the 8th Mukhtars' Meeting held in Turkey’s Presidential Complex in Ankara, where Erdogan informed mukhtars about Turkey’s current political situation and also listened to their problems individually.2 However, contrary to Tremblay’s claims, Erdogan did not ask mukhtars to “track every household” of civilians, but only asked them to report if they ever witness a terrorist sleeper cell. Erdogan emphasized that as administrators of little provinces, it would be easier for mukhtars to find out about such illegal organizations.
The PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), a militant group listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, the EU and NATO which seeks to establish its Marxist-Leninist ideology in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern Turkey, is known for renting apartments and have stored weapons and bombs in them.
Therefore, Erdogan asked for support from the mukhtars to file a complaint against those who store weapons.