Turkey, Diyarbakir Mothers on Children Watch

Abduction of 14-year-old boy by PKK leaves parents devastated

‘Uttering my son's name leaves me with lump in my throat,’ says Fatma Bingol

Ali Murat Alhas   | 05.09.2021
Abduction of 14-year-old boy by PKK leaves parents devastated

ANKARA

When the Bingol family moved to Istanbul from Turkey’s eastern Erzurum province, they were hoping their children would have opportunities they lacked in their hometown and have a better life through education.

But their son was abducted shortly after starting high school, leaving the family devastated.

Tuncay was 14 years old when he was forcibly recruited into the PKK terror group’s ranks in 2014. The past seven years have brought nothing but sadness and sorrow for the family, whose dreams were “shattered.”

“We have been through a lot of problems ... our psychology has turned upside down. We cannot eat, stay at home,” said Fatma Bingol, Tuncay’s mother.

“There are memories wherever I go inside the house. I hung his photos in all four rooms of my house. I see him wherever I go.”

The 44-year-old said water and food have never tasted the same since the disappearance of her boy.

“I want my son back. I came here for his sake,” she said. “Uttering my son's name leaves me with a lump in my throat. I have missed him so much for the past seven years.”

Condemning the PKK and its supporters for not refraining from recruiting underage children, she said Tuncay did not have any political affiliations and it did not make the slightest sense that he would join the group, especially given the fact that he was enthusiastic about starting high school and would not even watch the news and just play games with his siblings.

“Why are they (PKK and affiliates) persecuting us like this? Why are they torturing us? What have these mothers done to them?” she said. “Are we not human beings? Are we not mothers?”

Tuncay’s father, Sevket, believes his son might have been drugged before he was abducted because he was a shy, introverted child who would get advice from his family before making decisions, and it was not logical for a boy like that to suddenly disappear.

“We used to be such a happy family but everything collapsed after (the disappearance of) this child. Our psychology has turned upside down. His mother is sick,” he said.

“She goes to the hospital once in two days. Why? Because of their doing.

“Our joy and happiness are gone. We have nothing left. (Time) passes by crying all the time, longing for our child," he added.

“They deprived the 14-year-old child of his pen. They took him to the mountains, gave him a Kalashnikov taller than him,” he said.

The father noted that he received threats from the terror group and members of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which Ankara accuses of having links with the PKK terror group. But he said he remains undaunted as he is ready to do anything to see his child again.

With hopes of reuniting with their son, the Bingol family joined the protest in southeastern Diyarbakir province where mothers, whose children were abducted by the PKK, launched a sit-in protest on Sept. 3, 2019, outside the office of the HDP.

Dozens of families continue their protest and are encouraged by the fact 32 children of the protesters have surrendered to security forces.

Offenders linked to terror groups who surrender are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law in Turkey.

In its more than 35-year of terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.

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