Anti-PKK sit-in protest continues in Turkey
Families hope to reunite with children abducted by terror group
Families in Turkey whose children have been abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terrorist organization protested in the eastern province of Van on Thursday.
Families protesting against the PKK gathered in one of the province's main streets to make their voices heard and carried banners against the terror group.
They marched to the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) offices in Van, chanting anti-HDP and anti-PKK slogans and demanding of them to return their children.
The Turkish government accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK terror group.
"We want our children," "We are all soldiers, we are enough for PKK," "Enough is enough, get off our back!" and "Our children will not be pawns" were among the slogans inscribed on banners carried by the protesters.
One of the protesting mothers, Nazli Sancar, told Anadolu Agency that her 13-year-old daughter was abducted by the terror group in 2012.
"I can't stand it anymore," Sancar remarked, stating that she has been waiting for her child's return for about 10 years now. "Let my daughter come if she can hear me, and surrender to our security forces."
"I also urge all families, let them come and let our voices be heard," she said, adding, "They should not leave their children in the hands of these oppressors."
Urging her daughter, Sancar said; "I have epilepsy. I am also a cancer patient. I have never said it before, but I'm saying it now. I have stopped all my treatment, my daughter!"
- Families protesting in Diyarbakir province
Families in southeastern Diyarbakir province have been protesting for 766 days since Sept. 3, 2019, encouraging their children to give up their weapons and surrender to authorities.
Protests outside the offices of the opposition HDP in Diyarbakir started with three mothers who said their children were forcibly recruited by the terrorists.
Since then, protests have expanded to other provinces, including Van, Mus, Sirnak, and Hakkari.
Ayten Elhaman said she has not heard from her son Bayram for four years and is struggling to reunite with him.
Urging her son to lay down weapons and surrender to the security forces, Elhaman said: "I was going to send off him to military, but they took him from me."
"My son! We are waiting for you here. We miss you," he pleaded.
Nurettin Odumlu, whose son, Yusuf, was abducted while he was only 16.
"I want my son from the HDP. No one would go to the mountains and die without the HDP (support)."
"My dear Yusuf, come home, we are all waiting for you," he implored.
In Turkey, offenders linked to terrorist groups are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law, if they surrender.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.