Turkey

Anti-terror protests continue across Turkey

Protesting since Sept. 3, 2019, families hope their children will give up their weapons, surrender to authorities

Anadolu Agency Staff   | 03.06.2021
Anti-terror protests continue across Turkey

DIYARBAKIR/ VAN/ SIRNAK, Turkey 

Families in Turkey whose children have been abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terrorist organization continued their sit-in on Thursday.

The families in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir have been protesting since Sept. 3, 2019, for 640 days, encouraging their children to give up their weapons and surrender to Turkish authorities.

Protests outside the office of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the Diyarbakir province started with three mothers who said their children had been forcibly recruited by the terrorists. The Turkish government says the HDP has links to the PKK terrorist organization.

Guzide Demir, one of the protesting mothers, said she wants to reunite with her son as she has not heard from him for six years.

“We want our children from HDP. They kidnapped our children. We hold them responsible. We are determined, will continue our struggle,” said Demir, calling on her son to surrender to the security forces.

Hatice Levent, another mother at the sit-in, said she has come to the protest from the northwestern province of Kutahya for her daughter Fadime Levent.

Stating that she missed her daughter, she said: “My daughter, your place is with me. I’m begging you to return.”

“Free our children. Take your hands off them. We won’t leave without taking back our children,” she said. “Fadime, your siblings missed you so much. I miss you calling me Mom.”


Sirnak

Emine Ustek, a mother at the sit-in, said she keeps protesting for her son, who was taken to the mountains six years ago when he was just 15.

“HDP took my son. My protest will continue until he comes back,” said Ustek, calling on her son to surrender to the security forces.

“Our suffering is killing us. Enough is enough, please come back home,” she added.

Hatice Atan, the head of the Association of Women Who Shed Light on the Future, also stated that that they would continue their righteous struggle.

“The Diyarbakir mothers started a ripple effect. Families in eastern Mus, Hakkari, and Van, and western Izmir provinces have started their actions and continue with determination. With the determination of our mothers, we will achieve this," she said.


Van

In the province of Van, grieving families, whose children were kidnapped by YPG/PKK terrorists, have been staging a rally since Feb. 27 for 97 days so far.

They marched to the HDP office shouting slogans against the PKK terror organization.

The families, hopeful that more families will be reunited with their children as a result of persuasion efforts by security forces, joined the protest in Van and called for their children to surrender.

The protesting families have increased to 32.

Gullu Eregli, one of the mothers in the anti-PKK protest, said that her son, who had dreams of being a teacher, was deceived and kidnapped by HDP.

Noting that HDP stole her son’s dreams, mother Eregli said: “We want my son from HDP.”

“I’m also calling on all the mothers. Come, ask for your own children. Armenia, US and Russia support them, and want to divide this country,” said Eregli.

Nazli Sancar, another mother, said her daughter was kidnapped in 2012.

“I’ve been feeling this pain for years and have no power to hold on, anymore. There is no description of the grief of losing a child. We put our heads to the pillow every night crying,” said Sancar.

“By the will of God and the power of our state, we will take back our children. We are determined, will not even take a step back until we reunite with our children. We’ve continued our protest for 13 weeks now, … and we’re growing like an avalanche every week.”


*Writing by Merve Berker in Ankara

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