Turkey

Families' pain still fresh for child victims of YPG/PKK in SE Turkey

Years on, families of Elif Terim and Mazlum Gunes still grieving after children were killed by YPG/PKK attacks

Esber Ayaydin   | 08.10.2021
Families' pain still fresh for child victims of YPG/PKK in SE Turkey

SANLIURFA, Turkey

The families of Elif Terim and Mazlum Gunes still feel grief for the loss of their children, killed in missile and shelling attacks by the YPG/PKK terror group two years ago.

Both only 11 years old, Elif and Mazlum, were just two of the victims killed by the terror group's many strikes on civilian areas during Turkey's cross-border anti-terror operation, Operation Peace Spring, in northern Syria.

Ankara had launched the successful anti-terror operation on Oct. 9 in 2019 to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of Syrians who had made their way to Turkey after the outbreak of the Syrian conflict.

The Terim family, who lost their daughter in mortar fire that targeted their home's courtyard, still live in the same place that is filled with their daughter’s memories in the Ceylanpinar district of the southeastern Sanliurfa province.

Father Ibrahim Terim told Anadolu Agency that their daughter's pain was still fresh in their hearts.

The grieving father said their sorrow was eased somewhat after a local park was named after their daughter, adding that they hoped that the school Elif went to would also be renamed in her memory.

"When the terrorist organization (YPG/PKK) was present right across the border, we had no peace. The children were afraid to go to school, gunshots used to ring," he recounted, adding that, after Turkey's Operation Peace Spring, "the children's fear ended. They go to school feeling comfortable and safe, they play in the park, they play outside in safety."

Mazlum's family also still grieve for their lost son, who was killed while out to buy bread for his family.

Adorning the walls of their home with his pictures, the Gunes family are in constant mourning of their son.

His mother, Zekiye Gunes, said: "His friends are now grown up. They're going to other schools. I can't forget my son, may Allah bestow patience to everyone and us."

Father Ibrahim Gunes said they were in deep sorrow and agony after the loss of their little child, but added that authorities were always at their side through the pain.

Their only wish is that the YPG/PKK terror group perishes, he went on to say.

"My pain is still as fresh as the first day, may Allah not show it to anyone," he said, adding that he burst into tears when visiting the park and library of Mazlum's school, which was named after his son.

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