An influential Kurdish politician in Turkey criticized terrorist organization PKK for recruiting children and taking up arms despite an ongoing peace process that began with disarmement.
"Now that a process began to lay down arms, then why are you taking children and youths up to mountains?" left-wing Rights and Freedoms Party chairman Kemal Burkay said Sunday during a party meeting in the city of Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey.
Burkay's remarks came after PKK reportedly stepped up its efforts to recruit children fighters by taking them to mountains along the Turkey-Iraq border where terrorist camps are located.
The issue is considered threatening to destabilize a delicate 'solution process' to end terrorism and address the issues of minorities, particularly those of the Kurdish minority which is by far the largest accounting for 18 percent of the Turkish population.
Burkay said that he supported the families of the kidnapped children as they had been staging sit-ins in Diyarbakir where from they were abducted, marking the first-ever public reaction to such kidnappings in the southeastern region.
Burkay, a Kurdish politician and writer, has been an outspoken campaigner on Kurdish rights in Turkey. Imprisoned over an article published in 1966, he was also arrested in 1969 and 1971.
After a 31-year exile in Sweden, Burkay returned Turkey in 2011.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.