Reunions lift hopes at anti-PKK protest in Turkey
Families protesting in Diyarbakir bolstered by recent return of some children abducted by terror group
With morale boosted by recent reunions, families continue to protest in southeastern Turkey for the return of their children abducted by the PKK terror group.
Families have been camped for 695 days outside the Diyarbakir office of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a party the Turkish government says has links with the PKK.
Aysegul Bicer, one of the three mothers who started the sit-in protest on Sept. 3, 2019, was recently reunited with her son Mustafa, along with two other families, raising hopes for others still yearning for their loved ones’ return.
Mevlude Ucdag, a mother at the protest, said the families are confident they will eventually be victorious and none of them will leave without getting back their children.
“Our fight will continue until not a single son or daughter is left in the mountains,” she said.
Ucdag called on her son, who she said was tricked by the HDP into joining the terror group, to immediately surrender to Turkish authorities.
Nurettin Odumlu, a father, said his son Yusuf went missing eight years ago at the age of 16.
“We want our child back from the HDP. We will not leave until my son comes back,” he said, accusing the party of being involved in his child’s disappearance.
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.
* Writing by Ali Murat Alhas