Sit-in against PKK grows in SE Turkey

Parents hope to reunite with their children abducted or forcibly recruited by terror group

Mesut Varol and Yilmaz Kazandioglu   | 17.04.2021
Sit-in against PKK grows in SE Turkey

VAN, Turkey

A total of 43 families in eastern Turkey are staging a sit-in against the PKK terror group which has abducted or forcibly recruited their children.

The protest began on Sept. 3, 2019, when three mothers said their children had been forcibly recruited by PKK terrorists. The sit-in outside the offices of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which the government accuses of having links to the PKK, has been growing since then in Diyarbakir province.

Every week, 28 families in Van, 12 in Hakkari and three families in Mus provinces are trying to make their voices heard by sitting outside the HDP offices.

As a result of the persuasion efforts of the security forces, families have reunited with their children bringing hope to other families.

Huseyin Kipcak, a father who has been waiting for his son Recep for the past three years, said he was abducted at the age of 15.

Kipcak said his son was kidnapped when he got out of school one day and never returned.

"I do not know whether he is dead or alive. I have attended the protests to meet my son. HDP members do not send their children [to fight], they always send the children of the poor," he said.

Kipcak said that even if he meets his son someday he would continue the protest for other families.

"My son was sold. They received money in exchange," he said.

Another father, Musa Abali, said he has not heard from his daughter for the past six years and that she was kidnapped at the age of 14 in 2015 when she was tricked into a trip to a picnic spot.

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