Sit-in protest families against PKK in Turkey yearn to reunite with children during Eid al-Adha holiday
Parents urge children forcibly recruited, deceived by terror group to surrender to security forces
Families in southeastern Turkey whose children were kidnapped by the PKK terror group are longing Thursday to spend the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha together.
They have been protesting for 687 straight days since Sept. 3, 2019, 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 Diyarbakir started with three mothers who said their children were forcibly recruited by terrorists.
The Turkish government accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK terror organization.
Nihal Ciftci said her son, Emircan, was kidnapped by the terror group 10 years ago at the age of 14 when the family was celebrating the Eid al-Adha holiday together for the last time and the holidays have never been the same ever since.
The holiday commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim, or Abraham, to sacrifice his son at God's command before the last-minute divine substitute of a ram.
“My son was kidnapped by HDP. Do they have the right to out us through this struggle? I want my son from HDP. I will not leave this place unless I take my son back,” she said. “I suffer more each and every holiday. If my son returns, I’ll be reborn.”
Guzide Demir also said she joined the protest in southeastern Diyarbakir province for her son for whom she longs to be with for the holidays.
“My son,” she said in a direct appeal to her son, “come before I die and I shall see you again. I haven’t seen my son for 12 holidays. I’m longing to see his face.”
“If my son had come on this holiday, the world would have been mine. I would be so happy,” she added.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization 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 Merve Berker