Turkey

Turkey: Mothers’ sit-in against YPG/PKK marks 100th day

Parents continue protest in southeastern Diyarbakir province against recruitment of children by YPG/PKK terrorist group

Idris Sulun   | 11.12.2019
Turkey: Mothers’ sit-in against YPG/PKK marks 100th day A photo shows the outside of the provincial office of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as mothers and fathers joining sit-in protests for their children, in Diyarbakir, Turkey. ( Omer Yasin Ergin - Anadolu Agency )

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey

A protest held by dozens of families in Turkey’s southeast against YPG/PKK terrorists marked its 100th day on Wednesday.

Turkey: Mothers’ sit-in against YPG/PKK marks 100th day

The protest started in September in Diyarbakir province when a mother, Fevziye Cetinkaya, said her underage son had been forcibly recruited by YPG/PKK terrorists with the help of members of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), a party accused by the government of having links to the terrorist group.

  

Since then, the number of protesting families has been growing, as they demand the return of their children, who, they say, were deceived or kidnapped by PKK terrorists.

Aysegul Bicer, a grieving Kurdish mother, has been tirelessly protesting alongside dozens of other Kurdish mothers outside the provincial building of HDP against the recruitment of children by the terrorist group.

 

Aysegul Bicer 

Bicer’s son left home on Nov. 17, 2018, in the morning and she never heard from him again. On Nov. 19, 2018, they received a phone call informing them that the child was recruited by YPG terrorists and taken to the mountain.

“Many of our youths are now lying in graves, half of them are in the mountains, half in prisons. We do not accept it,” she told Anadolu Agency.

The family has no intention to give up on their child, both mother and father have a strong belief that sooner or later their son will return.

“We will eventually be reunited as a whole family and live in peace as it used to be,” said Rauf Bicer, the father of the child.

I could do anything for my family

Both the mother and father of the child said they are not afraid of any threats that they have been receiving.

“We are constantly being threatened by the youth branches of the HDP. On the 5th or 6th day of the protest, three men came to our door with guns […] they ambushed us in front of the door. The masked men said if you continue protesting, we will kill you here and we will kill your son on the mountain.” said the mother.

The father of the child said: "I work in construction and I have got a good reputation. Earning money is not a problem for me, I could even work as a shoe shiner or a sanitation worker and take care of my family financially. I have no arrogance, all I want is the return of my child. I could do anything for him, for my family.”

The unity between the protesting families is astonishing. They have become a big family and share grievances with each other.

“I pray for other families [as well]. I pray and I want them to have their children in their arms as soon as possible. Because I’m well aware that there is no selfishness in the heart of any mother. We all know what the pain is like and how it’s tearing us apart day by day. I’m also fighting for others,” the mother said.

The families of martyrs and veterans also visited the sit-in site to show solidarity with the protesting families.

“The families of martyrs and veterans came here to support us and said ‘your pain is our pain. At least we have a grave to be consoled. Your pain is much bigger than we have.’ We are so honored with this brotherhood. We were very touched. This is the greatest proof that we are one and united,” the father said.

313 children recruited in 2018

According to the UN's Children and Armed Conflict report, the YPG, PKK's Syrian offshoot, has recruited 313 children in 2018, up from 224 in 2017.

The report also unveiled that nearly 40% of children recruited by the YPG/PKK were girls -- 20 of them under 15 years of age.

The terrorist group YPG/PKK uses the acronym SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) as a cover for receiving U.S. support.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

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