Families in Turkey whose children have been abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terrorist organization continued a sit-in protest on Wednesday in the eastern province of Mus.
Every week since April 7, eight families have been staging a sit-in outside the office of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Mus, trying to make their voices heard against the PKK terror group for abducting their children.
Gulbahar Teker said she wants her son back. Teker's son was taken to the mountain in 2014, and she has been protesting for five months in Mus.
Recalling that she was at first a part of the sit-in in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, the 65-year-old mother said: “I am not afraid of anybody, I will not leave here. Until every single child abandons the mountain, I will continue my protest.”
Calling on her son, Muhammet, to surrender to the security forces, she stressed: “If you love your mother, father, brother, you will come and drop your weapons. Our state does not punish you, I’m waiting for you.”
Naciye Sonmez also said her son was kidnapped in 2015 when he was just 15 years old.
“My son, if you hear my voice, come. Thankfully we are under the Turkish flag. There is humanity in Turkey but not on the mountain.”
She, as well, urged her son to surrender to the security forces, underlining that she will look after him.
Lastly, Suheyla Yenilmez said her daughter was taken to the mountain in 2015.
“I want my child from HDP. They shall give my child back,” she said, also calling on her daughter, Sumeyye, to surrender to the security forces.
- Families protesting in Diyarbakir province
The families in southeastern Diyarbakir province have been protesting for 744 days since Sept. 3, 2019, encouraging their children to give up their weapons and surrender to authorities.
Protests outside the office of the opposition HDP in Diyarbakir started with three mothers who said their children were forcibly recruited by the terrorists. The Turkish government accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK terror group.
Demonstrations have since spread to other provinces, including Van, Mus, Sirnak, and Hakkari.
Fatma Bingol said her son was kidnapped by the HDP six years ago when he was a 14-year-old boy.
"We are here for our children, and will not leave the sit-in without them," she said, adding: "We missed our children, we are longing to smell them again."
"They shall give our children back. Let no mother cry, anymore. We are suffering," she stressed.
Urging her son to lay down weapons and surrender to the security forces, Bingol said: "Do not keep serving for those cruel people."
Father Abdullah Demir also noted that his son, Fatih, was taken from the HDP provincial building to the Lice district of Diyarbakir, and then to Syria five years ago.
Demir, who added that although he searched everywhere, he could not find a trace of his child, said: "We will continue our action till the end. Let these wrongdoers bring my son as they took him."
Demir also called on his son to surrender to the security forces.
In Turkey, offenders linked to terrorist groups are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law, if they surrender.
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 Merve Berker in Ankara