By Ibrahim Yaldiz and Sabri Yildirim
MUS, Turkey (AA) - Families whose children have been abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terrorist organization continued a sit-in protest on Wednesday in Turkey’s eastern province of Mus.
Since Sept. 3, 2019, families whose children have been abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terror group have been camped outside the Diyarbakir offices of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a party the Turkish government says has links with the PKK.
Demonstrations have since spread to other provinces, including Van, Mus, Sirnak and Hakkari.
Mustafa Celik, who joined the protest in Mus on Wednesday, said his brother was taken away by the terror group more than two decades ago. "I have not heard from my brother for 22 years,” he said.
Ayten Kochan, another protester, said: "The number of families who have joined the sit-in has increased to 24. We want our children back.”
A man, identified only by the initials O.S., who escaped from the PKK terrorist group, supports the protesting mothers.
The 23-year-old, who was deceived in Istanbul and taken to the mountains in 2014, surrendered to the Turkish security forces by escaping from the terrorist organization in 2018.
Noting that he was tortured while he was part of the terror group, he said: "They say a lot of things like 'the state is torturing'. There is no such thing. I've been with my family for three years (after surrendering).”
“I'm calling on the young people on the mountains: Return to your mother. Your parents are devastated. Don't upset your parents.”
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan