By Omer Yasin Ergin
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AA) - Months have passed since mothers in southeastern Turkey launched a sit-in protest demanding that a terrorist-linked political party free their children from the YPG/PKK terror group, but their determination remains afresh.
Dozens of mothers started the protest on Sept. 3 outside the Diyarbakir offices of the People's Democratic Party (HDP), a party accused by the government of having links to the YPG/PKK terror group.
Zumrut Salim, one of the mothers, said her son Hamza was abducted by the terror group six years ago when he was just 14 years old and she will not go home until her son is returned.
"We have been here for 208 days. I will never leave until I get my child back," Salim said.
Abdullah Demir, another protester, said his son Fatih was taken to the office of the People's Democratic Party (HDP), then to a small town in Diyarbakir, and he was sent to Syria from there.
He said he hasn't heard from his child for the past five years, and all his efforts to see him again has been fruitless until now.
Demir said they will not stop the protests until they are reunited with their children.
"We have been here for 208 days. We will not leave even if it is 208 years. My son has been kidnapped by HDP, we are suffering for five years. My son, please run away and come here, surrender to your state. They [terrorists] are lying to you," he said.
People in Turkey linked to terrorist groups who surrender are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
*Writing by Firdevs Bulut