By Ahmet Kaplan
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AA) - One more mother seeking her child's return joined Thursday a sit-in protest in southeastern Turkey outside the provincial office of a Turkish opposition party long accused by the government of having links to the PKK terror group.
The protest started on Sept. 3 in Diyarbakir after a mother, Fevziye Cetinkaya, said her 17-year-old son was forcibly recruited by the PKK through members of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
Suheyla Demir travelled from eastern Agri province to Diyarbakir province along with her 1.5-year-old infant with the hope to retrieve her daughter Hayal, who was kidnapped by PKK terrorists five years ago.
“I talked to my daughter once over the phone, she sounded regretful. She was hardly speaking and she has never called since then,” Demir told reporters, adding that her daughter was staying at a hostel in the city center, away from the family, to attend high school when she was forcibly recruited.
Demir pleaded to her daughter to return.
“We are waiting for you here, you are our daughter,” she said, also urging all mothers in Turkey to stand with them.
In late September, five Iranian families also joined the sit-in for their children -- who were kidnapped by the PJAK, the offshoot of the PKK terrorist group based in Iran.
In August, another mother, Hacire Akar, staged a similar protest near the party's office. Her son returned home a few days later giving hope to a number of mothers who suffer the same circumstances.
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 some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
*Contributions and writing by Sena Guler in Ankara