By Aykut Karadag
ANKARA (AA) - A woman terrorist who fled the separatist terrorist organization PKK to surrender to the Turkish security forces, told about the harassment, rape, and violence in the terrorist camps.
She surrendered to the security forces on Nov. 20 at the Habur Border Gate in the Silopi district of Turkey's southeastern Sirnak province after she was persuaded by the security units.
E.C., who joined the terrorist organization in 2008, operated in northern Iraq in 2008-2016, and in Syria between 2016 and 2020 for various offshoots of PKK, fled at the first chance and through her testimonies revealed PKK’s true face.
She said she joined the organization for their false promises of freedom as she had not been allowed to step out of home while living with her family.
“I didn’t want to go. They forced me, deceived me. They promised many things. ‘We are very free, you can be, too. We can go out of home, and you can as well’ they said. And I believed them, because I wasn't able to go out,” she said.
She said that she witnessed male terrorists who raped women and men, adding: “The first place they took me to was the HDP [Turkey's opposition Peoples' Democratic Party] building in [the eastern province of] Van. I had never been there before. Two women spoke to each other for a while and then handed me in to a man.”
E.C. said she saw the true face of the organization after she arrived at the camp and had terrible experiences.
“We walked for a month or two to reach there. There were about three men and two women. They don’t do anything wrong for a while to make you to trust them, but once you go to the camp, you see things,” she said.
In the camp, she said, she saw a woman who was taken prisoner. “She was constantly crying, and they were beating her. They were telling us they weren’t beating her but we could hear her, and her screams. That reminded me of my dad beating me.”
E.C. said another woman terrorist who was caught trying to flee was raped by a so-called team commander. “When they brought her back from the forest two days later, she was locked in a room alone. She was constantly yelling, swearing, and telling she wanted to die.”
E.C. added that no one in the camp believed the woman about who the rapist was.
“They did the same to men as well, not just to women,” E.C. continued.
She added that someone also attempted to rape her. “I shouted and screamed. Others heard and came to help save me.”
She said she was told by the terrorists: “You are uneducated. This is what we do to people like you. We satisfy ourselves.”
E.C. added that she fled from the terrorist organization as soon as she could and surrendered.
“I want others to come here [surrender] as well. They shouldn’t be afraid, there’s nothing to fear. They told us in the organization: 'Go to the border and you’re killed.’ It’s a lie. They didn’t kill us. Save yourselves, return to your families. Families will forgive as does the state,” she said.
In its more than 30-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 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
* Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara