By Mustafa Gungor
IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – A large group of families have been protesting for more than a year in southeastern Turkey to reunite with their children kidnapped by the PKK terror group. Far away from them, a Turkish father has been staging a parallel protest in the country’s west for the return of his son.
Yasur Dulge, 50, has been outside the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) office in Izmir on the Aegean coast of Turkey for three months, waiting to reunite with his son who went missing five years ago.
Dulge said he learned that his son was taken to the mountains by the PKK terror group after he left home for work and the family lost contact with him.
The father said that he was encouraged to stage the protest after hearing about Mehmet Lacin, who also stages protest in Izmir for the same reason. Despite the severe weather conditions, the grieved father continues his protest and calls on his son to come back.
Staging the protest without letup since Oct. 19 last year, Dulge told Anadolu Agency: “Even though years pass, I will not leave this protest until my son comes back.”
“My child, come back. Tell us whoever took you to that path, whoever helped you so that they can be punished,” he urged.
Dulge said that two more families were protesting along with him and called on other families in the same situation to join them without any fear.
“All parents that want to reunite with their children should join us.”
The protest outside the office of HDP – which the government accuses of having links to the PKK – in southeastern Diyarbakir province began on Sept. 3, 2019, when three mothers said PKK terrorists had forcibly recruited their children. It has been growing for over 500 days.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people including women, children, and infants.
*With contributions and writing by Sena Guler