By Aziz Aslan
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AA) - Families of children abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terrorist organization continued their protests in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday.
The families in the Diyarbakir province have been protesting for 694 days, since Sept. 3, 2019, encouraging their children to lay down their weapons and surrender to Turkish authorities.
Protests outside the office of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Diyarbakir started with three mothers who said their children had been forcibly recruited by the terrorists. The Turkish government says the HDP has links to the terrorist PKK, and has filed a court case to have the party banned over these ties.
Aysegul Bicer, one of the protesting mothers, said that although she was threatened since here first day protesting, including an arson attack on her house, she never give up.
"Our children were deceived and taken to the mountains through the HDP. We’re determined to the end," she said, adding that she will not stop protesting until she is reunited with her child.
Another protester, Nurettin Odumlu, said his son was taken away by the terror group when he was 16 years old.
"My child was deceived by HDP supporters and sent to the mountains,” he said.
Urging his son to surrender to Turkish security forces, Odumlu said, “I'm not leaving here until you come. We’re always here. We didn't even go home during the Eid,” referring to last week’s Muslim holiday.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.