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Protests against PKK terror group continue in eastern Turkey

Anadolu Agency TURKEY
Published June 10,2021

Families of children abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terrorist organization continued their protests in eastern Turkey on Thursday.

Parents and siblings of abducted children, people who have lost relatives to PKK's terror attacks, and workers of non-governmental organizations gathered at a protest camp outside the office of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey's eastern city of Sirnak.

Three aggrieved mothers first started a sit-in outside an office of the HDP-a party the Turkish government says has links to the PKK terror group-in the southeastern Diyarbakir province in September 2019.

The demonstrations have since spread to other provinces, including Van, Mus, Sirnak, and Hakkari.

At the protest in Sirnak on Thursday, family members called on children forcibly recruited by the terror group to give up their weapons and surrender to Turkish authorities.

A mother named Emine Ustek said her son, Metin, was abducted by the terrorist organization six years ago, when he was just 15.

"I want my son back from the HDP. As long as my body has the strength, I will keep coming here for my son," she said.

"My Metin, wherever you are, just come back to us. We are waiting for you. We are dying of this pain; enough is enough, come back home."

Her husband, Omer Ustek, said the PKK had taken away many youngsters from the area.

"Who are these people that take children from their fathers and mothers? They are the HDP and the PKK. We want them to bring back our children. We will keep protesting until our last breath," he said.

Another distressed mother, Hamdiye Aslan, said her son was also taken away six years ago.

"This is the worst injustice to these children and their families. They separated our children from us; they tore our hearts out," she said.

In Turkey, offenders who are linked to terrorist groups and surrender are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law.

In its more than 35-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 at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.