Another family that has been part of the ongoing protests against the PKK terrorist group’s activities in front of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters in southeastern Diyarbakır reunited with their child Thursday.
"One of Diyarbakır (sit-in protest) mothers, mother Özlem, is uniting with her child today. Hopefully, this will continue, mothers' courage and determination will bring down all terrorist organizations," Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu wrote on Twitter, noting that it was the 33rd reunification.
The ministry later announced that two PKK affiliates fled the terrorist group and surrendered to Turkish authorities. One is a child belonging to a family protesting in Diyarbakır, it said.
The ministry said the terrorists surrendered after fleeing the terrorist group thanks to persuasion efforts of the police and gendarmerie teams, bringing the total number of terrorists who surrendered this year to 174.
The surrendered terrorists joined the PKK in 2013 and were active in Iraq and Syria, it added.
The protest started when Hacire Akar turned up on the doorstep of the HDP’s Diyarbakır office one night, demanding to be reunited with her son. Akar’s son Mehmet returned home on Aug. 24, 2019, giving hope to other families. A week later, on Sept. 3, 2019, families inspired by Akar staged a collective sit-in protest.
Since then, the number of families demanding the return of their children who, they say, were deceived or kidnapped by the terrorist group, has been gradually growing.
Families have not given up their posts despite difficult conditions, at times being threatened or ridiculed by HDP officials and those with links to the PKK terrorist organization. The protest continued despite the coronavirus pandemic, with the families taking the necessary precautions.
A significant number of suspected terrorists have begun to flee the PKK and surrender, but many terrorists lack the courage to leave the group out of fear of severe punishment if caught.
The HDP, long facing public scrutiny and judicial probes over its ties to the PKK, is under pressure from the growing civilian movement. Various groups from around Turkey have supported the Kurdish mothers in their cause, with many paying visits to the protests to show their solidarity.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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