First lady Emine Erdoğan on Dec. 31 reaffirmed her support for the determined mothers protesting the PKK terrorist group's abduction of their children in southeastern Turkey.
In a Twitter post, Erdoğan said: "Exactly one year ago today, I had visited sit-in mothers in Diyarbakir. To this day, 22 mothers reunited with their children but 161 families' watch for their abducted children marks the 486th day.”
"I hope all mothers, who wait patiently, will reunite with their children in the new year,” she also said.
In another Twitter post, Erdoğan said: "No matter how great the threat of a terrorist organization, it is doomed to be ineffective in the face of the warm hearts of mothers.”
"Torch lit by sit-in mothers became a light for all of us,” she added.
The sit-in was started by Hacire Akar, who was the first mother to protest in front of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) headquarters in southeastern Diyarbakir province. She started the sit-in to demand the return of her son kidnapped by the terrorist group on Aug. 22, 2019.
After she was reunited with her son, other mothers began to hope for the return of their own children.
Subsequent protests began on Sept. 3, 2019, and more parents gradually joined the demonstrations.
Families from different Turkish provinces still gather to share the pain of being separated from their children. Neither winter conditions, nor the pandemic has managed to stop these parents from holding out hope of being reunited with their sons and daughters.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people including children and infants.