The pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey is the main force that recruited children to fight for the PKK terrorists, a father who has been protesting his son’s abduction said Sunday.
Şevket Bingöl accused the party of acting as the main recruiter for the terrorist group and criticized it for failing to demand the children’s return.
“They claim to represent Kurds, but which Kurds do they represent? They are the representatives of Qandil,” Bingöl told Ihlas News Agency (IHA), referring to the PKK terrorist group’s headquarters in Mount Qandil in northern Iraq. He continued by saying that the PKK did not come from the mountains to recruit the children, but rather it was the HDP who abducted them.
The grieving father also called on his son to run away from the PKK and surrender to Turkish security forces. He assured his son that he would not receive a punishment if he turned himself in.
Bingöl’s son, Tuncay, who is currently 19-years-old, had told his family in 2014 that he found a job and left the house, but the family believes he was abducted.
Families in Diyarbakır province have been protesting since Sept. 3, 2019, encouraging their children who were abducted or forcibly recruited by the terrorist group to give up their weapons and surrender to Turkish authorities.
Protests in Diyarbakır outside the office of the HDP started with three mothers who said their children had been forcibly recruited by the terrorists.
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 show their solidarity.
The dissolution of the PKK has accelerated due to Turkey's successful counterterrorism operations and strategies both at home and abroad. In recent years, Turkey has seen record numbers of PKK terrorists giving themselves up in the face of determined domestic and cross-border counterterrorism operations. Turkish security forces regularly conduct counterterrorism operations in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey where the PKK has attempted to establish a strong presence.
Once the terrorists surrender, they are provided with many opportunities, including the right to education and the freedom to live without fear of oppression. They are not ill-treated, can contact their families freely and are provided with essential judicial assistance. The Turkish state offers a variety of services to ensure their social reintegration. According to some former terrorists, PKK ringleaders risk the lives of others to save their own and threaten those planning to surrender with torture.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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