Determined to save his 14-year-old daughter, who was in the clutches of the terrorist group PKK after she was brainwashed to join them, a father did the unthinkable and joined the group.
B.R., only identified with her initials, was attending high school in Yüksekova, a district of southeastern province of Hakkari, when a recruiter for the PKK convinced her to join the group in 2016. The young girl, in the company of militants, secretly crossed into Syria where the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the terrorist group, are active. Her desperate father M.R. who failed to locate his daughter, decided to join the PKK to reach her. The terrorist group which claims to fight for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey where a large Kurdish population lives, accepted the Kurdish father's application. In a short time, the father rose in the ranks of the group and kept searching for his daughter. Finally, he discovered her in an area controlled by YPG. He managed to convince his daughter who was already disillusioned by the terrorist group's treatment of new recruits. The father and daughter escaped to Habur, a border crossing between Turkey and Iraq where the PKK's senior cadres hide in a mountainous region and turned themselves in.
Recalling her time with the PKK, B.R. told investigators that the group "brainwashed" impressionable youth and pushed them to the front lines in terror attacks. "If you refuse, you are branded traitors and punished. Many people I knew were killed when they tried to escape. I regret joining them," she said.
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