Call from mothers leads 638 PKK militants to return to their families

SIRRIBERK ARSLAN
ISTANBUL
Published 30.06.2017 00:08

Security forces continue the fight against the PKK with attempts to convince terrorists in the mountain to surrender, which resulted in the return of 638 militants to their families in last three years, as part of a project.

A team of eight experts, including from a professor, historian, psychologist and interpreters that speak Arabic, Kurdish and Zaza, visited the families of the 850 terrorists as part of the Return to your family now my child project.

The group of experts demanded that the families tell their children "the truth" about the PKK and convince them to leave the terrorist organization while visiting their houses with chocolates and flowers. The group also showed footage of living conditions in the mountains, the terrorists who have surrendered and the scenes after a conflict to the families to clarify the real face of the organization.

"Make your child drop their weapons. They won't receive any punishment if they were not involved in armed action. Even if were involved in armed action, since they surrendered, the court will act in favor of their benefit," the group told the families, reminding them of the 221st article of the Turkish Criminal Law.

"My mother said to me to turn and shelter under the mercy of the state. She said that our leaders are living while we are dying and she watched how evil they are in the videos," one of the surrendered terrorists, D.M.,19, said, adding that she was happy to hear these words from her mother.

Another surrendered terrorist, K.A, 21, also said he changed his mind thanks to his family's convincing words. "I was thinking that the PKK is in the mountains for the rights of the Kurds. I changed my mind when I went to Qandil. I understood that I was wrong but it was too late. Yet, my family's convincing attitude hastened my escaping process," he said.

Thanks to the group's work, 638 terrorists, 227 of which are women, escaped from the organization and surrendered.

In last three years, 324 terrorists surrendered due to physical violence and sexual harassment they experienced while 585 others also surrendered, giving the physical and logistical powerlessness of the organization as their reason.

Since the project became productive, the group aims to visit 750 more families whose children are in the PKK.

Founded in 1978, the PKK has been waging a decades-long bloody campaign against the Turkish state.

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, resumed its armed campaign in July 2015 after a brief reconciliation period.

Since then, the PKK has been responsible for the deaths of some 1,200 security personnel and civilians, including women and children, while more than 4,000 security personnel and over 2,000 civilians have been injured.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter