Child abducted by PKK terror group reveals realities of forced recruitment

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 21.09.2019 00:51

A girl who was abducted by the PKK at the age of 15, nown only by the initials B.T., revealed Friday how she was forcefully taken from her family by the terrorist group and how she fled to return home.

In 2014, her mother joined a sit-in in front of the Diyarbakır metropolitan municipality building with the hope of reuniting with her daughter, a protest similar to the one of 43 families currently taking place in the city near the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) provincial office. B.T. surrendered to security forces two months ago after she managed to flee from the PKK's camps in northern Iraq.

"In 2013, when I was 15 years old, I was abducted under the guise of ‘going to a picnic.' Every time I tried to run, I was threatened with my family," B.T. said, explaining that she attended a course named "Dicle-Fırat Cultural Center" of the municipality where she met someone called "Ali" who promoted joining the terrorist organization. One day, he deceived her under the pretext of a picnic, and she was then delivered to the PKK. Saying that she was afraid after seeing weapons in the terrorists' hands and in shock, she said: "I was brought to a group of newcomers. We received theoretical, military and ideological training for 15 days." Trying to flee once before, she was caught by a unit of the terrorist organization at the Iraqi border and was sentenced to home confinement for 18 days, where she was interrogated again and again.

She also mentioned that units made up of foreign terrorists called "international battalions" conducted activities within the People's Protection Units (YPG). Foreign journalists and foreigners curious about the terrorist organization also came to the camps and shelters, she said.

Explaining how she fled the terrorist organization, she said: "Our group was given the task of digging emplacements. We did this for nearly 17 days. When the work ended, I threw my pickaxe into the hole. I told them I forgot my pickaxe and returned just to fulfill my escape plan." She stated that participation in the organization was extremely low this year and apologized to the government and her family for causing them trouble.

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