The PKK terrorist organization has been collaborating with the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to forcibly recruit civilians, a terrorist who surrendered to Turkish security forces has confessed.
The terrorist, identified only by his initials as S.T. for security reasons, surrendered to gendarmerie forces in southeastern Diyarbakır province and told them about his past four years with the terrorist organization.
S.T. said he had been first sent to the provincial offices of the HDP in Istanbul and stayed in a secret room on the upper floor of the building for six days, adding: ‘'Later I was sent to their offices in Diyarbakır. I stayed in rural areas with the PKK in Diyarbakır, [the southeastern province of] Şırnak, Syria and Iraq."
‘'In the HDP building, the new recruits are sent to the PKK with notes. Those who write the instructions and notes usually stay at the HDP. In the HDP, those who seem like the ‘tea-makers' are actually the ones who have the authority," S.T. claimed.
"The HDP is the legal party of the terrorist organization the PKK, an ideologically affiliated party," he said, adding: "In a rural area, I saw that a group of six people, including HDP lawmakers, came to meet with the Diyarbakır representative of the organization. This is the most significant example of the link between the HDP and the PKK."
Referring to the sit-in protests in Diyarbakır outside the provincial offices of the HDP, S.T. said: "If HDP officials want, they can help young people get back from the mountains, as the HDP is the legal structure of the organization."
"Young people in the mountains want to come back and escape from the camps. Therefore, the protest of the mothers should be supported," he added.
The protest started on Sept. 3 after a mother, Fevziye Çetinkaya, said her 17-year-old son was forcibly recruited by the PKK through HDP members.
People who provide information and financial support to the PKK terrorist organization generally live in villages, S.T. said and added: "These militias willingly help the terror organization, meeting all the needs of the members such as food and medicine. They mostly grow marijuana and raise livestock."
S.T. said he is happy to move on with his life and start a new chapter. "I was on the brink of death, but I am with my family now," he added.
Kulp victims' families support Kurdish mothers in Dİyarbakır
Meanwhile, the families of those that died on Sept. 12 in a PKK terrorist attack in southeastern Diyarbakır province's Kulp district visited the mothers protesting the terrorist group for abducting their children in front of the HDP's provincial office.
The families of Siraç Yıldız, Ömer Yıldız, Abit Yıldız and Ahmet Ay, who lost their lives when PKK terrorists targeted a vehicle carrying 20 forestry workers who were on their way to collect wood with an improvised explosive device (IED), came to support the mothers on Saturday and condemn the terrorist organization and the HDP.
"We have given so many martyrs and we are saying enough and we damn them [the PKK]. We came to support the mothers, we are on their side. They must give back the children they took to the mountains," said Yüksel Yalçın, the cousin of Ömer and Abit Yıldız, two victims of the attack.
Kutbettin Ay, the father of Ahmet Ay, explained that his son and the others were just going to gather wood.
"Our hearts were torn out, we do not want others to suffer the same," he said, adding that his family had suffered many times suffered before at the hands of the PKK.
"In 1993, they burnt and killed my three uncles. In one night they shot seven people including my father-in-law and in 1997, they killed five people when they raided our house. My wife still suffers from this, she lost both of her eyes," he said.
Following the recent PKK attack where seven civilians were killed and 10 others were injured and the ongoing sit-in protest by the families in front of the HDP office, thousands of citizens took to the streets throughout eastern Turkey last week including politicians, local authorities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
Anti-terrorism rallies also took place throughout eastern Turkey on Saturday including politicians, local authorities and NGOs. The rallies took place in cities of Ağrı, Batman, Bingöl, Bitlis, Elazığ, Hakkari, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak, Tunceli, Van and Tunceli as well as in various district centers in the same provinces.
The HDP, long facing public reaction and judicial probes over its ties to the PKK, is also under pressure over a growing civilian protest movement launched by local families. A sit-in launched in front of the party's Diyarbakır provincial headquarters by mothers whose children were kidnapped by the terrorist group has been going on since Sept. 3 with the number of families reaching at least 48.
The party is being accused of aiding the PKK in recruiting new militants through its provincial and district organization as well as the municipalities.
Another mother, Hacire Akar, had conducted a sit-in protest in front of the HDP provincial organization in southeastern Diyarbakır province two weeks ago for her 21-year-old son Mehmet Akar, who was missing for three days after he was abducted by the PKK terrorist group. Following her sit-in, and with the help of security forces in Diyarbakır, Akar was finally reunited with her son.
Security forces kill 14 terrorists in northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey
It was also reported that in ongoing counterterrorism operations in northern Iraq and southeastern, Turkey killed 14 terrorists, Turkish authorities said yesterday.
Turkish fighter jets targeted seven PKK terrorists in airstrikes on terrorist elements in northern Iraq, according to an official statement Sunday.
The airstrikes in the Haftanin region were conducted in coordination with Turkey's ongoing counterterror operations in northern Iraq, said a National Defense Ministry statement.
The counter-terrorism operations were supported by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), police, gendarmes and the National Intelligence Service (MIT).
PKK terrorists often use northern Iraq for plan cross-border terrorist attacks in Turkey.
Meanwhile, Turkish security forces targeted seven terrorists in southeastern Siirt province, the Interior Ministry said in another statement.
In a written statement, the ministry said gendarmerie forces carried out a counter-terrorism operation in Siirt's rural areas. Security operations are underway, it added.
Though the statement did not mention a specific terrorist group, Turkey has long been conducting operations against the PKK terrorist organization in the region.
On May 27, Turkey launched Operation Claw against the PKK in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq.
In mid-July and late August, Turkey also launched Operation Claw-2 and Operation Claw-3 in northern Iraq with the same purpose.
Over 400 PKK terrorists have been killed in northern Iraq over the past four months, according to the ministry.
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 women, children and infants.