The PKK has threatened Kurdish families staging a sit-in protest for the return of their children kidnapped by the terrorist group in front of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters in southeastern Diyarbakır province, a protestor said.
Continuing their protests for over a month now, the families expressed that they received death threats from PKK terrorists, who said that they would first kill their children and then them if they continue to come to the HDP headquarters to protest.
Speaking with European Council rapporteur Jacob Wienen, who was visiting the families on Friday, Süleyman Aydın, whose 19-year-old son Özkan was kidnapped by the PKK four years ago, said that terrorists cross their path, and a gun was pointed at one of the protestor's head. "They take our children here in the HDP. Then, they send them to the rural areas. We have been here for a month now. They tell us that they will kill our children first and then us if we continue to come to the building. They said they would have killed us already if the security forces had not protected us. They told that this is a branch of the Qandil [the PKK's headquarters]," Aydın said. Wienen, on the other hand, said they hear the families and share their pain. "Of course, we are not able to do anything directly. We cannot do anything to find your children. However, we can do this: we are here as the European Council. We will share your pain and cry within our hearts," he said.
The HDP, long facing public reaction and judicial probes over its ties to the PKK, is under pressure due to the growing civilian protest movement launched by mothers and local families.
The sit-in has continued since Sept. 3, with 55 families currently protesting, including five Iranian families whose children were abducted by the PKK's Iranian wing, the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK). The protest was started by Hacire Akar in front of the HDP provincial office in Diyarbakır last month. Akar demanded the return of her 21-year-old son, Mehmet Akar, who had been missing for three days after he was abducted by the PKK terrorist group. Following her sit-in and with the help of the security forces in Diyarbakır, Akar was finally reunited with her son.