PKK terrorist influenced by Kurdish mothers' protest surrenders

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 03.01.2020 18:13
Updated 03.01.2020 18:33

A PKK terrorist who was influenced by Kurdish mothers' sit-in protest against the PKK terror group surrendered to security forces and was reunited with his family.

Escaping from the terror group's camps in northern Iraq, S.B. surrendered to security forces and was reunited with his family in southeastern Batman province.

According to security sources, S.B. was brought to Diyarbakır from Batman in 2016, when he was 16. He was transferred to Iraq from Diyarbakır to be trained in PKK camps there.

Influenced by Kurdish mothers' protests, he fled from the terror camps and surrendered to security forces in the Silopi district of the Şırnak province.

In his initial statement at the police station, he expressed his regret for joining the terror group.

It has been 123 days since the Kurdish families launched their sit-in protest in front of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters in southeastern Diyarbakır province with the aim of saving their abducted children from the clutches of the terrorist group.

Since the start of the protests, three families reunited with their children who were abducted by the terrorist group.

According to a statement by the Turkish Interior Ministry on Nov. 26, the dissolution of the PKK has recently accelerated thanks to successfully conducted counterterrorism operations and strategies in Turkey and abroad.

The statement said significant numbers of terrorists have started fleeing the PKK and surrendering. More than 235 terrorists have surrendered to Turkish security forces in 2019.

Once the terrorists surrender, they are provided with many opportunities including the right to education and the freedom to live without fear and oppression.

They are not ill-treated, are able to contact their families freely and are provided with essential judicial assistance. The Turkish state offers a variety of services to ensure their integration into society.

According to their statements, the ringleaders of the PKK terror group risk the lives of other terrorists to save their own lives and threaten those planning to surrender with torture.

The sit-in protests are seen as a reaction against the outlawed PKK, a terror group that has abducted and recruited their children, as well as the HDP, a political party which many of these families view as in league with the PKK.

The HDP is accused by the government of having links to the PKK, and accused by the protesting mothers of kidnapping or tricking their children to join the terror group. The HDP, long facing public reaction and judicial probes over its ties to the PKK, is under pressure due to this growing civilian protest movement. Various groups from around Turkey have supported the Kurdish mothers in their cause, with many paying visits to show their support.

Since the beginning of their protest, the mothers have received support from across the country with almost all segments of society expressing solidarity with their cause. Currently, 64 families are participating in the protests.

The protest started when Hacire Akar turned up at the doorstep of the HDP's Diyarbakır office one night. A week later, on Sept. 3, 2019, families inspired by Akar transformed her solo stance into a collective sit-in protest. Akar's son Mehmet returned home on Aug. 24, giving hope to other families.

Authorities have been supporting the sit-in, while Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu amped up efforts for the mothers. As a result, Mekiye Kaya, one of the abducted children, surrendered after fleeing from one of the PKK's camps in Iraq. Soylu called the family to deliver the good news.

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 35 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.

The PKK's use of child soldiers in its ranks has repeatedly been documented and criticized by international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The groups reportedly trick families into giving up their children or kidnap them and take them to training camps, where they are denied contact with their families.

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