Songul Altuntash, mother of a Kurdish soldier abducted by the PKK is in front of the office of the HDP in Diyarbakir, she started angrily protests and addressed one of the HDP officials. “Your organization has left no youth in Diyarbakir. They are either in prison or buried,” she said locally.
The Kurdish mother says in an interview that she has only heard of her son being abducted once in the past four years, adding that her son and another soldier were abducted by the PKK in eastern Turkey. Only in 2016 he sent a letter to his mother saying he was in Qandil.
“My son was a soldier. The PKK stopped the bus and kidnapped my son along with another soldier. We are really tired of this group. It has bothered us. It does not return my son.”
Mrs. Altuntash is one of dozens of mothers protesting for the return of their abducted children. Protests continue in front of the office of the Peoples’s Democratic Party (HDP), which the Turkish government has accused of having close ties to the PKK. This party denies the accusations. Meanwhile, the PKK has also threatened these families many times.
Mrs. Saleh Edizer also came from Istanbul to protest against the PKK. She says her son was a 14-year-old high school student but was suddenly abducted. “I am not afraid of PKK threats. I want my son to return. This is a terrorist group and I will continue to protest against it. The HDP is involved in the abduction of my son Yaqub in 2015. The HDP sent him for fighting in the mountains as a member of the PKK.
The PKK is on the terrorist list of the United States and the European Union. Different and independent groups have accused the PKK of human rights abuses, especially the recruitment of child soldiers and war crimes.
Aladdin Parlak, a political analyst, says: “Why don’t people gather in front of the offices of another political parties and ask for their children? The answer is clear, because the HDP has a role in kidnapping children for the PKK. There is an organizational link between the two, and if you look closely at the statements of the families, all the children are somehow lost in the HDP offices and ceremonies.
The protests took place when Hajira, the mother of one of the child soldiers, entered the office of the HDP. She sat at the enterance door and did not leave, which led to her son being returned by the HDP, and others were encouraged to follow this path.