Kurdish families’ protest against PKK continues for 272nd day
It’s been 300 days since Kurdish families have been protesting against the PKK terrorists in southeastern Diyarbakır province, determined not to end their struggle until their abducted children return.
“I will not put an end to this protest until my son returns,” said Sevgi Çahmar, who has been participating in the protests in front of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters since February 29 for her 28-year-old son Yavuz.
“My son, if you see me, hear me, please leave (the terrorist group) and come to me,” the sorrowful mother said, calling on her son to surrender to security forces.
The sit-in protests, which have been continuing for 272 days, are a reaction against the outlawed PKK, a terror group that has abducted and recruited children, as well as the HDP, a political party that many of these families believe is in league with the PKK.
The HDP is accused by the government of having links to the PKK. The protesting mothers are of the opinion that the party is responsible for 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 from this growing civilian protest movement.
The protest started when Hacire Akar turned up on the doorstep of the HDP’s Diyarbakır office one night. A week later, on September 3, 2019, families inspired by Akar transformed her solo stance into a collective sit-in protest. Akar’s son Mehmet returned home on August 24, giving hope to other families.
Since then, 13 families have managed to reach their children thanks to the protest’s success.
A significant number of suspected terrorists have started fleeing the PKK and surrendering. More than 235 members surrendered to Turkish security forces in 2019.
Once they surrender, former recruits are provided with many opportunities, including the right to an education and the freedom to live without fear and oppression.
“Everyone’s children are returning. You shall surrender as well,” said a protesting father, Celil Begdaş, calling on his 16-year-old son Yusuf, who was captured by the PKK terrorists a year ago, to return.