Central Diyarbakir, south of Turkey. File photo
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Diyarbakir, Turkey – More than 40 Kurdish mothers gathered on Thursday to take part in a sit-in in front of the Diyarbakir Municipality Headquarter in southern Turkey to demand the return of their under-aged children who joined the ranks of the fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), best known as the PKK guerrillas.
The Turkish political circles have reacted differently to the protest of the mothers. The Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his support to the protesting mothers and called the children “his own children”.
Erdogan’s statement apparently angered rival Kurdish politicians. Selahattin Demirtas, the Chairman of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) responded to Erdogan’s statement, saying: “Would Erdogan change his policies if we convinced the PKK fighters to leave the mountains ?”
“The deep corruption in Turkish governmental institutions is the only child of Erdogan,” Demirtas told Turkish media outlets.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bülent Arinc, expressed his hopes that the PKK fighters “give up their arms and start practising politics instead”. Arinc also called on the Kurdish politicians to be on the side of the mothers who would like to have their children back.
The PKK launched a campaign of armed struggle against the Turkish state in the 1980s demanding a Kurdish national state in the areas of southeastern Turkey. However, after the start of the peace process between the Turkish state and the PKK jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan, those demands were reduced to democracy for Turkey and cultural recognition of Kurds.
Reporting by: Badir Mustafa
Source: ARA News