Families of two kidnapped soldiers ask for NGO’s help
Two of the three soldiers’ families apply to the Human Rights Association (İHD).
The families of three soldiers taken hostage by suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have applied to the Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (Mazlum-Der) to negotiate with the PKK for the release of their relatives.
“These kinds of things have happened before. We had negotiated for the [ruling Justice and Development] AKP provincial head of Kulp district Veysel Çelik, who was taken hostage by the PKK in the past. The families are coming to us because the government doesn’t care about the situation of people that are kidnapped by the PKK,” İHD Diyarbakır Bureau Chief Raci Bilici told the Hürriyet Daily News in a telephone interview Aug. 8.
Three Turkish soldiers were taken hostage by suspected PKK militants who had blocked the Lice-Bingöl highway in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Aug. 6.
Authorities have named the alleged hostages as Hadi Gizli from the southeastern city of Mardin, Ramazan Başaran and Reşat Çeçan both from the southeastern city of Şanlıurfa.
The families of all three soldiers have applied to the İHD and Mazlum-Der, who have in the past made calls to the PKK and negotiated the release of other kidnapped soldiers and government authority figures.
“We will make a call to the PKK for the release of these soldiers like we did in the past. At the end of this process sometimes we go and recover the kidnapped people from the PKK, or sometimes they let them come themselves,” Bilici said.
“The government has shown no responsibility for any of the people being kept as hostages by the PKK until now. And government authorities verbally attacked us and they have even sued us after the families of these people applied to us [for help]. However, the only thing that matters for us is to insure that these people can reach their families alive,” Bilici said.
Çeçan’s mother Fatma Çeçan said she was not notified that her son had been taken hostage by the proper military or government officials, but heard it on the television news.
“I want my son back healthy and alive. I want peace to occur. The government didn’t give us information that our son was taken hostage by the PKK, we learned it 48 hours later from the TV,” Doğan News Agency reported Fatma Çeçan as saying.
Injured soldier sent home by bus
The father of Gendarme Commando Corporal Erhan Yakut, who was injured during the PKK assault in Hakkari where six soldiers and two village guards were killed, reacted strongly to the fact that authorities sent his wounded son home to İnegöl by bus.Yakut travelled to Van from Hakkari by bus and was then sent to Ankara from Van via an airplane. Then the injured soldier was then put on another bus back to his hometown İnegöl in the district of Bursa. Yakut’s father Cengiz Yakut cried when he welcomed his son at the entrance of the town and criticized the authorities who sent him home via bus. “The government should have brought you here,” he said.