‘Missing’ local politician emerges in Kirkuk
KIRKUKThe provincial member of a political party in southeast Turkey who was taken into custody in May has surfaced in Kirkuk following months of questions about his fate.
Hürşit Külter of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), which focuses on the Kurdish issue, appeared before the press on Oct. 7 in Kirkuk to relate what occurred to him since he went missing on May 27, when many feared he had been killed while in Turkish government custody.
Külter said he was held in detention for 13 days before escaping and slowly making his way to Kirkuk, avoiding capture along the way.
Külter went missing on May 27 during security operations launched by security forces against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Photos of him being detained were shared on social media on May 27, but was later removed and the Twitter account that the photos was shared from was suspended for hours. It later emerged that he had sent a message to his family saying he was surrounded by security forces. No one was able to hear from him after that date.
His lawyers asked Şırnak police where he was, but received a reply saying that he had not been detained. Campaigns were launched after he went missing, with activists alleging that he disappeared in detention.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık announced that an investigation was launched to find the whereabouts of Külter following a question from the DBP’s sister party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).