Families get more support in sit-in protest against PKK
The number of families staging a sit-in in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır to call for the release of their teen children reportedly lured to join by the PKK has risen to 17, while a petition was also initiated on social media to support them.
Some Turkish artists and celebrities voiced support for the family members who have been staging the protest for more than a week in front of provincial office of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
“We have to feel each other, our pains, our shortcomings,” said Ahmet Yenilmez, an actor, during his visit to the families.
The families are seeking for the return of their children from what they call forced recruitment by the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
The HDP on many occasions was accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other government officials of having links to the PKK.
“I hope the mothers in Diyarbakir will reunite with their children safe and sound,” Cenk Eren, a Turkish musician, said on his social media post, using the hashtag #MothersResist.
Uğur Işılak, another artist, also decried the PKK, saying: “Stealing a child from his mother is remorselessness... May you drown in the mothers’ curse.”
Mustafa Yıldızdoğan, a singer, called on those who “always talk about peace, brotherhood, democracy and human rights,” not to stay silent in the face of the mothers’ voices.
“This mothers’ voice is the voice of a nation,” he said, adding that staying silent to terror is a “betrayal of humanity.”
Vildan Atasever, a film actress, voiced her support for the mothers, adding: “We must show our reaction clearly and loudly.”
Turkish screenwriter Semih Kaplanoğlu also shared a post on social media, saying: “The rights of our mothers cannot be paid away.”
Family Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk also paid a visit to the families to lend support.
The protest follows closely on the heels of Hacire Akar, who launched a similar sit-in on Aug. 22 near the HDP’s office in Diyarbakır. Akar’s protest ended in success as her son, Mehmet, showed up in the city just two days later.
The provincial co-chairs of the HDP denied the claims and accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of “staging a political game to criminalize” the HDP.