Kidnapping aimed at propaganda, says released MP

Kidnapping aimed at propaganda, says released MP

Kidnapping aimed at propaganda, says released MP

Hüseyin Aygün is seen with his children after his release. AA photo

Turkish parliamentarian Hüseyin Aygün, who was released yesterday by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) 48 hours after he was kidnapped by them, has said the organization detained him for propaganda purposes. 
Aygün, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), was released by PKK militants yesterday at around 6 p.m. close to the same location he was kidnapped from in the eastern province of Tunceli on Aug. 12.
Aygün said he was in good health and was "treated with respect" by the PKK members. "The organization said they kidnapped me for propaganda," he said, according to broadcaster NTV. "The young fellows who undertook this [kidnapping] are children of this country too, and they said they wanted to send a message of peace and a call for a cease-fire with this action."
The PKK members asked the lawmaker to take a more active role in attempting to find a solution to the Kurdish issue and the establishment of a cease-fire, Aygün said. "They said they perceived the CHP's policies at solving the Kurdish issue in a positive light but said all parties had to make an effort to solve the problem."
The PKK members "are aware" that the struggle they are putting up is "meaningless," Aygün said, adding that the militants said their demands for democratic autonomy were a democratic request that did not require using arms and was practiced in many European countries. "That is why we know that our struggle is meaningless now," one of the militants reportedly said. 
Aygün said he told the PKK members that their action of kidnapping an unarmed, unprotected deputy would be perceived as a direct intervention against the political will of the people of Tunceli. 
The militants also told Aygün that they would be "glad" if he chose to pursue politics as an independent deputy. 
"I told them no decision can be made on this matter at the barrel of a gun,” he said. "I told them I was proud to be the Dersim [Tunceli] deputy of the new CHP and said the new CHP had given signals of a transformation by accepting other figures such as myself into the party."

Aygün also said in a statement today that he would testify to a prosecutor tomorrow about his kidnapping.