Other hostages of PKK forgotten, families say

Other hostages of PKK forgotten, families say

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Other hostages of PKK forgotten, families say

DHA photo

The high-profile kidnapping and subsequent release of main opposition lawmaker Hüseyin Aygün has cast a spotlight on other people that have faded from public attention as they remain in long-term captivity at the hands of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The fathers of kidnapped police officer Nadir Özgen and prospective Kulp district governor Kenan Erenoğlu both said their attempts to obtain an answer from state officials about the whereabouts of their sons or their state of health have been left unanswered.

“The state forgot my son and his family,” Hidayet Özgen told the Hürriyet Daily News over the phone yesterday. His son Nadir was abducted by the PKK on Sept. 10, 2011, along with five others.

“We have not received any news from my son since he was kidnapped 11 months ago,” he said.
The state froze Nadir Özgen’s wage payments after he disappeared, the father said. Özgen contacted police officials in the southeastern province of Van where his son was abducted. Özgen said he tried to gain the right to his son’s salary, but was rebuffed by officials.

“The money is not important, but this attitude is strange; officials ignore our right to be informed, but they waste no time in cutting off his salary at the same time,” he said.

‘Ask Turkish Parliament’

Özgen also said the abducted police officer’s mother was in pain and crying every day. “All we want is to be together with him.”

The last report about some of the hostages was issued by Nûçe TV, a Kurdish-language news channel. In a video played by the channel, Özgen, Erenoğlu, Specialist Sgt. Kemal Ekinci and Sgt. Abdullah Söpçeler tell the camera that they are in good health and that the date is March 21.

Erenoğlu’s father, Hasan Erenoğlu, said members of the Turkish Parliament should be interviewed, not people like himself.

“I have nothing to say since the reports published are in vain. Ankara must find a way, not us,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

Erenoğlu has been missing since Aug. 12, 2011, when he was abducted in the eastern province of Muş.
The PKK currently holds 26 people hostage, Human Rights Foundation (İHD) Bitlis branch head Hasan Ceylan told the Daily News.

Ceylan said Erenoğlu and the other hostages were taken to Kandil Mountain in northern Iraq according to the information they were given.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leader Selahattin Demirtaş has also commented on the other hostages, saying: “A district governor, six soldiers and five others are in the hands of the PKK. The government acts like there is no such issue.”

Demirtaş also said Erenoğlu had “completed his internship on Kandil Mountain; he will become the governor of Kandil soon as you [the government] continue to keep your silence.”

Aygün, a Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy for the eastern province of Tunceli, was released Aug. 14, 48 hours after he was kidnapped by the PKK in a rural area of Tunceli, sparking anger from
across Turkey’s political spectrum and demands that he be released immediately.