Politician kidnapped by PKK, clashes start

Politician kidnapped by PKK, clashes start

DİYARBAKIR- Hürriyet Daily News
Politician kidnapped by PKK, clashes start

PKK members also kidnapped a nominee district governor and a soldier in the same district last year. Four people are currently held by the PKK as captives. DHA photo

Clashes began between security forces and members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after the latter kidnapped an politician yesterday.

Members of the PKK reportedly kidnapped the Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s district chairman for southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Kulp district yesterday.

Kulp district chairman Veysel Çelik and three other AKP members were driving back to Kulp from a visit to the neighboring city of Muş on May 13, when a group of PKK members blocked the road. Following an identitiy check, the group kidnapped Çelik and released the other three people.

Military operation

Following the incident, a military operation was started in Diyarbakır’s several districts. Two village guards have been injured in clashes so far.

Meanwhile, Celalettin Çelik, the son of the kidnapped chairman, said the governor of Diyarbakır had informed them that a military operation had been launched to rescue his father.

“Witnesses say nearly 15 or 20 people kidnapped my father. The AK Party administration and members were already being threatened by the terrorist group already,” he told the Daily News on the phone yesterday.

Çelik was working as a district charman in Diyarbakır’s Kulp district for the past seven years.
Raci Bilici, a lawyer and the head of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır Branch, said there were still four captives in the hands of the PKK.

Bilici said a nominee district governor, one police officer and two soldiers were also currently being kept prisoners by the PKK.

“These people have been gone almost for one year,” he added.

“Captive people’s families are in contact with us, they are complaining about a lack of interest from the Turkish government,” Bilici told the Daily News.

Bilici also said they were ready to mediate for releases and asked officials to help negotiate.