World Bulletin / News Desk
The militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Sunday kidnapped a deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in the eastern province of Tunceli.
Tunceli Governor Mustafa Taşkesen said the group blocked a road in the Ovacık district around 7 p.m. on Sunday and stopped a car carrying CHP Tunceli deputy Hüseyin Aygün as well as his aide and a journalist. The group reportedly released the two after abducting Aygün and authorities only learned of the incident once the two arrived in Tunceli without the deputy.
CHP Deputy Chairman Gürsel Tekin said in initial comments on Sunday night that “the party is shocked.” He added that they have no information to add to what the governor said as they have been unable to reach Aygün.
CHP Deputy Chairman Haluk Koç told reporters following a meeting with party staff and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu that six CHP deputies are on their way to Tunceli to coordinate efforts in locating the deputy. He said Malatya deputy Veli Ağbaba, İstanbul deputies Müslim Sarı and Mahmut Tanal, Denizli deputy İlhan Cihaner and Ankara deputy Levent Gök are headed to the region.
He also criticized the government for not briefing the CHP and said the party is following developments “minute by minute.” “For the first time, a lawmaker has been kidnapped by the terrorist organization,” Koç said. “It shows what level terrorism has reached.”
NTV television reported that troops had launched an operation to try and find Aygün. The PKK has in the past kidnapped soldiers, government workers and tourists, but never a member of parliament. Most hostages they have kidnapped have been released without being harmed.
Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin confirmed that police and troops have launched an operation to locate the parliamentarian. Aygün was elected to Parliament from Tunceli, where he worked as a lawyer for 14 years. According to his personal website, his work focused on human rights abuses, such as the forcible evacuations of Kurdish villages to quell support for the PKK in rural areas, as well as cases of torture.
The kidnapping comes days after the government claimed troops killed as many as 115 PKK operatives in the southeastern town of Şemdinli in 20-day military operation and after Aygün's party called for an extraordinary meeting in Parliament on Tuesday to discuss the fight against the group.
EU Minister Omer Celik's concern comes after German vice chancellor says Turkey will not be a bloc member anytime soon
Opposition MHP chief Devlet Bahceli says Turkish army in northern Syria must find 'all killer terrorist organizations'
Israeli diplomat discusses bright future for neighbors following renewal of ties
New data reveal fall in confidence index month-on-month in August but 11 pct increase in consumer confidence
Pair killed after occupying resident's house in Van province
President says Turkey determined to wipe out terror groups in region
Cyprus, closer ties on agenda at Crete meeting of Mevlut Cavusoglu, Nikos Kotzias
3 others wounded by PKK roadside bomb on highway in southeast, security source says
Binali Yildirim thanks Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa for July 15 support during monarch's visit to Istanbul
Turkish military hits PKK-affiliated YPG targets in north Syria; 25 extremists killed
PYD Leader Muslim threatened Ankara, saying that Turkey will pay price for the operation in Jarablus and insulted President Erdoğan by saying he has a 'Kasımpaşa mentality'
Four PKK extremists killed as Turkish forces respond to attack near Iraqi border
RPG attack causes minor damage at complex; investigation underway
Suspects among 9 seized in joint operation, Macedonia's interior minister says
Turkish army, Kurd-backed forces clash in north Syria
Female officers will be able to wear plain hijab as part of official uniform