World Bulletin / News Desk
Republican People's Party (CHP) Tunceli deputy Hüseyin Aygün, who was released 48 hours after he was kidnapped by militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants on Sunday, was at the Tunceli Prosecutor's Office on Thursday, where he testified as a “plaintiff.”
Kadir Merkit, who was with him on the day of his abduction, was also at the courthouse. In addition to his plaintiff status, Aygün will testify as a witness, recounting what he experienced during his abduction. Merkit and Deniz Tunç, two men whom Aygün convinced the militants to let go on the day of the abduction, had testified to the prosecutors earlier.
Aygün, a popular politician in Tunceli, attracted some ire when he said he had been treated well by seven militants, who he said were very respectful. Some government members and other deputies, including those of his own party, accused him of propaganda in favor of the PKK.
The reason why the PKK chose to kidnap Aygün in Tunceli, a CHP stronghold, is still not clear, but it is clear PKK did not expect such strong public reaction as shown after Aygün's abduction. Thousands, including pro-Kurdish civil society groups as well as members of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) -- which has been accused of having links to the PKK -- gathered on Monday to protest Aygün's abduction, shortly after which the PKK announced he was going to release the deputy immediately after the “detention procedure” was completed.
CHP Malatya deputy Veli Ağbaba, who was one of the five CHP deputies who went to Tunceli after the news of Aygün's abduction broke out, defended his fellow party member regarding his statements saying, “Our deputy was held hostage for 48 hours. Nobody knows what he went through, but everybody is making comments, directing criticisms. He said he is proud to be a member of the CHP and he spoke in favor of peace. He said this ‘conflict' should come to an end. It is really sad to see different kinds of criticism being made.”
However, criticism continued. Deputy head of the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) parliamentary group Mehmet Şandır, who spoke to journalists at a meeting of his party's Erdemli district branch in Mersin, said, “We were all saddened by Mr. Hüseyin Aygün's abduction and we blamed the government for its failure to ensure the safety of the deputy,” but said Aygün had spoken in favor of the PKK. “Mr. Hüseyin Aygün's statements are clear, he tried to make the PKK, which massacred 40 to 50,000 people in 28 years, look cute. This is pro-PKK propaganda. What kind of action will Mr. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu [CHP leader] take against this deputy?” he asked. He said the abduction and its aftermath served to prove that the CHP was not sincere in its stance against the PKK:
Aygün responded to the criticism on Thursday. In an interview published on ntvmsnbc.com, he said he believed his statements were in fact supported by most segments. “It is impossible to see [the young people] as we see [PKK commanders] Murat Karayılan or Bahoz Erdal. There are kids in there who've never been in clashes,” Aygün said, adding that these young people wanted to return home and lead normal lives. “There's much that politics as an institution can do to make them come home to their families and live normal lives as we do.”
He also denied claims that the CHP administration was upset by his words. “Tomorrow night [Friday], I hope to meet with our chairman if he agrees, I will continue politics in the CHP.”
However, he did agree that his views were his personal opinions that did not reflect those of his party. “If I had said the classic [phrases of patriotism] motherland, nation, our land, our flag and ezan [call to prayer], these segments that are now criticizing me would be very happy. I am being accused because I said, ‘peace,' because I said, ‘brotherhood.' I can't believe this and I find it saddening.”
HDP's co-chairman Demirtas says Turkish government wants to 'sell a dream of peace.'
From a major planned anti-Daesh operation to the Istanbul funeral of renowned Turkish author Yasar Kemal, Turkish dailies covered a wide array of issues on Tuesday.
'Safe Harbor Turkey' exhibition in Geneva shows how different communities have found shelter in Turkish territory throughout country's history.
Analysts say Turkey’s solution process has spurred confidence in international markets.
Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz says joint-US training program for Syrian opposition forces will be held in Turkey’s central province of Kirikkale.
Turkish EU and agriculture ministers attend mass opening ceremony for agricultural investments in Ankara.
Greek solar energy company official said preparing to invest in renewable energy and settled on the Kesan district as it is an organized industrial zone
Ismet Yilmaz has said " When the it comes to national interests, as assessment is made on this basis and to fulfill the responsibilities required to become members of the coalition "
Agreements with Baghdad and Northern Iraq authorize Turkish oil exploration in the country, Energy Minister Yildiz says.
With Armenians preparing for the 100th year of the killings, the diaspora is now taking aim at Turkeys investments, putting pressure on American business to withdraw their investments from Turkey
Over half a kilogram of explosives have been found by security in Hatay province under a car belonging to a Syrian citizen living in Turkey.
Abdullah Ocalan still exerts influence from his prison cell.
Describing the call on PKK to lay down arms as a key expectation of the Turkish government, Erdogan nevertheless cautions against the terrorist group's failure to deliver
Turkish president to meet with Saudi King on March 2nd after visiting the holiest sites in Islam in Mecca and Medina
About invitation to find common ground on PKK’s disarmament, Turkish PM Davutoglu says, it will pave the way for a democratic policy in Turkey.
Turkey’s literary giant, Yasar Kemal, passes away aged 92.