World Bulletin / News Desk
A group of Kurdish parents whose children were persuaded to join the terrorist organization PKK met Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday in the capital Ankara in their first meeting with politicians, seeking assistance for the return of the children
Yesterday, Prime Minister Erdogan was asked by mothers of children who were kidnapped by the PKK for help. They said that they were encouraged by Erdogan's stance.
A closed-to-press meeting was held with Erdogan and the twenty mothers and 14 fathers who were among those staging a sit-in protest in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir.
The PM reportedly spoke to the families about his government's reconciliation process and its contribution to "peace in the region." The deputy prime minister, minister of Family and Social Policies as well as AK Party officials and lawmakers from Diyarbakir attended the meeting that took place in the AK Party headquarters as well.
Erhan Eren, whose 19-year-old brother Fatih joined the PKK, said the prime minister listened to families and took notes regarding the children. He said the prime minister "instilled hope" in the families though he did not elaborate on what they said during the meeting. Eren said their next meeting will be with officials from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Adile Aksoy, whose sister was recruited by the PKK organization, said Erdogan told them that the government was "working on a new law on the issue and would submit it to the parliament soon."
Erdogan addressed his fellow AK Party lawmakers saying that the government was "mobilized" to support the mothers. "All political parties have responsibilities toward those families, particularly the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)," who has relations with the PKK and were criticized by Erdogan for ignoring the outcry of the families.
He also criticized the EU countries for ignoring the families' ordeal. "I wonder how many people from EU countries took an interest in the cause of those families. These people shed tears for their children who were forced to join the PKK. It breaks one's heart to see them crying," he said.
Erdogan stated that his government respected human rights where as the PKK does not. "They forced those families to leave the place they staged the protest, in front of Diyarbakir city hall, they threatened those families and finally, they accused them of receiving payments from the intelligence service," he said.
Erdogan had previously called upon the parties to negotiate with the PKK for the release of the children and implied that Turkey would launch military action to bring back the children if the BDP and HDP failed.
However BDP and HDP blamed the government for the kidnapping of the children by the PKK. BDP co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş had stated the families were paid by "intelligence services" to help Erdogan garner Kurdish votes.Last Mod: 25 Haziran 2014, 14:42