Kidnapped children's families stage sit-ins in Turkey

Children in Turkey reportedly kidnapped by PKK are being brainwashed at training camps, civil society members say.

Kidnapped children's families stage sit-ins in Turkey

Families of children reportedly kidnapped by PKK in Turkey and civil society representatives staged sit-ins in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir on Saturday.

The families were speaking to Anadolu Agency on the methods the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) uses when its members take children to the mountains to fight.

Children are being promised of a better future, including work and education, according to families and civil society members. Some children are also being manipulated in municipality training camps into going to the mountains to fight.

The sit-ins occurred after the PKK reportedly kidnapped a group of children on April 23.

An older sister of one of the kidnapped children, Adile Aksoy, told reporters that the families of the kidnapped children were determined to continue the protests until the children are released.

The exact number of children taken to the mountains is unknown.

Ahmet Aydin, governor of Turkey’s southeastern province Siirt, said his office had received reports of sick children in PKK’s training camp. “They need to be released as soon as possible,” Aydin said.

Memis Yunus Memis, provincial head of Memur-Sen labor union, said speculations were made about children being directed to the mountains from school.

The tuition assistance centers where children are receiving education in the region are the places where they are being brainwashed, Memis said.

Turkey's 'solution process' began early last year with a ceasefire between the Turkish government and PKK. The government pledged democratic reforms to empower minorities, particularly the Kurdish minority, which is by far the largest forming 18 percent of the population.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on Saturday that arms should be laid down in order for peace to come to Turkey.

“We believe that the time has come for the guns to be silent and for dialogues to be held,” Arinc said.

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Last Mod: 01 Haziran 2014, 11:20
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