Turkish teenager taken by PKK rescued

Returned to her family through a security operation in Turkey's southeast, 16-year-old says spent 20 days in the mountains and was given weapons training, calls on other children to come back home

Turkish teenager taken by PKK rescued

A 16-year-old girl who was kidnapped by the outlawed PKK last month has been rescued by security forces in Turkey's Yuksekova district in the southeastern extremity.

S.B., whose name is kept secret for security reasons, was reunited with her family after she stayed 20 days in the mountainous regions near the border with Iraq and received weapons training from the PKK.

S.B. told the Anadolu Agency that she and other youths were deeply affected by the terrorist group’s propaganda. She said they were not taken by force but it was “not of our own accord, either.”

“We were told that we would go up to Iraq’s north. We were aware that we would be taken to mountains but there was nothing we could do,” she said.

She said that the young group were promised “law enforcement-type jobs” after the terrorist organization reached its separatist goals in Turkey’s southeast.

S.B. called on other children in the mountains to get back to their families. “There is really no life in the mountain,” she said.

In late May, the families of children who were abducted in April began a sit-in protest to seek help in securing their release. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on pro-Kurdish opposition parties to find and bring back the children.

Turkey began a ‘solution process’ early last year, a ceasefire between the Turkish government and PKK terrorist organization aimed at better addressing the needs and demands of the Kurdish people.

Children ‘regret going away’

S.B. said children who went with PKK militants regretted their decision.

"I was in the mountains for 20 days. I am so happy right now and all I want is peace. I know the other children going away are also very regretful," she said.

After meeting their daughters, S.B.’s family visited other families in a sit-in protest outside Diyarbakir municipality building.

S.B.’s mother, not letting go of her daughter’s hand throughout the interview, called on government officials and pro-Kurdish figures to “bring peace” to the region.

"I want them to bring peace. And I believe our brothers and sisters in the mountains are also waiting for peace," she said.

Late legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela's lawyer, Essa Moosa, was also in Diyarbakir on Saturday to visit the families. 

"All of these children will certainly be back once the solution process becomes successful," said Moosa, adding that his team is holding talks with all political sides in Turkey to speed up the solution process.

The PKK conducted a violent campaign against the Turkish state for nearly four decades. But after talks with the government, a ceasefire was declared in March 2013.

The PKK, active in Turkey’s southeast -- where the Kurdish population is centered -- and Iraq’s north, is considered a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, as well as by the U.S., the EU and other governments, and international organizations such as NATO.

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Last Mod: 08 Haziran 2014, 09:35
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