75 mothers now demand release of children abducted by PKK
The number of mothers and other family members staging a protest in front of the main Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality building calling for the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) organization bring back their kidnapped children has increased to 75.

Three mothers whose children were abducted by the terrorist PKK started a sit-in protest on May 19, including the mothers of 16-year-old Halime Gündüz and 15-year-old Fırat Aydın Eren, both of whom attended Diyarbakır Selahaddin Eyyübi Anatolian High School. By the morning of May 28, there were 21 mothers protesting, a figure that grew to 33 by the evening of the same day. As of May 29, the group had increased to 45, with mothers from provinces such as Erzurum, Kars, Mardin and İzmir also participating.

Holding pictures of their abducted children, the mothers cry and plead for their children to be returned to their homes. Two of the mothers stopped their protest on Thursday after they met pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leader Selahattin Demirtaş, but on Friday, there were 75 protesters, as they were joined by mothers from as far away as İstanbul, Çanakkale, Van, Muş, Adana and Mersin.

Speaking with the Cihan news agency, one mother, Sariye Tokay, said that she is determined to continue her protest until the PKK releases her child. Stating that she had been there for almost two weeks, Tokay said that they want a peaceful atmosphere to be established permanently in the region and added that she is still hopeful for a possible settlement to the ongoing problems.

Adile Aksoy, whose brother is among the abducted children by the PKK, said that she wants her brother to be returned to his family, adding that if their relatives are not released, they will also launch a hunger strike.

On Friday afternoon some of the protesters released a statement indicating that they would take a one-day break before leaving the site, however most refused to stop the protest and they remain in front of the Diyarbakır Municipality building.


Kayseri-based Brotherhood and Goodness Platform members also staged a protest on Friday to express their support for those protesting in Diyarbakır. In a press release, the platform stated that they are standing alongside the mothers whose children were abducted by the PKK in their struggle to have their children returned.

Speaking to pro-PKK Sterk TV channel on Thursday, Demirtaş stated that the person who can bring the abducted children back is Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan if he takes the necessary steps to accelerate the settlement process launched by the government in October 2012 to resolve the long-standing Kurdish problem and violence in the region.

In a parliamentary press conference on Friday, Haluk Koç, deputy chairman and spokesman of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), criticized the government for its continued ineffectiveness regarding the issue of abducted children. Koç stated that the government "is bowing its head to the PKK."(Cihan/Today's Zaman)

SHOTLIST
TURKEY, DIYARBAKIR, 30 MAY 2014

VAR of the mothers at the protest site
VAR footages of mothers' sit in protest

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Last Modified: 2014-05-30 17:00:02
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