Families make history with 1,000-day anti-PKK sit-in protest: Altun


Mothers in Turkey who marked the 1,000th day of an uninterrupted sit-in protest in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır are making history, the country’s presidential communications director said Saturday.

“Diyarbakır mothers are waging one of the largest and most powerful civil resistances to save their children, who have been kidnapped and ensnared by the terror organization, PKK, from the swamp of terrorism,” said Fahrettin Altun.

Altun addressed participants in a video message at the “A Societal Protest of the PKK’s Abduction of Children: Diyarbakır Mothers against the PKK Panel” held by the Presidency’s Directorate of Communications in The Hague, Netherlands.

“They are writing the story of valor that has withstood 1,000 days despite all the terrorist groups’ threats and pressure, and is a blessed resistance that defies terrorism,” Altun added.

The mothers have become the outcry of the conscience of the society, he said. “Theirs is the rightful revolt against terrorism, of mothers who have been compelled to conceal their pain thus far; repressed, intimidated, and even silenced for 40 years as a result of the terrorist organization’s brutality and persecution,” he added.

He highlighted the importance of the unity of the mothers and said, “They have become the collective voice and conscience of our country’s 83 million people.”

Touching on the courage of the mothers for their children, he underlined that “35 families who have participated in the children watch so far have been reunited with their children due to their escape from the organization and surrender to our security forces.”

Meanwhile, stressing one of the significant contributions of the protest that is still going strong, Altun said, “These unprecedented children watch actions also contributed to revealing the true colors of the PKK terror organization, even beyond our borders.

“Thus, European politicians and journalists have seen the Diyarbakır mothers and witnessed the terror organization and its political extensions – those so-called ‘freedom fighters’ – in action and how they viewed the Kurdish population,” he said.

Also, the director called on all nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), human rights defenders, activists, artists, intellectuals, journalists and politicians to stand by Diyarbakır mothers.

“Everyone has a responsibility to support this resistance. It is incumbent upon citizens of all walks of life in our country to demonstrate their support for this nonpolitical civil movement. We believe that international support for our cause must stem from faith in peace and democracy, “I have added.

In the fight against terrorist groups, including the PKK, its Syrian branch YPG, radical-left DHKP-C and Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), he said, “Turkey expects genuine support and cooperation from friendly and allied countries.”

Since Sept. 3, 2019, families whose children have been abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK terror group, have been camping outside the Diyarbakır offices of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a party the Turkish government said has links to the PKK.

Demonstrations have since spread to other provinces, including Van, Muş, Şırnak and Hakkari.

In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

FETÖ and its US-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 2016 in Turkey, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.

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