Disabled siblings attend families' sit-in against terrorist PKK abductions in Turkey
'I won't leave here until my sister comes back,' says Mihriban, as family calls for return of her sister kidnapped by PKK
Families in southeastern Turkey whose children have been abducted or forcibly recruited by PKK terrorists continued to protest against the group on Friday, with two demonstrators joined by their disabled children.
Since September 2019, the families have been camping in the Diyarbakir province for 816 days outside the offices of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which the Turkish government says has links with the PKK.
The demonstrations have since spread to other provinces including Van, Mus, Sirnak, and Hakkari.
Pinar Bicer and Ayten Elhamam, two mothers in the Diyarbakir sit-in, said they have been coming to the protest site every morning with their disabled children by their side.
Bicer told Anadolu Agency that she was taking part in the anti-terror sit-in for her daughter, Gulcan, who was kidnapped by the PKK six years ago when she was 18.
She said the HDP handed her daughter over to the terrorist group.
Despite falling ill after her daughter's abduction, Bicer said she never gave up protesting and continued to join the sit-in with her other daughter, Mihriban.
"My disabled daughter says 'Let's go to the tent, I'm going to see Gulcan's photo,' every morning as soon as she wakes up," mother Bicer said.
Underlining that Mihriban always asked when her sister would return, Bicer called on Gulcan to surrender to the security forces "wherever she is."
Father Necmettin Bicer said: "I'm struggling so hard. Our abducted daughter should have been by our side. Her mother and older sister are sick."
Mihriban never stops speaking of her sister Gulcan, said father Bicer, adding: "She says: 'I won't leave here until my sister comes back'."
"She misses her sister so much, she prays continuously. 'I prayed today, my sister Gulcan will come back. I saw my sister returning in my dream, dad,' she tells me."
- Protest with son with Down syndrome
Ayten Elhamam also spoke to Anadolu Agency, saying that she continues to protest with her seven-year-old son with Down syndrome, Omer, for her other son, Bayram, to return.
Emphasizing the great challenges they have faced since Bayram was deceived and recruited by the terror group four years ago, Elhamam said she could only send her son to school through state aid.
"My son, who was kidnapped and taken to the mountain, was very fond of his disabled brother. What did we have to do? What did they want with our children? I've been longing for my son and his smell for four years. I'm waiting here with my disabled child."
She said Omer has been praying for his brother's return whenever he sees Bayram's photos.
"I hope I save my son from the hands of those wrongdoers. Have they no conscience at all? They must give us our sons," said Elhamam.
In Turkey, offenders linked to terrorist groups are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law if they surrender.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
*Writing by Merve Berker