Parents protesting their children’s abduction by the PKK terrorists in front of the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters in Diyarbakır criticized Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu for not dropping by during his visit in town.
Father Süleyman Aydın, who spoke on behalf of the families, said they condemn the mayor for failing to share their pain. He noted that the families from all across Turkey have been protesting rain or shine and that the HDP has been ignoring them. He said they were happy that Imamoğlu was visiting Diyarbakır and hoped that he would visit them.
“We were sad that he did not visit us or share our pain,” the father said, adding that Imamoğlu chose to side with the HDP, Demirören News Agency (DHA) reported Sunday.
Meanwhile, father Celil Bektaş also condemned Imamoğlu for ignoring the parents.
“I urge everyone to listen to their conscience,” he said, adding that he also condemns Imamoğlu.
The Istanbul mayor was in Diyarbakır to attend an art exhibition and told reporters that it was not a political visit. He visited shopkeepers in the historical Sur district and met with other businesspeople during his visit.
Families in Diyarbakır province have been protesting since Sept. 3, 2019, encouraging their children who were abducted or forcibly recruited by the terrorist group to give up their weapons and surrender to Turkish authorities.
Protests in Diyarbakır outside HDP headquarters started with three mothers who claimed the terrorists had forcibly recruited their children.
The HDP, long facing public scrutiny and judicial probes over its ties to the PKK, is under pressure from the growing civilian movement. Various groups from around Turkey have supported the Kurdish mothers in their cause, with many paying visits to show their solidarity.
In its more than 40-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.