MARDIN, Turkey

Weeks have passed since the PKK terror group executed a total of 13 unarmed hostages — most of who were Turkish citizens — in northern Iraq’s Gara region; Sehmus Kaya, a father of one of the victims, is still haunted by the gruesome act of the terror group, which he said revealed the true colors of the PKK.

Vedat Kaya, a Turkish police officer, was forcibly abducted by the terror group on July 24, 2015, in Lice district of southeastern Diyarbakir province of Turkey while he was traveling along with his family; he was taken to the mountains of northern Iraq together with other abductees and then to the Gara region, where they were executed at close-range shooting at the hands of the terrorists in a cave complex.

63-year-old Father Kaya, who identified his deceased son in Malatya province shortly after the executions, said the PKK starved his son and others while they were held hostage, saying his son’s bodyweight significantly dropped over the course of six years.

“He was skinny. My 85-kilo Vedat was dropped to 45-50 kg. They [PKK] did not even give him bread, so that was it. I looked all around my martyred son. He was thin, really thin. I cannot put this into words,” he said.

He continued: “A human being, six years… Think about it… You [PKK] abduct by force of gun and keep him in a cave for six years… They did not feed [hostages] to the extent that even their bones had thinned. All skin and bones, no creature can do such a thing… I do not know how to tell…”

The moment he identified his son ahead of the autopsy still deeply haunts the father, who said he would see the dead body of his child the second he closed his eyes every time he laid on his bed to sleep; he said he hoped no mother or father would ever find themselves in his shoes for this was suffering that many people could not overcome, the kind of pain that would never heal.

While many terror-affiliated media organs quickly rushed to disseminate false information on the fate of the executed individuals, alleging it was Turkish warplanes responsible for their death, the father confirmed that his son and others were martyred with a single bullet.

“They [terror affiliates] say war jets of Turkey carried out a bombardment… This is a lie. It has no truth in it. I myself checked the body bag along with two officers. His mother and brother were there as well,” he said. “[Turkish] state is not the blame here. It was after [hostages] since the first day of the abduction… The state did what was required… If there had been a bombardment, the corpses would have been torn apart. My son was martyred with a single bullet.”

He went on to say that he received phone calls from abroad roughly two days before the Turkish operation in the region and the callers sought to feed him false news so he could have anti-Turkey rhetoric in his statements.

Learning demise of a beloved son is one disastrous event for any caring father, and Sehmus Kaya was no exception; however, he said he was preparing himself to hear the worst for the past six years as his son was a “martyr in father’s mind” the very first day he was abducted years ago. He was aware of how cruel the PKK had been in the past decades.

“The PKK has nothing to do with Kurds,” he said, adding that the people of Kurdish origin were the worst-affected people by the PKK, which he said was nothing more than a proxy organization working for the benefit of anyone except for Kurds. He went on to say that the terror group forcibly recruited sons and daughters of Kurdish families, imposed its will on these people, and executed anyone who raised objections to its policies.

Even though the bad news regarding his son pained him to his core, he is still proud that his son served for Turkish police with honor and not bowed down to the terror group; “I am proud of my son, I wish things were different, but he will always live in our hearts,” he said.

Father Kaya had also joined the ongoing sit-in protest outside the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) office, which was first launched on Sept. 3, 2019, with three mothers saying the PKK, and its Syrian offshoot YPG forcibly recruited their children. The sit-in is staged in Diyarbakir province and hundreds have attended the protest. At least 24 terror affiliates surrendered to the Turkish authorities; those who surrender are subject to repentance law.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

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