DIYARBAKIR, Turkey

Hopeful wait of a large group of families, who stand firm to end their sit-in only when they reunite with their kids abducted by YPG/PKK terrorists, continued in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday.

The protest began on Sept. 3 last year in the city of Diyarbakir, when Fevziye Cetinkaya, Remziye Akkoyun and Aysegul Bicer said their children had been forcibly recruited by the PKK terrorists.

The sit-in outside the office of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) — which the government accuses of having links to YPG/PKK — has been growing day by day with the participation of many others since then.

On the 352nd day of the protest, mother Songul Altintas vowed that she would not leave there until she reunites with her son Muslum, who was kidnapped by the terrorists six years ago while he was on his way to enroll in the Turkish army.

“Enough already, hear our voice and release our children,” Altintas said, adding they continued the protest regardless of severe weather conditions and even the pandemic-driven threats.

Celil Bektas, one of the protesting fathers, urged the HDP to bring his son Yusuf back.

“My son’s jacket was found here [HDP headquarters],” he said, pointing out that the protest neared a year and still no one claimed that Yusuf was not there before he was taken to the mountains to be recruited by the YPG/PKK terrorists.

“I’m not leaving here without my son,” Bektas pledged.

Offenders in Turkey linked to terrorist groups who surrender are eligible for possible sentence reductions under a repentance law.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

*Contributions and writing by Sena Guler

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