Pro-Kurdish HDP organisations in Turkey’s southeast under investigation over child abduction claims
The Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into district and local pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) organisations, which are accused of abducting Kurdish children to be used in armed combat by a terrorist organisation.
The investigation will examine claims by as many as 16 local families, who say their children were abducted by the party's local offices for the purpose of fighting with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), independent news site T24 quoted the prosecutor’s office as saying.
The PKK has been fighting an armed insurgency for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984 and is labelled a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union. Ankara accuses the pro-Kurdish HDP, which has a large backing in the country’s east and southeast, of links to the organisation and is pursuing a crackdown on the party’s lawmakers.
Over a dozen Kurdish families have been protesting since August 22 in front of the HDP headquarters in Diyarbakır claiming their children had been abducted by the pro-Kurdish party to join the outlawed organisation as child soldiers.
The families say HDP officials have told them they have no idea about the whereabouts of the children.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday echoed the claims by the families during a speech he delivered in the eastern province of Malatya, where he blasted the ‘’PKK-backed HDP’’ for what he called ‘’abducting 14,15,16 year old children.’’