Investigation launched into claims that children were abducted to fight in PKK

An investigation has been launched in Turkey over claims that the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)’s provincial and district organizations in Diyarbakir have been abducting Kurdish children to be used in armed combat by a terrorist organization, the T24 news portal reported on Sunday.

The HDP members are blamed for abducting a number of Kurdish children in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir to make them fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is regarded as a terrorist organization by the Turkish state.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government accuses the HDP of having links to the militant group that has been fighting an armed insurgency for the Kurdish self-rule in the country since 1984.

Citing a statement by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, T24 said that the investigation into the HDP organizations will examine claims by as many as 16 local families, who have been protesting in front of the HDP building in the province since August 22.

The families, who claim their children had been abducted by the pro-Kurdish party to join the outlawed PKK as child soldiers, say that HDP officials have told them they have no idea about the whereabouts of the children.

The investigation followed a speech on Sunday delivered by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who repeated the families’ claims by stating that the pro-Kurdish HDP is “PKK-backed” and “inhuman” for carrying out what he called “the abduction of 14, 15 and 16-year-old children.”

Meanwhile, HDP’s Diyarbakir representatives called on all the political parties in the Parliament to establish a committee to immediately take action in order to find a radical solution for problems such as this.

The suggestion came during a press meeting on Sunday held by the pro-Kurdish HDP co-mayors Hulya Alokmen, Zeyat Ceylan and lawmakers Saliha Aydeniz and Musa Farisogullari in the party’s provincial building in Diyarbakir.

“This is a clarion call for all the parties in the Parliament. Come and take on some responsibility [to solve the issue],” Farisogullari urged in the statement, adding, “We want to say that we, as the party [HDP], will fulfill whatever responsibilities that we’ll have on our part, as we did before.”

Underlining that they were in no way disturbed by the families’ protests in front of the provincial building, the MP argued: “We have always defended an honorable peace and solution against the war, conflict and the lack of a solution in this geography.”

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