Beyza Binnur Donmez: The Turkish president on Sunday slammed the failure of Western human right defenders to do anything to help a group of mothers protesting and seeking the return of their children, who they say were kidnapped by the terrorist group PKK.
“Where are these Western human rights defenders? Did they ever come and visit the Diyarbakir mothers? They have nothing to do with human rights advocacy,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan said in a speech at an opening ceremony in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
Since Sept. 3, 2019, families whose children were allegedly abducted or forcibly recruited by the PKK have camped outside the Diyarbakir offices of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – a party the Turkish government said has links with the terror group, and is currently facing a closure case in the nation’s highest court.
Demonstrations have since spread to other provinces, including Van, Mus, Sirnak, and Hakkari.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Erdogan has frequently decried Western countries’ failure to show solidarity in the face of PKK terrorist attacks, including allowing PKK terrorists to live and hold protests on European soil, or the US supporting the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the YPG.