Turkish Deputy PM praises sit-ins for kidnapped children

Monday, June 02, 2014

MARDIN - Sit-ins organized by families of children reportedly kidnapped by the terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey constitute a milestone in the solution process for Kurdish issue, said Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, Emrullah Isler in southeastern Mardin province on Sunday. 

"There is no turnaround for the solution process in Turkey," said Isler.

Those who want blood and tear will not find a future in this country and this eastern region of the country has become one of peace and welfare, stated the deputy Prime Minister.

The sit-ins occurred after the PKK reportedly kidnapped a group of children on April 23. They have made headlines in the country as this is the first-ever public reaction to a kidnapping incident in the region. 

For years, PKK members have allegedly taken children to the mountains to fight. They were being promised a better future, including work and education, according to families and civil society members. Some children have also been reportedly manipulated in training camps into going to the mountains to fight. 

The families of the kidnapped children are determined to continue the protests until they are released. The exact number of children taken to the mountains is unknown.

Turkey's 'solution process' began early last year. The government pledged democratic reforms to empower minorities, particularly the Kurdish minority, which is by far the largest of the country, representing 18 percent of the population. 

Another deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay also voiced support for the process on Sunday, saying "We are conducting the solution process in a democratic way despite all risks and criticisms."

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