April 27, 2014, Sunday/ 19:35:49/ TODAYSZAMAN .COM/ ISTANBUL
The kidnapping took place when a group of terrorist PKK supporters blocked a road heading to the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Saturday in protest of the construction of a gendarmerie outpost. With the blockade, the armed group, which took part in the protest along with civilians, caused a traffic backup as a long line of 90-100 vehicles formed.
While checking the IDs of passengers on a bus, the armed group noticed two unarmed sergeants who were heading to Diyarbakır. The armed group forcefully abducted the two officers, prompting the Turkish military to launch an operation in the area to secure their release.
In another incident, the Turkish military said in a statement on Saturday, a group of PKK terrorists opened fire from the Iraqi side of the border on a military unit positioned in a mountainous area in rural parts of Şemdinli, a district of the southeastern province of Hakkari. The security forces returned fire at the PKK group, which fled the area. A military attack helicopter and a reconnaissance plane were sent to the area.
This is the not the first time the PKK or groups affiliated with the terrorist organization have kidnapped civilians or soldiers in the region, highlighting the fragile nature of the ongoing settlement process aimed at ending the decades-old Kurdish dispute and armed conflict.
The PKK declared a cease-fire last year, but halted the withdrawal of its forces from Turkey months later. The halting of the withdrawal has drawn the “peace talks” between the Turkish state and the terrorist group to the brink of deadlock. The PKK’s reckless activities throughout the region are fueling fears of a revival of clashes.
Tensions ensued on Sunday in Diyarbakır’s Lice district when PKK-affiliated protesters again rallied against the construction of the gendarmerie outpost. Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces, leaving nine soldiers wounded when a stun grenade thrown by a protester exploded.
The wounded soldiers were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. The soldiers are not in critical condition.
Also on Sunday, the parents and relatives of 15 high school students launched a sit-in protest in Diyarbakır, claiming that the students had been kidnapped by the PKK.
According to news reports, members of the terrorist group took the students on a picnic on April 23 but the students have not returned to their homes since then. Erol Böçkün, the father of 15-year-old M.S.B., said that he has no idea where his son is. “They may have killed my son. How can they kidnap a 15-year-old boy to recruit [him to the PKK]?” he asked.
Böçkün also claimed that some pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy (BDP) officials spoke to PKK members to persuade them to allow the kidnapped boys to return to their families, but the terrorist group refused to comply.