Kurdish PKK rebels kidnap ethnic Kurdish
lawmaker in Turkey
August 13, 2012
Huseyin Aygun, a main opposition Republican People's
Party lawmaker from eastern Kurdish city of Tunceli
(northern Kurdistan). Turkish troops launched a
search Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 for the lawmaker
kidnapped by Kurdish rebels near Tunceli,
authorities and the lawmaker's party said. Aygun was
abducted Sunday evening at a roadblock between the
town of Ovacik and Tunceli, said party spokesman
Haluk Koc during a televised news conference. A
journalist and an adviser traveling with him were
set free, he added. •
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TUNCELI, Turkey's Kurdish region,—
Kurdish rebels abducted late Sunday an ethnic
Kurdish lawmaker from the Republican People's Party
(CHP) in the south-eastern Kurdish city of Tunceli,
security sources and local officials said.
Tunceli lawmaker Huseyin Aygun was kidnapped by
members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) after
his car was stopped by the rebels on the highway,
security sources told AFP.
The rebels let Aygun's assistant and a journalist
accompanying them leave as they took Aygun and
disappeared into the woods nearby, Tunceli governor
Mustafa Taskesen told reporters, citing witnesses.
NTV reported that Taskesen had highlighted that the
kidnapping came ahead of the 28th anniversary of the
rebels' first armed attack on Aug. 15, 1984.
NTV television reported Gov. Mustafa Taskesen of
Tunceli province as saying that Aygun was kidnapped
under orders from Kurdish rebel command.
Aygun was elected to the Parliament to represent
Tunceli, where he worked as a lawyer for 14 years.
According to his website, his work focuses on human
such as the forcible evacuations of Kurdish villages
to deny support to the rebels in rural areas, as
well as torture cases.
His adviser, Deniz Tunc, told NTV television that
Aygun had resisted the rebels and quarreled with
them in Kurdish for half an hour before convincing
them to free him and the journalist. The rebels
reportedly said "he will be our guest for a while,"
Tunc was quoted as saying.
The abduction was also confirmed by the CHP, the
main opposition party with 135 lawmakers in the
550-seat Turkish parliament.
The incident follows the abduction of three soldiers
last week in another part of Turkey's Kurdish region
in the south-east.
Turkish security forces launched an operation to
locate Aygun, as the search continued for the
Kurdish rebels frequently kidnap workers, soldiers
and local authorities to bargain for the release of
captured rebels. Those who have not been found by
Turkish forces are reportedly held captive in
hideouts across Turkey's border with Iraq.
Last Sunday, Kurdish rebels stormed a Turkish army
post on the Iraq border, triggering fighting that
killed 22 people in the latest clash since Ankara
unleashed a major offensive against the insurgents.
A series of similar assaults against troops in the
Kurdish-dominated south-east prompted the army to
launch an all-out offensive against PKK bases in the
area last month.
At least 115 rebels have been killed since the
offensive began on July 23, Turkish authorities
said. The abductions might be a response on the part
of the rebels, according to Turkish media.
The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem,
Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.
Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state,
which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish
state in the south east of the country.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights
for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more
than 20 million.
A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional
self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in
Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey,
reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action
against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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