Turkey's PKK rebels free Kurdish MP
August 15, 2012
Huseyin Aygun, a main opposition Republican People's
Party lawmaker from eastern Kurdish city of Tunceli
in SE Turkey (northern Kurdistan) gestures at his
office in Ankara August 13, 2012. Photo: Reuters.
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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey's Kurdish
region,— An ethnic Kurd lawmaker kidnapped by
Kurdish rebels has been freed on Tuesday, local
security sources told AFP, confirming an earlier
report by private NTV television network.
Huseyin Aygun, of the Republican People's Party (CHP)
in the southeastern Kurdish city of Tunceli
(northern Kurdistan), was
abducted Sunday after rebels stopped
his car on the highway.
The lawmaker was released near Ovacik town in the
Tunceli province, governor Mustafa Taskesen told NTV.
"He is in good health and expected to be in Tunceli
after judicial procedures are concluded," the
Aygun said "My two-day adventure in the mountains
ended tonight. The people who carried this out said
they were doing it to spread their political
"They said they chose this path to resolve the
Kurdish conflict and stop the bloodshed ... there
was nothing life-threatening about this, it was a
way of making a political statement." Reuters
Aygun had refused to testify at a nearby police
station and said he wanted to go to Tunceli, local
security sources told AFP.
Turkish security forces launched on Monday an
operation to locate the abducted lawmaker.
The operation came amid intensified clashes between
Kurdish rebels and Turkish troops in the region.
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels had confirmed
in a statement they were holding the lawmaker and
warned Turkey to abandon its rescue operation.
It marked the first time since PKK rebels began
their battle for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdistan
region in southeast in 1984 that they have abducted
a member of the Turkish parliament.
August 15, 1984, is considered the start of the
PKK's armed struggle
Kurdish rebels frequently kidnap workers, soldiers
and local authorities to bargain for the release of
captured rebels, and free most hostages without
Aygun, 42, has in the past called on the PKK to
abandon their violent campaign.
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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