Families fight over alleged selling of children to PKK

21 August 2012 / İSMAİL AVCI, DIYARBAKIR – Zaman

A number of families from Beytüşşebap, a town in Şırnak province, have become involved in a feud over accusations that one family has played an important role in selling three 12-year-old children to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

One father involved in the feud is Yusuf Temel, a mayor from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The Cin family reportedly tried to lynch the Temels and members of several other families who accused them of playing a role in selling children to the PKK. Later, Temel family members attacked the home of the Cin family with automatic weapons. Six people were wounded by the weapons and three by sticks and stones in the incident.

There are allegations that children are sold to the PKK for almost 2,000 euros each. A fortnight ago, Ferhat Ataman (12), a worker in an auto-mechanic shop, was taken by the PKK. Ataman, who was a close relative of Temel, is said to have tried to return to his family. The Ataman family has accused the Cin family of selling their child to the PKK.

Meanwhile, further allegations circulated after Yusuf Temel’s 12-year-old son and village headman Cevdet Ulaş’s 13-year-old son were given by unknown people to the PKK. Temel contacted the PKK to retrieve the children, but the PKK authorities allegedly told him that they had paid more than 5,000 euros for the children. Veysi Cin, the main person accused of having played a role in the selling of children, has left Beytüşşebap. Influential tribes in the region have tried to play a mediating role between the feuding families but have been unsuccessful thus far. Security forces in the region have been alerted to the situation. Yusuf Temel declined to comment on the issue.