Police reports reveal kidnapped district mayor tortured by PKK in Kandil

16 January 2014 /BAYRAM KAYA, ANKARA – A report recently prepared by the National Police Department’s counterterrorism and intelligence units has revealed that Silopi District Mayor Hüsnü Yıldırım, who was kidnapped by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Iraqi city of Arbil in May 2013, was taken to Kandil — PKK’s main camp in northern Iraq — and tortured.

The PKK has started to put pressure on people living in Turkey’s East and Southeast to make them vote for the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in the upcoming elections, which will be held on March 30, despite an ongoing settlement process being conducted between the PKK and the government to end Turkey’s longstanding terrorism problem. The terrorist organization has also been applying pressure on BDP mayors, deputy mayors and other municipal council members who aren’t obeying orders from senior PKK members in Kandil.

Yıldırım — who was chosen as Silopi district mayor by district council members after former District Mayor Emin Toğurlu was imprisoned for his alleged links to the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization encompassing the PKK — was kidnapped by the PKK terrorist organization along with deputy mayor Selahattin Atiz and Silopi District Council member Ayhan Tanış during their visit to Arbil in May 2013. The kidnapped men’s families have not heard from them since.

The recent terrorism report by the police has revealed information on Yıldırım’s situation. According to the report, Yıldırım was brutally punished by the PKK at its Kandil camp for not obeying the organization’s orders. The report states that Yıldırım was brought to Kandil after he was kidnapped. He was judged by a so-called court consisting of PKK members and initially put in solitary confinement. During his sentence, Yıldırım was cruelly tortured and his teeth were pulled out. The report said that the PKK “court” also sentenced Yıldırım to two years of herding cattle in Kandil.

According to the report, the PKK tortured Yıldırım to intimidate other mayors who have refused to obey PKK orders and donate money to the terrorist organization. It also wished to threaten those who will run in the coming local elections as BDP mayoral candidates in regions where the PKK has an active role.

Yıldırım was previously expelled from the BDP without reason and was pressured to resign from his post, according to previous media reports. However, Yıldırım resisted and continued on as mayor, despite unidentified people throwing Molotov cocktail at his house in what appeared to be warnings from the PKK.