Controversy Around “Kidnapped And Released” Turkish MP – OpEd


By Gizem Erbas

Turkish parliamentarian Hüseyin Aygün who was kidnapped by the militants of the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) released after 48 hours in 14 August. Aygün, the representative of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said he was detained for propaganda aims. In his statement to the press, he further stated that the abductors were also the citizens of Turkey and they also aimed peace and to cease fire.

Hüseyin Aygün is the deputy of Tunceli which was called as Dersim beforetime. Many Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin used to live in Dersim which had faced a rebellion in 1937. Two Kurdish tribes organized an attack toward a police station and killed 33 soldiers. It caused the Turkish military force to enter into Dersim between 1937 and 1938, as a result of the armed conflict between Turkish and Kurdish tribes. More than thirteen thousand people and 200 soldiers died, and eleven thousand people were forced to migrate to other parts of the country. This rebellion and the consecutive military action still constitute a vulnerable and sensitive issue which is occasionally brought up to the political agenda of Turkey in the 2000s.


Aygün was also the author of a book called “Dersim 1938 and Forced Migration”, in which he blamed the government of the era of rebellion for the tragic events that occured. In his speeches, Aygün has favored to provide further rights to the Kurdish origined citizens in Turkey, even before he was kidnapped by the PKK. The ideas of Aygün and his being kidnapped by militants created a conflict and question marks in minds among many.

Aygün said that “the PKK members are aware that the struggle they are waging is meaningless.” He said that he wished those young people had gone to university instead of going to the mountains to join the PKK. The statements of Aygün was criticized by politicians for approaching a terrorist organization with sympathy and created a difference of opinions within CHP. Aygün was called to Ankara by the party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to discuss the matter of PKK and kidnapping. CHP spokesperson Haluk Koç said that even though Aygün’s statements were claimed to be controversial, Aygün made a call for peace and said PKK could not achieve its aims by arms and violence.


JTW - the Journal of Turkish Weekly - is a respected Turkish news source in English language on international politics. Established in 2004, JTW is published by Ankara-based Turkish think tank International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

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