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August 15, 2012, Wednesday

Kidnapping a parliamentarian

The terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) kidnapped Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Hüseyin Aygün on Sunday, and freed him after two days of captivity in the mountains of Dersim. From the very beginning, PKK sources made clear that he would be released and that they had no intention of harming Aygün. The CHP deputy preferred to speak to the press, rather than prosecutors, about the details of his kidnapping. His words are enlightening regarding the current situation of the PKK.

Apparently, the PKK operatives in and around Tunceli who set the roadblock were young people. They were speaking directly to Fehman Hüseyin (aka Bahoz Erdal), who asked them not to harm Aygün. His kidnappers told him that their intention was to send a message of peaceful coexistence to the Turkish people through him. They told him that they liked the CHP’s policies, and wanted the opposition party and Aygün himself to be more active in the resolution of the Kurdish problem. They asked Aygün to continue working in politics without any party affiliation.

Aygün replied that this was not possible under the shadow of guns and, interestingly, he found the young PKK operatives quite in line with his thinking: “We also know that the armed struggle we have been running is totally meaningless. All we want is a plan for democratic autonomy that does not necessitate armed struggle. This exists in many European countries. In that sense we know already that the struggle we have been running is meaningless.”

This may sound like simple organizational propaganda. But it reveals that the operatives of the PKK are not reporting directly to Murat Karayılan, but to Hüseyin. Hüseyin is the head of the Syrian wing of the PKK, and his ability to intervene in a high-level kidnapping around Dersim (Tunceli) suggests that the younger generation of the PKK is more and more inclined towards a Syrian-PKK line. This younger generation, Aygün claims, looks as if they would like to turn back towards home. When releasing Aygün, they hugged and kissed him and asked him not to forget his brothers in the mountains. They repeatedly said that they believe whoever is killed in this struggle is a son of this country. Aygün himself confirmed that the youngsters who kidnapped him were “children of this country.” But who is Hüseyin? And why on earth does Aygün use his nom de guerre in referring to him? Is this Syrian man also a child of this country?

Aygün had analyzed the situation quite well: The terrorists wanted to convey a message to the Turkish people, a message of peace and ceasefire. And instead of speaking to the prosecutors as soon as he was released, Aygün, despite claiming that he was very tired, opted to speak to the press, and seemed to be playing his role quite willingly. I do have a sense that what he claims the terrorists said to him is in fact what he wanted the “armed children of this country” to have said to him. He is putting words in the mouths of the terrorists, and romanticizing his kidnapping by saying: “I had missed the mountains of Dersim anyway. … I know these mountains inch by inch.”

All evidence points to Stockholm Syndrome. He should have spoken to the prosecutors and security forces before making any public declaration. He has been released, but his soul is still kidnapped. His heart is still in the mountains.

Is this a part of what the terrorists were suggesting when they said, “He and his party should do more to solve the Kurdish problem?” We will see in the near future.

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