Pvt. Aykut Çelik was kidnapped by the PKK, along with a candidate for district governor and a medic on Aug. 12 of this year. However, Çelik escaped from the hands of the terrorists on Sept. 19 after being held for 38 days. In his statement to military authorities, Çelik said the PKK uses rural areas as its home base. Çelik said that during his time with the terrorists, they passed the area in the Silvan district of Diyarbakır where 13 soldiers were killed in a PKK attack on July 14. several times. “One time, we went through the Dolapdere area in Silvan, where the 13 soldiers were martyred this summer. The land in that area was totally burnt,” said Çelik.
Çelik stated that he spent six days together with the other kidnapped person, Kenan Erenoğlu, and he believes that Erenoğlu is still being held in the highlands of Silvan. Çelik said they were mobile most of the time and that once two Cobra helicopters passed by but continued on their way when the terrorists ceased all movement. Çelik said terrorists in the region move around very comfortably and that they are always on the move from one terrorist camp to another.
The terrorist camp called Şehit Kendal is just opposite a gendarmerie post, Çelik said, adding: “Terrorists watch the gendarmerie posts with binoculars, and at night they go and collect money from people living in the city, which they call ‘tax money.' There was a terrorist with the codename ‘Reber,' who would take five other terrorists with him to go and collect money from people in the town at night. In the mornings Mehmet Şıh Yıldeniz [one of the PKK members] would return with a lot of money. I have witness them counting enormous amounts of money. They put the money collected into a jar and bury it somewhere in the woods.”
Çelik said that he realized there was a road passing by the place he was last kept by his captors when he heard a truck driving by. “When I realized that the road was not far from where I was being kept, I began to plan my escape. There was a terrorist called ‘Hamza' who had recently joined the PKK. I asked him for permission to go to the toilet. I first started walking away very quietly, and then I ran and got out of the area. I stopped a vehicle in the Hazro-Silvan-Kulp triangle and asked them for a cell phone. I first called the gendarmes and then my father.”
The PKK, which recently stepped up its attacks in the country's East and Southeast, has killed more than 40 soldiers in the past few months and has kidnapped 30 people in total. The PKK has been declared a terrorist organization by the international community, including the US and the EU.