A Young Syrian Al-Qaeda Member: “It is too late, I cannot come back anymore.”

SYRIA IN CONTEXT, 21 Oct 2013

International Network for Justice – TRANSCEND Media Service

Non-governmental organisations have been protesting the fact that young people from the eastern cities of Turkey, such as Adiyaman, Bingol, Batman, Urfa, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep and Bitlis are being taken to war in Syria. Cemal Kilicparlar, father of Mehmet Yilmaz who joined Al-Qaeda almost 18 months ago says: “I learned that since my son Mehmet Yilmaz has joined Al-Qaeda, he has been three times back in Turkey. However, the police did not do anything in order to arrest him. I started a hunger strike in Guven Park, Ankara. The police, instead of finding my son, took me under custody. To be honest, I am not expecting my son to be back anymore. Still the government has to do something in order to prevent other young people to be convinced to go to war.”

“Why didn’t you warn me?”

The Syria story of Mehmet Yilmaz started two years ago. “Two years ago my son started visiting an association in our neighborhood. Some time later he went to Ankara for 20 days, I don’t know why. Then, he went to Gaziantep to join the Holy Birth Week events. Not being able to hear from him anymore, I went to the police station. The police told me that the association he joined was linked with Al-Qaeda. When I asked them why they did not warn me about the situation, they said ‘We have identified 170 people who went to Syria from Gaziantep. However, we cannot do anything since these young people went there voluntarily. We are trying to keep families away from such issues.’ When I heard that, I felt astonished. How come my son joins an association linked with Al-Qaeda and police does not let me know about it?” says the father.

“He has been to Turkey several times.”

Cemal Kilicparlar has learned that his son has came to Turkey many times after he joined Al-Qaeda but the police has not done anything in order to arrest him. “One day my son called me and said that he was in Syria. He was in Aleppo. When I asked him to come back, he said, ‘Now it is too late. I came here voluntarily. I will never come back.’ Then I turned to prosecution. The prosecution office told me that my son has entered into Turkey for three times and has been injured from his arm once. When I asked them why they did not arrest my son while he was in Turkey, they did not respond. We started a hunger strike with his mother in Guven Park, Ankara in order to make ourselves heard. But we were taken under custody by the police on the 38th hour of our strike and taken to anti-terror branch. We were released after being interrogated. Now we are down at the heels. We try to make ourselves heard, but noone actually heard us. . To be honest, I am not expecting my son to be back anymore. Still the government has to do something in order to prevent other young people to be convinced to go to war,” he says.

CHP submits a parliamentary question

Saying that they will submit a parliamentary question about the groups organizing the young people and taking them to Syria in cities such as Adiyaman, Bingol, Batman, Urfa, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep and Bitlis, Sezgin Tanrikulu, CHP (Republican People’s Party) Diyarbakir MP stated: “We have been notified by various NGOs that some associations in Turkey are taking young people to Syria. Two families have came to us for the same issue. We have prepared a parliamentary question in order to learn how and by whom these young people have been taken to Syria. The government has to do all it can as soon as possible.”

The security intelligence knows everything

Ozturk Turkdogan, chairman of Human Rights Association, claims that the police is aware of the fact that young people in the Southeastern Region are being taken to Syria. “We have notified by several people that illegal radical islamist groups are organizing young people for religion and taking them to Syria. While it is obvious that some groups are recruiting troops to join the civil war in Syria, we are surprised that both the police and security intelligence are closing their eyes to the activities of these groups. Even though the families who came to us have gone to the police and prosecution offices, required proceedings have not been started. While organizations based in Turkey cannot run their activities that easily, how come Syria-based organizations are able to run so easily? We believe that there is a serious security gap in the region regarding this issue. We will make an appeal to the parliament to ensure that the organizations recruiting troops from Turkey to Syria will be busted and those young people will be taken back to Turkey,” he said.

Also Ahmet Faruk Unsal, chairman of Mazlum-Der called the authorities to bring back these young people from Syria.

Translated by Reyhan Tuncay

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International Network for Justice is the Facebook Page of the International Judicial War Crime Initiative for the crimes against the people of Syria. Organized by the Peace Association of Turkey and the World Peace Council.

 

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Oct 2013.

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