Two young men abducted from the Bradost region in Iraqi Kurdistan by Turkish soldiers controlling the area have reportedly been taken to a military base in Turkey.
The Turkish army abducted Ekrem Xelîl Zikrî (20) and Zêdan Nebî Mistefa (19) from Dayla village in Bradost in the Erbil Governorate on 31 December, Roj News reported.
According to reports, Turkish soldiers have taken the two young Kurdish men to Turkey and they are being held in a military base in Derecik (Rubarok) in the southeastern province of Hakkari (Colemerg).
Although four days have passed since the young men were abducted, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is yet to make a statement on the matter.
Turkey has also made no statement on the arrest of the two youths.
‘How can Turkish soldiers abduct our children from our own country?’
Speaking to Roj News, Xelîl Zikrî, the father of Ekrem Xelîl Zikrî, said the following:
‘Ekrem is my son, Zêdan is a cousin. They are shepherds and they were grazing their animals when a group of Turkish soldiers attacked them. They tried to run away, to escape from the soldiers. I spoke to them, but the soldiers caught up with them and abducted them.’
He continued: ‘After they were abducted they were taken to the military base in Şemdinli [Turkey] for interrogation. My son and his friend haven’t done anything wrong, they were simply just shepherds in their own village. They weren’t involved in anything else, they were just grazing their animals. My son had got married just three days before.’
Xelîl Zikrî said: ‘We reported the incident to the Kurdistan Regional Government, and we visited the Peshmerga (KRG armed forces), the internal security forces and the authorities. But we haven’t been told anything yet.’
He made the following plea: ‘I call on the KRG to take action. What right do Turkish soldiers have to enter our lands, abduct our children and take them to Turkey? We are on our own soil.’
Lawyer Karwan Kazım: The abduction by Turkey of citizens is unlawful
Lawyer Karwan Kazım says that the abduction by Turkey of the two citizens in Bradost tramples on Iraqi and international laws, and that Iraq and the KRG must not remain silent.
‘Any citizen of Iraq who commits an offence must be tried by the Iraqi courts. No outside force may detain, abduct or mistreat any Iraqi citizen within Iraq’s borders. This must be treated very seriously, the fate of the young men must be investigated, because they are Iraqis and citizens of the Kurdistan Region, and the Kurdistan Region is a part of Iraq according to Iraqi law. The legal agreements must be presented to Turkey and the release of the youths secured. If they have committed an offence then Turkey may apply to Iraq through legal channels. Iraq has numerous legal rights to challenge against Turkey, but it is not exercising them.’