The PKK terrorist group boasts recruiting a large number of female militants to its cause but accounts of female militants surrendered to security forces indicate a darker side to the women’s role in the group. An intelligence report based on those accounts shows that women were treated as sex slaves by the group that has killed thousands in Turkey since the 1980s. Cases of rape and sexual abuse as well as threats to keep women quiet over those cases are widespread within the group, the report shows.
Militants claim to fight for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey and recruit brainwashed Kurdish youth who travel to northern Iraq where the group has hideouts in a mountainous area.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU, resumed its decades-old armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015. The terrorist group murdered over 800 security personnel and 300 civilians since then; while also losing more than 10,000 militants in the meantime, who were either killed or apprehended in anti-terror operations.
Over the past 10 years, 571 female PKK members surrendered to security forces, while 8,661 were arrested in anti-terror operations.
The intelligence reports, compiled from the testimonies collected from female PKK militants who surrendered, have brought the treatment of female militants to light.
Young girls, often abducted from their families or brainwashed into joining the terrorist group, are subject to violence and exploitation ranging from being used as sex slave, being subject to rape, to being tortured.
Witnesses indicate that female militants who resist the exploitation are often labeled as being Turkish state agents, and end up being executed, while also noting that suicide is common among female militants subject to molestation.
Other testimonies report that the PKK terrorists often drop the corpses of militants who commit suicide, or who are executed, in anti-terror operations sites, in an effort to portray the militants as having been killed by Turkish security forces.
The testimony of a 32-year-old witness, identified by the initials K.S., reported that she had served as the bodyguard of top PKK leader Murat Karayılan between 2002-2003 with 28 other female terrorists. She reports that a 17-year-old girl, named Dilan, who happened to be tall, green-eyed and beautiful, committed suicide by detonating a hand grenade after being sexually abused by Karayılan.
Another witness, known by the initials S.K., said that a female militant Dilber was executed after it was revealed that she had been raped by Cemil Bayık, who is coded Cuma and known to be one of PKK’s main leaders based in northern Iraq’s Qandil camp.
She also noted that Cemile Kaytan, the wife of high-ranking PKK terrorist Ali Haydar Kaytan, became pregnant when she was serving in other camp. She aborted the unwanted pregnancy, and burnt the 8-month embryo in a stove in order not to leave any trace behind.
24-year-old B.Y. said that she was molested publicly by the man in charge of the cave where she was residing. Later on, she said that she immediately fled and surrendered to Turkish security forces when the assaulter started spreading false rumors that she was a spy.
F.G., 32-years-old, explained that she was abducted by PKK recruiters, before being taken to the mountains where she was sexually exploited for two months, before escaping and surrendering.
25-year-old H.K. said that she was lured into joining the PKK following a meeting with a recruiter who told her that the PKK could send her to Europe, where she could receive training. She noted that the PKK sent her to its Qandil camps, where she saw the execution of two Syrian Kurdish female terrorists who had become pregnant after being raped.
She also stressed that during her stay in Qandil, a female PKK militant named Selma D. was raped by K.C. who was caught by Turkish security forces, and is currently in jail in Diyarbakır Prison, in eastern Turkey. Selma D. had shot herself with her own weapon following the incident, but the PKK announced that she had died in clashes with the Turkish security forces.
S.A. said she joined the PKK when she was 19 years old. She said that she personally went to the headquarters in Qandil after being raped, and complained to the PKK leadership.
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