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Mayor’s Sons Split by Turkey War as Funerals Test Peace Plan

Abdullah Demirbas told his two sons that Turkey’s Kurds should claim their rights through politics, not war. One agreed, and is preparing to start compulsory service in Turkey’s army. The other didn’t, and fled to the mountains to join militants fighting against it.

“When warplanes flew sorties over our house, my wife prayed until the morning,” fearing for the safety of their younger son as Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK bases came under Turkish bombardment, Demirbas said. Baran, 20, joined the group four years ago, according to Demirbas, mayor of a district in Turkey’s main Kurdish city, Diyarbakir. “He said results can only be achieved through arms. My other son is a teacher and he believes in politics, like me.”