Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that more awareness is needed to prevent the terrorist organization PKK from recruiting young and underage members.
"The separatist terror organization [PKK] drags these young people to a bitter fate by recruiting, poisoning, and using them," Erdogan told a ceremony marking the anniversary of the founding of TURGEV, the Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey.
Erdogan said that ignorance is the main culprit for young people joining the PKK. "We need to raise awareness to prevent that," Erdogan said.
The PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU - resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.
Since then, more than 500 security personnel, including troops, police officers, and village guards, have been martyred and over 4,900 PKK terrorists killed in operations across Turkey and northern Iraq.