The teenagers, aged between 16 and 18, were rescued during an anti-PKK operation launched when the girls were taken to a mountainous area to be recruited into the group, the source -- who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media -- added.

As part of an investigation carried out by the provincial public prosecutor’s office, anti-terror police started an operation to save the girls. After the teenagers’ testimonies were taken at a local court, they were released and returned home.

One of the teenagers made a complaint against the person who allegedly tried to recruit them into the PKK.

One of the girls said they made communication with someone identified at the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)’s office in Van’s Ercis district. The girl said one individual identified only as V.A. led them into trying to join the PKK.

In her testimony, seen by Anadolu Agency, she said: “When I and my friend discussed the issue, she said she was going to the HDP office.

“I didn’t know she was involved in the party. My friend talked to a man. Then we went out and walked through. She wasn’t in a good mood. When I asked what happened, she told me: ‘She is going to join the PKK.’

“I was not aware of her thinking to go to the mountains. I told her: ‘We should continue our education and you shouldn’t go.’

“In the evening, while texting, she wrote to me: ‘She is going to leave.’ I texted her: ‘I will not leave you; I will come along with you.’

“Then she contacted the person she met at the HDP office. On the way, someone else also got in the car.”

During the operation two people suspected of recruiting children were detained by the police; the investigation is ongoing.

Anadolu Agency