Kurdish editor faces 21 years jail in
Turkey for PKK rebel propaganda
DIYARBAKIR, Kurdish Southeastern
region of Turkey, — A Turkish court on Wednesday
sentenced the editor-in-chief of a Kurdish-language
newspaper to 21 years and three months in jail on
charges of spreading separatist propaganda.
The court ruled that Ozan Kilinc had "disseminated
the propaganda of a terrorist organization" by
publishing reports and pictures on the outlawed
Turkey Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its jailed
leader in 12 separate issues of the Azadiya Welat
(Independence of Homeland) daily in June last year.
Ozan Kilinc, the editor-in-chief of a
Kurdish-language newspaper Azadiya Welat. DIHA photo
Kilinc, who also owns
the newspaper, was found guilty of "committing a
crime on behalf of the terrorist organization." The
judges issued an arrest warrant for the editor, who
was not present in the courtroom.
Founded in 1994 as a
weekly which turned into a daily in 2006, Azadiya Welat
has often been the target of judicial action on
grounds that it is a mouthpiece for the PKK, which
has led a bloody 25-year rebellion against Ankara.
The paper's previous editor-in-chief,
has been in jail for the past 13 months while being
tried for spreading rebel propaganda, praising
criminals and aiding and abetting rebels,www.ekurd.netaccording
to Bianet, a civic body defending freedom of
Since 1984 PKK took up arms for self-rule in the
mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey
(Turkey-Kurdistan) which has claimed around 45,000
lives of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK
guerrillas. A large Turkey's Kurdish community
openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.
The PKK is considered a
'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK
continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite
court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds'
identity in its constitution and of their language
as a native language along with Turkish in the
country's Kurdish areas,www.ekurd.net
the party also demanded
an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and
constitution against Kurds, ranting them full
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
Last August, the government announced plans to expand
Kurdish freedoms in a bid to erode popular support
for the PKK and end the insurgency.
Although the drive faltered amid a ban on the
country's main Kurdish party, street protests and
PKK violence, Ankara has vowed to push ahead with
|Share this story:
author or news agency, AFP | Agencies
does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news
information on this page