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 Intellectuals in Turkey launched "We are all KCK" campaign

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Intellectuals in Turkey launched "We are all KCK" campaign  3.11.2011  

November 3, 2011

ISTANBUL,— Following the arrest of 61-year-old professor and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Assembly member Büşra Ersanlı and 63-year-old publisher and writer Ragıp Zarakolu, intellectuals have started a campaign they labelled "We are all KCK". KCK (Kurdish Communities Union) is alleged by the prosecutors to be the "urban wing" of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). ANF news agency reported.

What exactly is this "urban wing", what its scopes and role is hard to say because the prosecutors so far have not been able to explain it themselves. Indeed they keep asking for the arrest of thousands without specifying why. Worse, they hide behind the KCK fig leaf and put other charges into the bargain so to make it almost sure that the people they want to see in jail actually end up behind bars.         

Lawyer and human rights activist Eren Keskin.
A reaction to this indiscriminate and above all unmotivated arrests has been mounting in recent weeks, and it kind of reached a pick with the arrest, last week of Ersanlı and Zarakolu. If there was any further evidence that the "KCK excuse" could be used against anyone, that was it.

The new campaign, "We are all KCK", is being launched by lawyers Eren Keskin, Ayşe Batumlu, Leman Yurtsever, Hürriyet Şener and photographer Veysi Altay invited people to take part in this activity. By now, 50 people, including writer, activists and poet Roni Margulies, sociologist İsmail Beşikçi, Dr. Şebnem Korurfincancı, ecologist Bilge Contepe, writer A.Hicri İzgören, singer Ferhat Tunç, Şanar Yurdatapan and many leaders from leftist parties and organizations, signed the petition.

The campaign's promoters announced that this action will take place in a couple days.

Workers from Office Workers’ Trade Union have today staged a protest against the government policy of indiscriminate attacks against people who are organizing against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

KCK-trial, on October 18, 2010 a Turkish court began the trial of 152 high profile Kurdish politicians and rights defenders, accused of being the urban wing of the outlawed separatist Kurdish (Kurdistan Workers' Party) PKK rebels.

Over 7748 people were taken into custody and 3895 persons were arrested in the scope of KCK operations during the past six months [till October 2011], the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party announced. Dozens of BDP executives and employees are still in prison.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

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 expectations.

The PKK is considered as '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. 
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