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 Turkish prosecutor removed from PKK-related case

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Turkish prosecutor removed from PKK-related case  11.2.2012  
By staff writers

Sadrettin Sarikaya was off the investigation into the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK). Photo: See Related Links

Former MIT Undersecretary Emre Taner is to be 'detained on sight' photo: AA
February 11, 2012

ISTANBUL, — Turkey's prosecutions office said Saturday it had removed one of its prosecutors from a PKK-related case after he ordered the arrest of four intelligence agents for refusing a summons for questioning.

Istanbul's deputy prosecutor Fikret Secen said Sadrettin Sarikaya was off the investigation into the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an underground group thought to have links to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Anatolia news agency reported.

He would be replaced by two other magistrates, Secen said.

The move against Sarikaya came after he summoned Hakan Fidan, the head of the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), for questioning, Anatolia reported.

He also issued arrest warrants against former MIT chief Emre Taner, another former senior officer and two active members of the service after they ignored a summons for questioning on Thursday.

Turkish media reported that the MIT officials had been summoned by the prosecutor because, according to him, they had exceeded their powers by seeking a settlement with the outlawed organisation during the negotiations.

But the MIT had sent a statement to the Istanbul prosecutor to say that regulations required the prime minister's authorisation for any investigation into the intelligence service, said media reports.

Fidan, who was appointed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had secret talks with representatives of the PKK in 2010 in Oslo.

Recordings of the Oslo talks between MIT and the Kurdish rebels were leaked in the media last year, sparking outrage among opposition politicians.

They accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of having abandoned the official position of no contact with the PKK.

The PKK took up arms in southeastern Turkey in 1984.

But many specialists argue that there is no military solution to the conflict and that political talks are required.

The investigation into the KCK has so far led to the arrest of hundreds of Kurds and was one fact in the failure in 2009 of a more conciliatory government policy towards the Kurdish community.

The KCK-trial began on October 18, 2010 when 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 PKK rebels.

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

At least 567 people were detained by police from 10 December 2011 to 3 January 2012. Among the detainees, including mayors, students, children, human rights activists and union members, over 350 were remanded in custody and sent to prison.

On February 4, 2012, members from the Swedish Parliament nominate imprisoned Turkish publisher and human rights defender Ragıp Zarakolu who is in jail for KCK links for the Nobel Peace.

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. 

Compiled by from agency reports

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