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 Spain: Syrian Kurd who threw shoe at Turkey's Erdogan willing to return home

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Spain: Syrian Kurd who threw shoe at Turkey's Erdogan willing to return home  21.2.2012  
By staff writers

A Syrian man of Kurdish origin has been sentenced to 3 years in Spain for throwing shoe at Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Hokman Joma is willing to return to his homeland, Syrian Kurdistan. Photo: EPA 2010
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February 21, 2012

MADRID, — Spanish daily El Pais reported that Syrian Kurd Hokman Joma, who is in jail for throwing a shoe at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2010, is willing to return to his homeland, Syrian Kurdistan [western Kurdistan].

Joma has spent two years in jail after throwing a shoe at Erdoğan in the Spanish city of Sevilla but could possibly be released next year, the report said, he been sentenced to three years in jail in Spain.

Hokman Joma, 29-year-old, tried to hit Erdogan with a shoe on February 22, 2010 as the Turkish leader got into a car during a visit to the southern city of Seville,  When he threw his shoe, Joma was chanting ‘Free Kurdistan!

Joma said during the trial that he never intended to hurt the prime minister but only to "draw attention" to the situation of the Kurdish people in Turkey.

Kurds are the largest ethnic group without a state of their own, perceived as posing a separatist threat and without any formal representation on the world stage. They have been subjected to genocide, crimes against humanity and a host of other human rights abuses. Ethnic cleansing programms have been implemented, accompanied by mass killings, displacement and prohibitions on Kurdish culture and language.

Over the last thirty years, the Kurdish regions have been the scenes of genocide, crimes against humanity, extra-judicial killings, torture, mass displacement and censorship, among other abuses of international law.

Today, millions of Kurds live as internally displaced persons within state borders, physically prevented from returning to their former homeland and livelihoods following armed conflict. Millions more live as migrants, refugees and asylum seekers across the world.

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.

El Pais said Joma had begged not to be extradited to Syria at the time of his trial but now he is willing to go back to his country in light of the recent developments there.

In December 2008 an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at then US president George W. Bush during his final visit to Iraq, shouting: "This is the farewell kiss you dog." The 30-year-old was subsequently jailed for nine months. He was released in 2009.

El Pais said Joma's jail term was out of proportion when compared to that of Zaidi's but added that it was "legal."

Since it was established in 1984, the Kurdistan Workers Party 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.

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. 

Sources: | AFP | AP | EPA | | Agencies 

Copyright © 2012 



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