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 Over 3000 people taken taken into Turkish custody in KCK probe since 1 January

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Over 3000 people taken taken into Turkish custody in KCK probe since 1 January  4.4.2012  

On October 18, 2010 a Turkish court began the KCK-trial of 152 high profile Kurdish politicians and rights defenders, accused of links with the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK) an urban wing of the outlawed separatist Kurdish PKK rebels. Photo: ANF. See Related Links
April 4, 2012

ISTANBUL, —  In March alone over 1,300 people have been detained. According to figures compiled by ANF news agency, at least 1,366 people were taken into custody within the scope of so-called KCK operations. KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Among them hundreds were sent to prison in Turkey within the last one month March 2012.

As Turkey continues to hold the record of political arrests in the world, hardly a day passes without the detention and arrest of journalists, union members, lawyers, intellectuals, students, elected representatives, children and human rights defenders. The number of detained people, which was some 60 thousand by the time AKP came to power, has exceeded 140 thousand at present.

Turkey which calls on the oppressive leaders of Middle East countries to lend an ear to the demands of their people applies an unprecedented pressure on the opponents within its own boundaries.

Although no other country in the world tends to arrest so many people for political reasons, western governments continue to promote the repression the AKP regime applies under the cover of “fight against terrorism”.

Mass arrest of workers and students in March stand out among the 1,366 detained people most of whom are made up of Kurds, according to the reports published by ANF and DIHA. Dozens of KESK members also suffered from intense detentions in the month of March as a result of severe police intervention in the protest demonstration which was staged on 28-29 March against the new law draft on education system.

Detentions reached peak during Newroz celebrations which turned into conflict environment as the people weren’t allowed to celebrate their day at the dates other than determined by the government. BDP MPs Ahmet Türk, Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Mülkiye Birtane were also targeted by police violence during Newroz events where BDP executive Hacı Zengin on 18 March lost his life in Istanbul as a result of police violence and attacks.

At least 689 people were taken into custody between 18 and 21 March when police severely attacked millions of people who took to the streets despite the ban of the AKP government.

According to Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) March report on human rights violations, 963 people were taken into custody and among whom 178 were sentenced to imprisonment. According to the figures compiled from ANF and DIHA, the number of people taken into custody in February 2012 was 887.

The AKP regime has taken at least 3216 people into custody for political reasons since the beginning of 2012, which means 35 people per day have been taken into custody since that date.

Union of Kurdistan Communities or Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), which the PKK is alleged to have established with the aim of creating its own political system in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

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 (Kurdistan Workers' Party) PKK rebels.

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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