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 Turkey detains 30 in KCK probe, arrests 7 in Van

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Turkey detains 30 in KCK probe, arrests 7 in Van  9.5.2012  

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. Photo: ANF.
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Detention warrants are issued for 30 people including BDP Urfa Provincial Head. 7 women working at the municipality got arrested in Van.

May 9
, 2012

ISTANBUL/DIYARBAKIR, — 30 people are taken into custody in 6 provinces within the scope of Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (KCK) operations. KCK which is alleged to be an umbrella political organization that includes the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Teams of the Anti-Terrorism Branch busted houses in Urfa, İstanbul, Muş, Ankara, Diyarbakır, Eskişehir, "Siyaset Akademisi (Politics Academy)" and Kurdish KURDİ-DER association (Kurdish Language Research and Development Association) of The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

BDP Şanlıurfa Provincial Head Fatma İzol and Vice Chairman Mehmet Vural, BDP Viranşehir and Ceylanpınar County Commissioners are among the people taken into custody.

7 women arrested in Van

13 women working in Van Municipality were taken into custody within the scope of KCK on May 4th and 7 of them got arrested.

There are mayor consultant and councilors in the arrested group; the list is as follows: Pervin Özgür, Suna Atalay, Aynur Bağış, Aynur Tarhan, Leyla Aydın, Arzu Moco, Rojbin Çetin.

Women's organizations like Association of Women Artists, Van Women's Association (VAKAD), Mavigöl Women's Association, Women's Cooperative (YAKA- KOOP) protested the detentions.

The organizations drew attention to the importance of involvement of women in politics and made a statement as follows:

"It's harder for women to involve in politics as this field is mostly dominated by men. The achievements of the women struggle are also blocked by the arrests of women interested in politics. Actively dealing with politics should not be a crime for women. On the contrary, there's a need to encourage women's participation in politics in 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. By the time the trial began many of the defendants had been in custody for a period of 18 months. Much of the evidence had apparently been gathered from wiretapping and phone bugging, and there was a lack of clarity regarding the exact charges, and the basis for such charges, against each defendant.

On Monday April 9, 2012 the trial against 152 the high profile Kurdish politicians resumed at Diyarbakir 6th High Criminal Court.

The trial is significant for the individual defendants, with each facing possible jail sentences of 15 years-to-life if found guilty. Further, the timing of the arrests has led many observers to question the state of democracy in Turkey. The number of defendants, their prolonged detention, the questionable means of collecting evidence, as well as the Court's attitude towards the use of the Kurdish language in the trial, has fanned fears that the accusations are politically motivated rather than based on violations of the law. Therefore, the trial is of a wider significance in terms of the implications it raises regarding democracy in Turkey and the state's attitude towards a political resolution of the Kurdish question.

Over 7748 people were taken into custody and over 3895 persons were arrested in the scope of KCK operations during the past twelve 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.

In March 2012 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.

The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem, Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.

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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