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 Boy, 17, sentenced to 10 years in Turkish prison for alleged membership to PKK

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Boy, 17, sentenced to 10 years in Turkish prison for alleged membership to PKK  2.6.2012  

The boy was sent to Osmaniye prison and fined 6 thousand euro.

June 2
, 2012

MERSIN, — Seventeen years old B.Y. was sentenced to ten years in prison for alleged “membership of a terror organization”, on the basis of evidences consisting of secret witness testimonies and internet print outs, . Mersin 1st Juvenile Court, not reprieving the prison sentence, imposed a pecuniary penalty of 12000 TL on the minor, Firat news agency ANF reported.

The seventeen year old boy in Mersin is the most recent victim of secret witness testimonies that have no legal ground and are commonly put forward as evidence in unlawful arrests. Eruh/Siirt registered B.Y., who lives in Mersin with his family, was taken into custody as a result of police raid in their house on 11 December 2011. Forty years in prison was asked for the minor who was arrested and sent to prison soon after his detention.

“Opposing the law on meetings and demonstrations”, “staging action on behalf of an illegal organization”, “resisting to police officers”, “making propaganda for an illegal organization”, “membership of an illegal organization” and “keeping explosive substance” are the accusations directed against the seventeen year old boy who denied the accusations and demanded to be released in the recent trial of the case against him.

Ignoring the statements of the minor, the court board accepted secret witness testimonies, internet print outs and police officers testimonies as evidences and sentenced the boy to ten years in prison. The accused boy who was also imposed a pecuniary penalty of 12000 TL (around 6 thousand euro) was sent to Osmaniye prison.

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 and 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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