Kurdish Lawmaker sentenced to 14 years in
prison in Turkey for PKK propaganda
Pro-Kurdish lawmaker Aysel
to more than 14 years in prison for disseminating
propaganda of outlawed PKK party.
Kurdish lawmaker Aysel Tugluk (R) sentenced to more
than 14 years in prison for disseminating propaganda
of outlawed PKK party, shake hands with lawmaker
Leyla Zana, who has been also sentenced to 10 years
in jail in April 2012 for PKK propaganda. Turkish
parliament, Ankara. October 1, 2011. Photo: Getty
June 12, 2012
DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish
region of Turkey, — A Turkish court on Tuesday
sentenced a pro-Kurdish lawmaker to more than 14
years in prison for disseminating propaganda of an
outlawed separatist group.
Aysel Tugluk was convicted by a judge in
southeastern Diyarbakir of having violated the penal
code and the anti-terror law in 14 speeches.
She was accused of having spread propaganda in
favour of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and
committing offenses in the name of the organisation
without being a member.
Tugluk, a former lawyer for the PKK's imprisoned
leader Abdullah Ocalan, now enjoys immunity as a
member of the Turkish parliament, expected to last
until the next elections in 2015.
Tugluk was elected as an independent lawmaker for
southeastern Kurdish province of Van in 2011,www.ekurd.net
where her 35 Kurdish-backed comrades also took their
seats in the 550-strong Turkish parliament.
It is expected that Tugluk will appeal the verdict.
Last month, another prominent Kurdish lawmaker,
Leyla Zana, was
sentenced to 10
years in prison for spreading PKK propaganda and
violating anti-terror law.
One of the most outspoken Kurdish rights advocates,
Zana was jailed between 1994 and 2004, and awarded
the European Parliament's Sakharov human rights
award in 1995.
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
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous
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
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
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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