Fifty people stand KCK-trial in Turkey
over links to Kurdish PKK rebels
By Ekurd.net staff writers
July 16, 2012
Turkish security officers stand under posters of
detained Kurdish politicians with writing in Turkish
that reads "historical trial begins".
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ISTANBUL, — Fifty people, almost all
lawyers, went on trial in Turkey on Monday for
alleged links with outlawed Kurdish rebels as part
of a wider crackdown on the group, AFP reported.
The trial began in an Istanbul court and the
suspects include 46 lawyers, three law firm
employees and one journalist, the Anatolia news
They are accused of links with the Union of
Kurdistan Communities (KCK), an organization deemed
by the authorities as the urban wing of the outlawed
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Anatolia said.
Prosecutors accuse the defendants of liaising
between the PKK and the organization's imprisoned
leader Abdullah Ocalan.
The suspects "have intentionally undertaken a
mission of setting the organization's (PKK) strategy
... and ordering its members for action," the
Seven suspects each face up to 22.5 years in prison
on charges of "forming and running an armed
The remainder face up to 15 year sentences on
charges of "membership in an armed organization.”
International rights and lawyers' groups have
expressed "concern" in a joint declaration Friday
over the trial,www.ekurd.net
also noting that similar cases were ongoing or
pending against other key Kurdish or pro-Kurdish
civil society actors.
The wider crackdown against the outlawed Kurdish
rebels and their supporters began in 2009.
Ankara says the KCK wants to replace Turkish
government institutions in the Kurdish majority
southeastern Anatolia with its own political
The KCK is a clandestine group suspected of being the political wing of the
armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Authorities accuse the KCK of wanting to
promote insurrection in Turkey's Kurdish regions.
Since 2009, some 700 people have been arrested over
alleged links to the KCK, according to government
figures. Kurdish media puts the figure to over
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.
7748 people were taken into
custody and over 3895 persons were
arrested in the scope of KCK operations during the past
nine months, the
pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party announced.
Dozens of BDP executives and employees are still in
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.
On February 4, 2012, members from the Swedish Parliament
Turkish publisher and human rights defender Ragıp Zarakolu
who is in jail for KCK links for the Nobel Peace.
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
On May 8, 2012, 30 people are taken into custody in 6 provinces within the scope
of Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (KCK) operations. 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).
May 28, 2012, over 35 people detained in Urfa and Diyarbakir on Monday , many
BDP executives are among the people taken into custody. New wave of searches and
detentions on May 28 in Urfa and Diyarbakir where a total of 35 people, included
many BDP executives, have been taken into custody.
June 10, 2012 a Kurdish mayor Bekir Kaya, the mayor of the Kurdish city of Van
in southeastern Turkey, and two provincial leaders in the pro-Kurdish Peace and
Democracy Party (BDP) were
remanded in custody pending trial, CNN Turk
July 2, 2012, a mass trial
opened in Turkey on Monday of 205 suspects -- many of whom remain
at large -- are on trial accused of links with the Union of Kurdistan
Communities (KCK), which the authorities say is the urban wing of the outlawed
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), part of a wider crackdown against what Ankara
considers "terrorists" and their supporters.
On July 13, 2012, an Istanbul court
16 suspects who are accused of ties with outlawed
Kurdish rebels and had been in preventive custody
for months, the state-run Anatolia agency said.
Among the 16 was Prof. Busra Ersanli, a prominent
political scientist at Marmara University, against
whom the prosecution has requested a sentence of 15
years in jail for belonging to a "terrorist
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.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous 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
The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional
self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.
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
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 | ekurd.net | Reuters | ANF |
DPA | Agencies
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