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 Turkey: Pro-Kurdish DTP district head sentenced to 3 years  

 Source : Todays.Zaman
  Kurd Net does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news information on this page


Turkey: Pro-Kurdish DTP district head sentenced to 3 years  19.9.2007 


September 19, 2007

Sotheastern Turkey, -- Erzincan district head of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) Hüseyin Bektaşoglu, who referred to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) jailed leader as “esteemed,” was sentenced to three years for spreading the 'terrorist' group’s propaganda.

Bektaşoglu’s sentence, given by the 2nd Erzurum Criminal Court on Tuesday, was appealed at the Supreme Court of Appeals the same day. In a written statement he made last year, Bektaşoglu used the word “sayin,” which means “esteemed” in Turkish and is often used as a gender-neutral title roughly the equivalent of “Mr.” In another statement, also made the year before, some of his declarations praised the PKK.

Such a choice of words while referring to Öcalan has led courts to charge or convict dozens of Kurdish politicians for illegally praising “crime or criminals.” Those convicted include Ahmet Türk, the leader of the pro-Kurdish DTP, who received a six-month jail sentence.

Even Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was once accused of breaking the law by allegedly referring to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan as “Sayin Öcalan,” or "Mr. Ocalan" in an interview with an Australian radio station in 2000, but no charges has been brought against him.

More than 37,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas have been killed since 1984 when the PKK took up arms for self-rule in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey. Turkey is home to over 25 million ethnic Kurds.

Turkey, United States and the European Union, class the PKK as a "terrorist organisation"

todayszaman com

** Kurds are not recognized as an official minority in Turkey and are denied rights granted to other minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and education in the Kurdish language, but critics say the measures do not go far enough.

The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously rejected due to its alleged political implications by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast Turkey.

Others estimate over 40 million Kurds live in Big Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia), which covers an area as big as France, about half of all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in Turkey.

Turkey is home to over 25 million ethnic Kurds, some of whom openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK for a Kurdish homeland in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003

The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it is a criminal offence" 

Southeastern Turkey: North Kurdistan ( Kurdistan-Turkey) wikipedia        


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