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 Six Kurdish youths face 23 years in jail for Turkey demos

 Source : Reuters | Agencies
  Kurd Net does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news information on this page

 


Six Kurdish youths face 23 years in jail for Turkey demos  13.11.2008








23 years in jail for children just for throwing stones. European Union has criticised Ankara for inadequate protection of children's rights.

November 13, 2008


DIYARBAKIR, Kurdish Southeastern region of Turkey, —  Six Kurdish youths could be jailed for up to 23 years on 'terrorism' charges for taking part in violent Kurdish separatist protests last month, according to court documents released on Thursday.

The Kurdish teenagers,
www.ekurd.net aged between 13 and 14, have been charged with "committing a crime in the name of a terrorist organisation" as well as spreading propaganda and destroying public property. The case comes at a time when the European Union has criticised Ankara for inadequate protection of children's rights.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the southeast last month was met with violent protests in which one person died as protestors clashed over a number of days with Turkish police in several cities, including Diyarbakir, the region's largest.

Tensions have risen in response to increased Turkish military attacks on the Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerrillas,
www.ekurd.net both inside Turkey and on its bases in northern Iraq.

Claims the imprisoned leader of the PKK had been tortured also sparked protests.

The teenagers are being tried in a children's court but face the same possible sentence as adult offenders

According to the state-run news agency Anatolian court documents show the Diyarbakir state prosecutor has called for the defendants to be jailed for up to 23 years if convicted.

The ruling AK Party has tried to increase its presence and boost investment in the predominantly Kurdish southeast ahead of local elections due next March. Turkey's Kurdish minority have long complained of discrimination and a lack of jobs.

Demonstrations against the alleged ill-treatment of imprisoned Turkey's Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan have taken place across the southern and eastern provinces of Turkey since 17 October.

On October 18, Kurds protest across Turkey sparked by allegations that Kurdish PKK-rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan was mistreated in prison.

On October 20, one Kurdish protestor was killed , during a rally organized by the DTP after clashes erupted between Turkish police protestors in the Dogubeyazit district of Agri province. Dozens have been arrested.

Hundreds of Kurds demonstrated outside United Nations headquarters in Beirut on October 26 to protest against the alleged bad treatment in prison of rebel Kurd PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

On October 21, Kurdish demonstrators in Finland tried to set fire to the Turkish embassy in Helsinki, the early morning attack on October 21 came hours after a peaceful anti-Turkey protest outside the embassy by a few dozen Kurdish demonstrators. a Finnish court on November 6, released the five men suspects.

October 26, Turkish police used teargas to break up a protest in the town of eastern town of Gaziantep and arrested 10 supporters of the Kurdish leader. The clashes came a day after seven policemen were hurt and seven protestors arrested at demonstration in the eastern town of Van.

On October 29, in Armenia, waving the Kurdish and Armenian flags to and fro and with the pictures of Ocalan on the flags, groups of Kurds organized a protest Wednesday near the Shahumyan square to demand the release of imprisoned Turkey's Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

On November 2, hundreds of Kurds rioted in Kurdish city of Van in eastern Turkey and a suspected bomb blast rocked the offices of the ruling party as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the conflict-torn region (Turkey-Kurdistan, northern Kurdistan)

Over 39,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas have been killed since 1984 the Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey (Turkey-Kurdistan). A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas,
the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

The PKK is considered a '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.

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.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, Reuters | Agencies

* 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.

** 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 25 million ethnic Kurds, a large Turkey's Kurdish community 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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