Turkish court charges 23 suspects over
alleged ties to Kurdish PKK rebels,
By ekurd.net staff writers
November 1, 2011
ANKARA,— A Turkish court on Tuesday
pressed separatism charges against 23 suspects, in
so-called KCK-Trial [Union of Communities in
Kurdistan], including a university professor and a
publisher, on suspicion of membership in a
separatist Kurdish PKK rebel group, state-run
The court in Istanbul said the suspects included
Prof. Busra Ersanli
and Ragip Zarakolu, a well-known human rights
activist and director of Belge Publishing House,
according to the state-run TRT channel. They were
among about 50 suspects detained over the weekend in
a crackdown on the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan
Workers’ Party or PKK.
Ragip Zarakolu, is also the chairman of the
Publishers Association Freedom to Publish Committee
of Turkey. Zarakolu was taken into custody on
October 28, 2011, during a large-scale manhunt in
Istanbul against Kurdish and human rights activists.
The court ordered the 23 jailed pending trial, but
it was not clear if the rest will also be tried. No
trial date has been set.
The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party BDP said
Ersanli was a representative of the party at a
parliamentary commission that is
Ragıp Zarakolu (L) arrested in Turkey in KCK probe.
Zarakolu is a Turkish human rights activist and
publisher who has long faced legal harassment for
publishing books on controversial subjects in
Turkey, especially on minority and human rights in
seeking reconciliation in drafting a new
constitution and that her detention was detrimental
to peace efforts in the country.
The trial comes amid intensified clashes between
Kurdish rebels and Turkish troops in the Kurdish
region in southeast Turkey.
The KCK is accused of being the urban wing of the
outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is
itself listed as a "terrorist" organization by Turkey
and much of the international community.
KCK-trial, on October 18, 2010 a Turkish
court began the trial
of 152 high profile Kurdish politicians and rights defenders,www.ekurd.net
accused of being the urban wing of the
outlawed separatist Kurdish (Kurdistan Workers'
Party) PKK rebels.
7748 people were taken into
custody and 3895 persons were
arrested in the scope of KCK operations during the past six months, the
pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party announced.
Dozens of BDP executives and employees are still in
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, 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: AP | ekurd.net |
AFP | Agencies
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