Three more Kurdish MPs denied release
from Turkish prison
ISTANBUL, — A Turkish court on Saturday
rejected applications to free three Kurdish
activists who were elected to Turkish parliament
from jail, awaiting trial for terror-related
charges, Anatolia news agency reported.
Selma Irmak, Faysal Sariyildiz and Kemal Aktas,
accused of being members of the urban wing of the
Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] won their
parliamentary seats in June 12 elections as
independent candidates from the mainly Kurdish
The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and
much of the international community, took up arms in
southeast Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that
has claimed about 45,000 lives.
The court rejected the applications on the grounds
that terror-related charges fall out of the scope of
legislative immunity, Anatolia reported.
Earlier this week judges rejected similar pleas for
two intellectuals and a retired general, who were
elected to parliament from jail on the ticket of two
main opposition parties.
Journalist Mustafa Balbay, academic Mehmet Haberal
and retired general Engin Alan are in jail,www.ekurd.netaccused
of involvement in alleged plots to destabilise and
overthrow the Islamist-rooted government.
A total of nine people were elected to parliament
from prison, while Hatip Dicle, a prominent Kurdish
activist among them had already been stripped of his
seat over a recently upheld terror-related
The court also rejected Saturday his plea for
More Kurdish MPs denied release from Turkish prison.
Turkey's new parliament is already braced for a
tense opening next week after some 30 Kurdish
lawmakers announced Thursday they would boycott the
legislature in protest at the controversial ruling
stripping of Dicle of his seat.
Since it was established in 1984, the Kurdistan
Workers' Party 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'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 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.
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