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 Kurdish Lawmaker sentenced to 14 years in prison in Turkey for PKK propaganda

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Kurdish Lawmaker sentenced to 14 years in prison in Turkey for PKK propaganda  12.6.2012  






Kurdish lawmaker Aysel Tugluk (R) sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for disseminating propaganda of outlawed PKK party, shake hands with lawmaker Leyla Zana, who has been also sentenced to 10 years in jail in April 2012 for PKK propaganda. Turkish parliament, Ankara. October 1, 2011. Photo: Getty Images.
Pro-Kurdish lawmaker Aysel Tugluk sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for disseminating propaganda of outlawed PKK party.

June 12
, 2012

DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish region of Turkey, — A Turkish court on Tuesday sentenced a pro-Kurdish lawmaker to more than 14 years in prison for disseminating propaganda of an outlawed separatist group.

Aysel Tugluk was convicted by a judge in southeastern Diyarbakir of having violated the penal code and the anti-terror law in 14 speeches.

She was accused of having spread propaganda in favour of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and committing offenses in the name of the organisation without being a member.

Tugluk, a former lawyer for the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, now enjoys immunity as a member of the Turkish parliament, expected to last until the next elections in 2015.

Tugluk was elected as an independent lawmaker for southeastern Kurdish province of Van in 2011,www.ekurd.net where her 35 Kurdish-backed comrades also took their seats in the 550-strong Turkish parliament.

It is expected that Tugluk will appeal the verdict.

Last month, another prominent Kurdish lawmaker, Leyla Zana, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for spreading PKK propaganda and violating anti-terror law.

One of the most outspoken Kurdish rights advocates, Zana was jailed between 1994 and 2004, and awarded the European Parliament's Sakharov human rights award in 1995.

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, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish 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 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 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 expectations.

The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by Ankara and 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. 

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, AFP | ekurd.net | Agencies  

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