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 Deaf and dumb Kurd sentenced to 8 years in Turkish prison for PKK propaganda

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Deaf and dumb Kurd sentenced to 8 years in Turkish prison for PKK propaganda  23.6.2012  

Mehmet Tahir Ilhan, a deaf, illiterate and dumb Kurdish man to spend 8 years in prison of supporting "terror" in Turkey See Related Links
Deaf, illiterate and dumb Kurdish man to spend 8 years in prison of supporting "terror" in Turkey

June 23
, 2012

ADANA, Turkey,— Specially authorized Adana 8th High Criminal Court sentenced a deaf and dumb Kurdish citizen to 8 years and 4 months in prison for making propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish armed movement fighting against the state for 30 years, ANF news agency reported.

A specially authorized court in Adana sentenced Mehmet Tahir Ilhan, aged 37 and father of six children, to eight years and four months in prison for "committing crimes in the name of the PKK" and "making propaganda of the organization” and “resisting to security officers”, while another accused, Ahmet K., was sentenced to 11 years and 11 months in prison for the same reasons. The prosecutor had earlier demanded 25 years in prison for the father of six children.

The specially authorized courts (ÖYM) are the enforcement mechanisms that have replaced the State Security Courts (DGM) which were removed in 2004.

The two men are accused of participating in a violent demonstration, organized in April 2011 in Mersin, an eastern Mediterranean city with a large Kurdish population.

Prosecutors in Mersin and neighboring city Adana display an incredible hostility towards young people and Kurdish children, demanding sentences of up to several decades,www.ekurd.net without any concrete proofs.

The deaf and dumb Kurdish citizen has denied the charges against him and asked his release, underlining that there is nobody to look after his family.

Defense lawyer Tugay Bek said his client is illiterate, in addition to his deaf and dumb state from birth. "The charges are contrary to logic and reason, because the situation of the accused does not enable him to have any physical condition to make propaganda for the organization.", the lawyer said.

On June 14, the prosecution’s office in Mersin asked a total of 240 years prison sentence for seven children who were arrested in early May on charges of "being members of an illegal organization (PKK)" and "making propaganda" in favor of this organization. The charge of the prosecution was grounded solely on secret evidences, images of surveillance cameras, Facebook shares and participation in a demonstration on 1 May.

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. 

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