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Turkey

Jailed MPs: In Turkey, There is a Separate Law for Kurds

By Uzay Bulut 19/12/2013
The newly-elected lawmakers from pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, last two rows, sit in the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, October, 2011. Photo: AP
The newly-elected lawmakers from pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, last two rows, sit in the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, October, 2011. Photo: AP

ANKARA, Turkey – Four imprisoned Kurdish MPs expressed outrage and accused Turkey of practicing a separate law for non-Kurds, after two Diyarbakir courts refused to release them but freed another jailed lawmaker from the mainstream opposition.

Last week the courts in Diyarbakir rejected an appeal from lawyers and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) on behalf of Kurdish MPs Ibrahim Ayhan, Selma Irmak, Faysal Sariyildiz, Gulser Yildirim, and independent deputy Kemal Aktas, who have lingered in jail since a 2009 Turkish crackdown on Kurdish groups.

But the courts ordered Mustafa Balbay, from the main opposition Republic People’s Party (CHP), to go free after more than four years in jail. The CHP has joined the BDP in criticizing the court rulings, which were condemned in a joint letter by the jailed Kurdish MPs themselves.

“It has been proven one more time that a separate system of law is carried out in Turkey not only for jailed MPs but also for sick prisoners and for all political prisoners,” the jailed Kurdish MPs said in a recent joint statement.

“The decision they have made about the jailed MPs has shown that there is a relative and multiple law system in Turkey. Diyarbakir courts have declared that there is a separate system of law for Kurds,” the MPs said.

“The fact that special courts have decided to prolong our detention despite the decision of the Constitutional Court has also demonstrated that the political genocide operation which was started in April 2009 with the arrest of thousands of people from the Kurdish political movement is still going on,” the statement added.

The BDP leadership has regularly condemned the imprisonment of its MPs and accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of being behind them.

“It is the AKP government which has enacted laws for all those arrests and long detentions,” said the BDP leaders in a most recent statement. “It is the AKP government which has established the special courts. The government has also appointed those judges and prosecutors. So this decision is not the decision of a few judges; it is the decision of the AKP government.”

The jailed Kurdish MPs have variously complained they were arrested on false testimony, having to wait in jail for a year without hearing charges and of prison conditions, such as overcrowding, poor health conditions and facilities as well as inadequate nutrition.

The BDP won 36 seats in the Turkish parliament in the 2011 elections. It initially boycotted parliamentary sessions to protest against the imprisonment of its MPs.

Turkey, which has long denied language rights and other liberties to its large Kurdish minority, embarked on a peace process this year with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a guerilla group that fought a three-decade war for Kurdish rights in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed. But the process has remained stalled for the past several months.

 

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Ali | 19/12/2013
This is the situation in the racist terror regime of Turkey, similar to Apartheid regime in South Africa. They are charged because they were born as Kurds. And in south Kurdistan this racist Turkmen politicians are all free, although they act against the Kurdish constitution, something should be done against that.
Rojcan | 20/12/2013
In turkey a Kurd can be anything they want, a doctor, lawyer, or even the MP of turkey if they really wanted. But one thing Kurds can't be is Kurdish, once you express yourself as a Kurd it becomes a federal offense.
tuna | 20/12/2013
Why you don't give details... These kurds crime they are members of the terrorist organization, a definite case
K. Kyriakides | 20/12/2013
Dear Uzay Bulut, your last paragraph, the one starting with "Turkey, which has long denied language rights and other liberties to its large Kurdish minority" needs an addition as follows: "In contrast, "Turkey" assisted and funded the Turkish Cypriot terrorist organization in the 50s, denied the self-determaination of overwhelmingly Greek Christian Cyprus, later demanded Turkish to be an officially recognized language along side Greek, secured apartheid-like privileges on the Turkish Cypriot minority's behalf, insisted on full education in Turkish for it, even though most Turkish Cypriots spoke Greek and today demands two separate states on Cyprus on land that is historicall, ethically and legally Greek! If this is not the mother of all hypocrisies, then I rest my pen!"
Bakir Lashkari
Bakir Lashkari | 20/12/2013
Tuna,you are a terrorist, how could you dare to say that, as most of your friends like you, are only cleaning the toilets day and night in the western countries! The current Turkish Givernment is gradually reforming the system in Turkey which a good honour for the real intellectual Turkish people. I do expect from the Ordoxan and his friends to release all political and sick people from the Turkish prisons including Oculan very soon. Turkey is depending very much on the Kurdish Economoy and Kurdistan Natural resources, which means nothing and nothing going free for the sunshine! Turkey is also fading with some nasty fishes like Tuna who is poising the society and therefore it is better to localize them, abandon them and please do not put them back to the sea, but abolish them, let them softly......................................... In a human way....................................
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