Istanbul court releases 45 KCK suspects
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyA total of 45 suspects have been released in two separate cases against the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The releases were approved by the Istanbul 3rd High Criminal Court which took over the cases from Istanbul 15th High Criminal court after specially authorized courts (ÖYM) were abolished in Turkey.
Lawyers of the suspects had filed a request for releases on the grounds that the recent changes in the country’s anti-terrorism laws reduced the maximum pre-trial detention period from 10 years to five years. The change had led to several releases in the Ergenekon coup plot case.
Thirty-seven suspects were released in the main case, while eight suspects were released in the related media case of the KCK. After the releases, 43 suspects in the main case and 10 in the media case remain under arrest.
The released suspects are banned from travelling abroad.
In a March 16 statement, the KCK had announced that it was no longer recognizing the Turkish government as an addressee for the PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan in the ongoing peace process. It accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of not taking “the necessary steps toward democratization.”