Mayor sentenced for alleged propaganda
DİYARBAKIR - Anatolia News Agency
Batman Mayor Nejdet Atalay is sentenced to one year and eight months. DHA photoA court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır sentenced Batman Mayor Nejdet Atalay to one year and eight months in prison for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization” in a speech he gave in 2009.
Atalay, who is also under arrest within the scope of the ongoing Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trials, appeared in court with his lawyer.
Atalay had referred to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as “the warriors of the Kurdish people in the mountains” during a speech he had given on Feb. 22, 2009 as part of his party’s election campaign. Atalay was a mayoral candidate for the now-defunct Democratic Society Party (DTP) during the local elections on March 29, 2009.
The prosecutor requested a guilty verdict for the Kurdish politician, citing an article of the anti-terror law.
When the court requested Atalay’s defense, however, the mayor demanded to issue his plea in Kurdish. “It was seen he spoke in a language we think to be Kurdish,” the court delegation then directed the clerk to write in the trial records.