Turkish court allows Kurdish defense
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Hurriyet photoA court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has permitted Hatip Dicle, who was elected in the 2011 general elections before being stripped of his deputyship, to defend himself in Kurdish in the ongoing Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial.
Dicle’s speech is being translated by his lawyer, Mehmet Emin Aktar.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told reporters in Diyarbakır on Oct. 5 that it had become impossible to give rulings in the case caused by the “vicious circle” stemming from the defendants’ insistence on defending themselves in Kurdish and the courts’ refusal to permit them to do so.
Courts have routinely notated that suspects are speaking “in an unknown language which is not understood” whenever they have defended themselves in Kurdish. Some courts have also switched off suspects’ microphones whenever they have spoken in their native tongue.
The KCK is accused of being the urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.