Arrested lawyer wants Öcalan at KCK hearings

Arrested lawyer wants Öcalan at KCK hearings

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Arrested lawyer wants Öcalan at KCK hearings

Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Osman Baydemir (C) attends the KCK trial with BDP co-chair Kışanak and BDP deputies Tuncel, Tuğluk and Kürkçü. DHA photo

The second round of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial, in which 36 lawyers arrested as part of the KCK probe were judged, was held at the courthouse in Istanbul’s Çağlayan district on July 16, with one of the lawyers saying outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan must be heard in court for any judgment to be lawful.

Members of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) gathered in front of the courthouse before the hearing. They opened a banner reading “Freedom for defending İmralı isolation.” BDP co-chair Gülten Kışanak and BDP deputies Sebahat Tuncel, Aysel Tuğluk, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, as well as Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Osman Baydemir also attended the hearing. The lawyers were arrested simply for defending Abdullah Öcalan, BDP co-chair Gülten Kışanak said in a statement before the hearing began, adding that there has never been such an attack on the right to defend in any period [of Turkish history]. Kışanak also indicated that the group was expecting the release of all the arrested lawyers. “These lawyers were arrested for defending the esteemed Abdullah Öcalan, who is accepted as a leader and a ‘political will’ by Kurdish society,” Kışanak said.

“Before the approval decision is announced, I want to speak for all the convicts of the case,” arrested lawyer Doğan Erbaş said during the hearing. The court board has a historic role in this judgment, Erbaş said. “Will the existence of Kurdish people continue to be regarded as a problem? We are the lawyers of the esteemed Abdullah Öcalan. Meeting with Öcalan was declared to be a new crime in the indictment. However, as all the related institutions know, the meetings conducted [with Öcalan] were permitted and controlled by the state. If there was any illegal activity, our client Öcalan’s remarks should have been heard first. If there really is to be a lawful judgment,
our client must definitely be heard. The only witness in this case is our client. The true agent of the case must be permitted to attend the hearings. A judgment made without our client’s attendance will be unlawful. Since the state knows about the meetings we held with our client, could there be a possibility that a crime was committed?”

Inquiry opened for Diyarbakır

DİYARBAKIR–Anatolia News Agency

Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened an inquiry in to the attempted Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) meeting on July 14, which turned out to be an unpermitted demonstration in İstasyon Square as the city’s governor’s office had not given permission for the group to gather.

The name of the planned meeting was “Democratic Solution to Kurdish Problem.” The Prosecutor’s Office demanded visual documents of the demonstrations from the Diyarbakır Police Department.