Deputies, NGOs criticize recent KCK detentions

Deputies, NGOs criticize recent KCK detentions

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Deputies, NGOs criticize recent KCK detentions

Istanbul deputy from the Peace and Democracy Party, Sebahat Tuncel attended the meeting. AA Photo

Deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and representatives from other NGOs met in Istanbul to criticize the government on recent detentions of Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) members.

In a recent operation, 70 people were detained including 42 lawyers, many of whom represented jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan, former parliamentary deputy Mahmut Alınak and local administrators of BDP.

BDP deputy Sebahat Tuncel slammed the government and said Kurdish people should not be kept out of politics. “If Kurdish people remove themselves from politics because of this violence and pressure, it would be tragic.”

Another BDP deputy, Hasip Kaplan also said all the conversations were recorded during the lawyers’ meetings with Abdullah Öcalan on the İmralı Island.

On Nov. 23, Istanbul’s Deputy Public Prosecutor Fikret Seçen announced the government had strong evidence that Öcalan’s lawyers carried messages to PKK members in the Qandil Mountains. Seçen said the lawyers directed Öcalan’s orders to PKK members.

“There can’t be any connection between the lawyers and PKK members because every meeting has been recorded by prosecutors. All meetings are under the surveillance of the government,” Kaplan said.

 Despite rising tensions between Kurdish and Turkish societies, Tuncel said they prefer to live together in peace. “We would like to live together peacefully, however the increasing pressure is making it more difficult.”

Meanwhile 15 people who celebrated Öcalan’s birthday were detained yesterday in raids conducted in five cities.

Teaching at BDP’s academy

Following the arrest of Political Science Professor Büşra Ersanlı in a prior KCK raid, a petition circulated and was signed by more than 700 academics to protest her arrest.

Ersanlı was faculty member at Marmara University’s Political Science Department and a member of the Constitutional Commission of BDP in the parliament. She was arrested on Oct. 28 based on claims that she lectured at BDP’s Academy of Politics. By signing the petition, its signatories said they wanted to lecture at the BDP Academy freely.

In further protest of Ersanlı’s arrest, lectures will take place on Nov. 26 at BDP Academies in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakır and are open to everyone who wishes to attend.