KCK suspects to give defense in court in Kurdish
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News AgencyA total of 68 suspects, whose defense statements were not taken in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trials between 2010 and 2013 as they were speaking Kurdish, will have another opportunity after a new law which allows Kurdish to be spoken before the court in Turkey.
The legal case against the KCK, the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been deadlocked as the courts rejected the defendants’ demands to speak Kurdish while giving their defense.
The Diyarbakır 2nd Court for Serious Crimes will take the defenses of 68 suspects who attempted to give their testimonies in Kurdish during the KCK trials between 2010 and 2013 but were prevented by the court and had their microphones shut down.
A new law adopted in 2013 allowed suspects at hearings in the KCK trial who preferred to defend themselves in Kurdish to request a translator from the court. The law enabling Kurdish suspects to speak their mother tongue in court was approved by the Turkish parliament on Jan. 24, 2013.
There are in total 187 suspects, including 167 suspects pending trial without arrest and 20 fugitives, being tried as part of the KCK trials. The defenses of some 100 suspects will be taken again in January 2016. Some of the suspects who will appear in court will give their testimonies for the first time since the case began, as their cases were merged with the main KCK case after the specially-authorized courts were demolished.
The specially-authorized courts were established by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in 2004 as part of reforms concerning the EU membership bid, replacing the infamous State Security Courts (DGM).