Tension in KCK hearing due to language crisis
DİYARBAKIR - Doğan News Agency
152 politicians of Kurdish origin, of whom 104 are currently under arrest, are being tried as part of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case. DHA photoA court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır yesterday denied suspects’ repeated requests to plea in Kurdish.
In the 31st hearing of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case, in which 152 Kurdish politicians (104 detained) are on trial, suspect Veysel Yıldırım demanded to plea in Kurdish, but the court turned off his microphone when he spoke. When the court said Yıldırım spoke in “a language which is thought to be Kurdish,” defense lawyer Feride Laçin asked the court board for the language to be officially determined.
Diyarbakır Bar Association Chairman Mehmet Emin Aktar said the case’s prosecutors used tape recordings and documents in Kurdish as evidence and asked why Kurdish was not accepted as part of the defense.
Yıldırım is accused of aiding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by directing people to Sarmaşık, a Diyarbakır-based NGO dedicated to sustainable development and fighting poverty.
“Sarmaşık was set up to help the poor. But in the indictment it is said that aiding poor is a crime. They are trying to cancel out the feeling of solidarity in this society. Suspects’ [Kurdish] phone recordings and speeches are given to court as proof in the indictment. Why does the court reject [pleas in] Kurdish?” Aktar said.
Another suspect, Veysi Akar, also started his plea in Kurdish, but the court turned off his microphone and rejected his written defense in Kurdish.
Meanwhile, two people in the southeastern province of Şırnak were detained yesterday as part of the KCK case.
The KCK is the outlawed alleged urban wing of the PKK.