Turkish court accepts indictment against 193 KCK suspects

Turkish court accepts indictment against 193 KCK suspects

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Turkish court accepts indictment against 193 KCK suspects

Prominent publisher and activist Ragıp Zarakolu (L) lectured at the Politics Academy, which allegedly serves to train the outlawed PKK’s cadres, an indictment says. DHA photo

An Istanbul court accepted yesterday a 2,400-page indictment in the ongoing Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial against 193 suspects, including prominent publisher and activist Ragıp Zarakolu and renowned academic Büşra Ersanlı.

Specially authorized prosecutor Adnan Çimen penned the indictment against the 193 suspects, 147 of whom are currently under arrest pending trial. Çimen requested 22.5 years in prison for Ersanlı and 15 years behind bars for Zarakolu.

A specially authorized Istanbul court then accepted the indictment, which reportedly includes sections detailing the alleged origins, structure and actions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the definition of the KCK, its meetings and the “Politics Academy.”

The first hearings will be held at the start of July, according to reports.

Some 51 suspects in the indictment, including Ersanlı, stand accused of “leading a terrorist organization.” The indictment cites Ersanlı’s alleged connections with Copenhagen-based ROJ TV, which is regarded as the PKK’s mouthpiece and has been sentenced in recent months by a Danish court on the charge of making propaganda for a terrorist organization, as evidence of an alleged crime.

The indictment also notes Ersanlı’s purported connections with PKK militants in urban centers and cites her alleged propaganda efforts on behalf of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) during the June 12, 2011, general elections.

Ersanlı provided training and instructions at the “Politics Academy” that was allegedly akin to the training provided by the PKK to its armed militants in their mountain hideouts, according to indictment.

The bill also accused Zarakolu of “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” and contributing to the training of militants both for the organization’s urban cells and for its mountain camps.

Zarakolu also lectured at the Politics Academy, which allegedly serves to train the PKK’s cadres, the indictment said, adding that his activities there could not be regarded as merely educational because pictures and posters of both living and deceased PKK militants, as well as its jailed chief, Abdullah Öcalan, are featured in its classrooms and corridors.

A total of 142 suspects are charged with “membership in a terrorist organization” in the indictment.
The indictment also defines Kudbettin Yazbaşı, who is currently under arrest, as the chief suspect in the case, while Ali Durç, another suspect alleged to be a high-ranking leader within the organization, was described as a fugitive suspect.

The KCK is the alleged urban wing of the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union and Turkey.