Turkish court classifies Molotov cocktail as 'weapon'
VAN - Anatolia News Agency
A Turkish court convicted two suspects today on charges of "supplying weapons to a terrorist organization” after being caught with Molotov cocktails.
The court’s ruling, which is unprecedented, sentenced the pair to 12 years and six months in prison.
A phone conversation between the suspects was tapped as part of a probe into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) in 2010.
One of the suspects, Kadir C., was heard as saying, "We have prepared the fruit juices and left you two bottles," to which Hakan Z. responded, "Okay, I have two bottles as well."
Police acted on the exchange over the phone and apprehended the two suspects, seizing four bottles of Molotov cocktails, 16 fireworks and several bottles filled with an incendiary material.
In its verdict, the 4th Serious Crimes Court in Van ruled that the transfer of Molotov cocktails, their ingredients and fireworks constituted the crime of "supplying weapons to a terrorist organization."
“The penal code does not specify what quality or quantity a material should be in, in order to be considered weaponry ... In this case, it is certain that the seized items were meant to be used to attack public personnel and civilians," the verdict said, referring to a planned demonstration to protest the detention of Abdullah Öcalan, head of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
"Suspects were in knowledge of the purpose of the terrorist organization and the means in which the material they were transferring would be used," it added.
In its decision, the court noted the 2009 Molotov attack on an Istanbul city bus by PKK militants in which a single Molotov cocktail was enough to fatally burn 17-year-old Serap Eser.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.