Sunday, May 23, 2010

120 More Detained in Continued KCK Operations

The operations against alleged members of the Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan (KCK), described by some as the "urban wing" of the PKK, continue. From Bianet:

More than 120 people were taken into custody in the course of recent operations carried out by the police and the gendarmerie in the provinces of Tunceli, Elazığ, Malatya, Şanlıurfa and Batman in south-eastern Turkey, Sakarya in the north-west and Aydın and Denizli in western Anatolia. Apparently, the operations targeted the Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan (KCK), the umbrella organisation that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy, Özdal Üçer, criticized the raids and said that most of the people taken into custody were young people. "The government wants to wipe out the Kurdish youth", Üçer argued.

Günlük newspaper informed that the number of people taken into custody during the past four days amounted to 124. The daily described the operation in its headline as "Code name: Hunting Kurds".

Upon the directive of the Malatya 3rd High Criminal Court, a total of 23 people were taken into custody in raids organized simultaneously in Tunceli and Elazığ. Raids in Tunceli were carried out in the Nazimiye district and several villages. Among the people arrested were Sudan Güven, employee at the BDP Women Parliament General Headquarters, Kurdish Azadiya Welat newspaper employee Nuri Yeşil, Erdi Kalay, İlknur Çalışkan, Tülay Demir, Ferhat Çongar, Rojda Çevik, Savaş Karakuş, Gökhan Gökmen and another six people whose names are not known.

A total of eight people were taken into custody in Elazığ, among them Serkan Demirel, reporter of the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Ali Konar, Elazığ correspondent of the Azadiya Welat newspaper, and BDP executives. They are not allowed to talk to their lawyers during the first 24 hours in custody.

In the course of the raid of the Malatya Democratic Students Association (DÖDER), many issues of newspapers, magazines and books were confiscated. Students who came to the association in the meantime were checked for their criminal records.

Suruç City Council member Hülya Demir and Mehmet Beşaltı, Yusuf Yavuz, Servet Özberk and Yasemin Özberk were taken into custody in Şanlıurfa.

A considerable number of private homes were raided in the Oraklar Municipality of Aydin in the morning hours of 24 May. 15 people were taken into custody, among them BDP members and student Sait Kaya from the Adıyaman Besni Vocational School.

In a riot after a meeting in Batman on 23 May six people were detained. 18 people were taken into custody on 22 May in Kars in the course of raids on private homes, among them BDP executives. On 21 May, seven primary school students and 13 adults were taken into custody in the Beşiri district of Batman.

Pamukkale University students Sabir Yalın, Duygu Okur and Medeni Varol were taken into custody in Denizli on 20 May. While the Labour and Democracy Platform in Bodrum (southern Aegean coast) condemned the death of Şerzan Kurt, the police detained students Azat Öztürk and Ersin Karababa. Student Mustafa Karakaya and another student were taken into custody on 20 May in Erzincan (north-eastern Anatolia).

DİHA reporter Çağdaş Kaplan was released on Tuesday (24 May) by the Istanbul Beşiktaş prosecutor after he had been taken into custody by the Sakarya police together with another 19 people.
In other news, the BDP announced at the beginning of the week that it will begin to take the cases of those arrested during the operations to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The BDP alleges that the period of detention and arrest is being used as a punishment, and that the time between the arrests and the trial is unnecessarily long and violates the right to a fair trial guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Diyarbakir Bar Association's Reyhan Yalcindag said the cases will be taken in groups based on the date of arrest.

So far, 1,584 people have been arrested in line with the operations. I am not sure how many more have been detained, and then later released.

No comments: