Friday, November 5, 2010

And the Unrest Comes . . .

From Hurriyet Daily News:
When Bayram Altun, deputy head of the shuttered pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP, began to read a defense statement in Kurdish, the head judge had his microphone turned off. “The defendant is making his defense in an unknown language,” he reportedly said.

Following this eruption, defendant Ramazan Morkoç also reportedly addressed the court in Kurdish, and then in Turkish. “You cannot insult the language of a people,” he said. The head judge moved to expel Morkoç from the courtroom, sparking protests from the other defendants who asked to be expelled from courtroom collectively.

When the judge decided to remove all the defendants from the courtroom the defense lawyers objected. Lawyer Tahir Elçi said the suspects’ request to defend themselves in Kurdish is not a political request but a legal request. Elçi said calling Kurdish an “unknown language” would have heavy political consequences.
See Oct. 21 post. This will only get bigger . . .

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