Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More KCK Detentions, More Unrest

A street theater group puts on a show in protest of the ongoing KCK trial in front of the Diyarbakir Greater Municipality Building and within view of the courthouse. DHA Photo from Hurriyet Daily News

Police detained six alleged members of the KCK, the PKK's so-called urban wing, in Van yesterday as the KCK trial continued with a bit of street theater in front of the courthouse. From Hurriyet Daily News:
Police simultaneously raided various addresses in the Erciş district of eastern Van province and detained six including Ramazan Alver, Erciş branch head of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP.

. . . .

The lawyers of KCK defendants asked for the recusal of the judges hearing the case during Tuesday’s hearing in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır at the 6th Court of Serious Crimes. A group of people protested the hearing through a theatrical play held in front of the municipality building, located nearby the courthouse.

The KCK case has 152 suspects on trial, of which 104 are under arrest and 19 are on the run. The arrested suspects include 12 elected mayors from the BDP.

The case is in a deadlock because the suspects have demanded to give testimony in Kurdish since the first hearing but have been prevented from doing so by the court.

BDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş had stated the suspects would not attend the hearing Tuesday, which raised tension. Meanwhile, the 23 female suspects under arrest resisted being transferred to the courthouse but were later persuaded to do so.

The request for the recusal of the judges will be heard by the 4th Court of Serious Crimes of Diyarbakır.
The recusal request raises the ante a bit while the BDP continues to score political points. Why does someone not just blink already? The BDP has everything to gain from the current stalemate. Meanwhile, the court's recalcitrance and the Turkish government's absolute silence on the subject is only aggravating concerns. Perhaps a draft proposal creating the right to defend oneself in one's native language. Too much to hope for I know, but still . . .

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