by David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan
Turkey’s lamentable human rights record and, in particular its attempts to intimidate independent Kurdish organisations through mass show trials, was the theme of an important seminar held by Peace in Kurdistan on 18 September in Garden Court Chambers.
The briefing brought together leading legal experts, media professionals and human rights activists who had all been taking a close interest in the trials of fellow lawyers, journalists, academics and trade unionists taking place in Turkey over recent months.
The trials, which have involved the arrest of thousands of progressive and mainly Kurdish activists, and seen hundreds sent to trial, have collectively become known as the KCK trials after the Kurdistan Communities Union, an umbrella civil society association, which the Turkish state deems to be a front for terrorism.
The trials in fact amount to Turkey’s attempts to criminalise and eliminate all aspects of Kurdish legal political activity and are the state’s response to recent electoral advances made by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, which has been gaining strength in the largely Kurdish southeast. Continue reading