It is an old reflex of Turkey’s state tradition to collectively imprison political figures who express the desires of the Kurdish people. Collective arrests started in 1959 with the imprisonment of forty-nine Kurdish intellectuals and turned into collective executions in the 1990s. Now—during the tenure of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP – Justice and Development Party) of Prime Minister Erdoğan—they have taken the form of sensational mass detentions through the so-called KCK operations under which almost 8000 people have been arrested since 2009. Continue reading
The Kurdish Institute, the International Publishers Association, and International PEN give their responses to the arrests of Ragip Zarakolu and Busra Ersnli, on 28 October 2011, below. You can also find Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s statement on the arrests here.
The Kurdish Institute: Zarakolu and Ersanli arrested by court
A Turkish court on Tuesday decided to put under arrest 44 people, including Publisher Ragip Zarakolu and Prof. Busra Ersanli, on charges of membership in the so-called KCK (Union of Kurdistan Communities). They were among about 50 suspects detained over the weekend in a crackdown on the same charges.
After the interrogation at the police, all 50 persons were taken to the Istanbul Courthouse on Monday morning. The prosecutor decided to take 47 of them to court with the demand to arrest them. Continue reading
Solidarity with the Victims of All Genocides
& The Forum for Stateless Nations
Genocide, war crimes and the role of the AKP Government in obstructing the peace process in Turkey
An Appeal to UK MP’s to sign EDM 2267
30 October 2011
Last week, our lobby of MP’s and protest outside the Turkish Embassy in London sought to bring attention to the recent wave of arrests of academics and politicians in Turkey. These arrests came as no surprise. Have successive UK governments not turned a blind eye to the fact that the modern Turkish State came about following the seal of approval by Britain and its allies (in the Treaty of Lausanne) of the successful and merciless Genocide of the Armenian, Assyrian-Syriac and Greek populations as well as ‘Others’ from 1915 onwards? (by the CUP and/or Kemalist led nationalists). Have we not turned a blind eye to continued persecution of its national ‘minorities’ by the state of Turkey since its inception? What will it take, I wonder, for a British Prime Minister to robustly call for the government of Turkey to respect its National Minorities, to bravely face its Genocidal past, and to confront the reality of its totalitarian present posing as a democracy? Continue reading