Bronwen Jones reports on 6th hearing of KCK lawyers’ trial

 

Full report on the KCK Trial of Lawyers in Istanbul

By Bronwen Jones

 

Observations

Hearing of 6 November 2012

The court building at Koaeli Prison in Silivri is an approximately two-hour journey from Istanbul.

There was a significant Jandarma (gendarmerie) presence at the court.  International observers were required to surrender mobile phones, but were not searched on entry into the court building or show any identification, and were all permitted to sit inside court and were allowed access to court facilities.  Visiting Turkish lawyers showed their bar cards and were also permitted inside the courtroom.

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Kurdish Lawyers on Trial in Turkey: A Travesty of Justice

Press Statement, 24.09.2013

Six UK lawyers*) formed part of the 30-strong delegation of European human rights lawyers, from several countries, that, on the 17th September, observed, at the Silivri prison court, the 6th hearing of the trial of 45 Kurdish lawyers, who face criminal charges under Turkey’s anti-terror laws.

It has been 22 months since these lawyers were rounded up in dawn raids by Turkey’s anti-terror police. Throughout this period many of the defendants have been held in pre-trial detention, without any reason being given. From time to time, some have been bailed, but 16 lawyers still remain incarcerated.

The next one-day hearing will not be until December 19th, but trials such as these could be prolonged so as to go on for many years.

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Eyewitness in Turkey

Report by Tony Simpson of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and Patrick Deboosere, Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussels following their visit to Turkey as international observers of the KCK trials. The mass trial at Silivri is one of the largest ongoing trials, with more than 200 defendants. The accused include academic and constitutional law expert Dr Busra Ersanli, publisher Ragip Zarakolu and Kurdish members of the BDP.

 

A political purge is under way in Turkey. Since 2009, thousands of activists from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have been arrested in police raids and interned  in extended pre-trial detention. Following elections in June 2011, the BDP currently has 36 members of the Turkish Parliament, elected mainly with the support of Turkey’s substantial Kurdish minority. Continue reading

Tribunal with Special Powers: Court at Silivri Prison Campus, Turkey

Statement written by Tony Simpson of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and Patrick Deboosere, Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussels, who are part of an international delegation monitoring the trial of Ayse Berktay. 

 

13 July 2012

More than 200 people are before the court charged with support for a terrorist organisation, the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK). The vast majority are Kurdish members of the Peace and Democracy Party, which has 36 elected representatives in the Turkish Parliament. In addition, there are some Turkish supporters of the BDP, including our friend and colleague Ayse Berktay.

Ayse has been remanded in detention until the court reconvenes in October, together with most of the accused, although she has already been detained for nine months, since October 2011. The judges granted bail for an additional 16 accused, including the distinguished academic, Professor Busra Ersanli.

Our international delegation attended four of the eight days of proceedings. During this time only part of the 2,400 indictment was read to the court. Defendants had about an hour to make personal pleas, strictly in the Turkish language as the court refused to hear statements in the Kurdish language, although this was the preferred tongue of many of those in the dock. Fifteen individual defendants made such pleas. Continue reading