“The court does not understand the statements in Kurdish”

 By bianet:

Diyarbakır – BİA News Center, 16 September 2011

“The court does not understand the statements made in the Kurdish language” – this is what was registered in the minutes of the eighth hearing of the trial regarding the Union of Kurdistan Communities/Turkey Assembly (KCK/TM) in Mardin (south-eastern Turkey).

22 defendants, ten of whom are detained, are on trial before the Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court. Independent Mardin Deputy Gülser Yıldırım is one of the detained defendants who stand accused of “membership of a terrorist organization” on the grounds of their activities at the Democratic City Council of Mardin.

The statement of a secret witness referred to as “from Izmir” was read out during the hearing and added to the case file. The secret witness made a statement about his observations during meetings of the Free Citizens Movements and later on at a KCK/TM meeting. Distancing himself from the movement, the secret witness made the following statement:

“The meetings were usually held at the provincial and district presidencies of the closed down Democratic Society Party (DTP). We were posting a banner reading “Free Citizen” at the meeting room. Party members and executives were compelled to participate in order to make the meetings more crowded. However, the person leading through the meeting was neither an executive of the party nor a high-level executive. Under the name of the City Council, this formation became the head of everything. The candidates for the local elections in 2009 were announced by this assembly. The members of this assembly were not elected but appointed without election”.

“An unjust trial”

The prosecutor demanded to continue the defendants’ detention. The court was going to listen to the statements of defendants upon the request of the prosecution. However, when the defendants started speaking in Kurdish, it was registered in the minutes that “the court does not understand the statements made in the Kurdish language”.

Deputy Yıldırım presented his defence in Turkish, saying “The people here are political personalities who are not affiliated at all with any organization and they do not have weapons. We think that we are facing an unjust trial”.

The defence lawyers demanded the release of their clients but the court board decided to keep the defendants in detention. The trial was postponed to 17 November.

The 205-page indictment was prepared by the Diyarbakır Public Chief Prosecution. It claims that the establishment and functioning of the Democratic City Council is based on the agreement of the KCK/TM. “The Democratic City Council is the base organization of the KCK/TM system. It is based on creating a basis of an organizational system in the form of village, street commune, district, township and city councils” the indictment put forward.


The KCK was founded by Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned leader of the outlawed armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). It aims at the implementation of Öcalan’s ideology of democratic confederalism. The KCK intends to organize the Kurdish people and includes the PKK under its roof. (AS/VK)


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