Returning Kurdish Politician Arrested Upon Airport Arrival

9.5.2013  – BIANET – Hatice Yaşar, a Kurdish politician who was forced to leave Turkey and move to Sulaymaniyah in 1980, has been detained and arrested yesterday upon her arrival at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport. She was sent to Sincan Prison in Ankara.

“She returned to Turkey after 33 years, at a time that many factions of the society are discussing she brought up before. They should have apologized her, instead they didn’t allow her to spend time with her family,” Ayşe Bakkalcı and Metin Bakkalcı, Yaşar’s family members told bianet.

“Yaşar didn’t return to Turkey because her conscious didn’t let her when score were dying on the mountains. She chose this time because a farewell to arms is very possible now. She doesn’t have any other motives.”In the pre-1980 military coup era, Yaşar emerged as one of the prominent leaders in the resolution of Turkey’s Kurdish problem. She was an advocate of non-military methods around Ala Rizgari, an organization and newspaper that she led for years.

In May 1980 Yaşar was forced to leave Turkey and live in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Having taught at Sulaymaniyah University, she had close ties with Jelal Talabani, Iraq’s incumbent president. She also acquired citizenship from Austria. On 5 October 2012 a prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for Hatice Yaşar, charging her with “being a member of armed terror organization”, officials said. Along with Yaşar, around 40 PKK leaders including Murat Karayılan, Cemil Bayık, Duran Kalkan, Ali Haydar Kaytan, Zübeyr Aydar, Remzi Kartal and Osman Öcalan have been put on the arrest list. (NV/BM)