TURKEY: KCK trial resumed in Istanbul

01 October 2012 – ANF – Trial against 205 BDP members, academicians, journalists resumed today – Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) Istanbul main trial has begun this morning in Silivri Prison Complex.

205 executives and members of the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) as well as academicians and students are tried by Istanbul 15th High Criminal Court in the scope of KCK Istanbul investigation. The trial is attended by all defendants except Büşra Ersanlı and 19 others who are not in detention.

Among those tried in the case are BDP members and executives, Prof. Büşra Ersanlı, publisher and writer Ragıp Zarakolu, Özgür Gündem editor Kazım Şeker, Red Magazine writer Hakan Soytemiz as well as a number of administrators of some Kurdish institutions. 124 defendants are in prison.

The trial began with tension as lawyers, journalists and the audience were searched before being allowed into the court room. When defendants gave details of their ID in their mother tongue Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic, the court board said their release demands should be submitted in writing, which lawyers objected to this and defending that this would lead to a restriction and violation of principle of publicity. As the court board therewith asked the prosecutor for his opinion, the prosecutor proposed that only those not knowing the Turkish language could be provided with translation service. Asking for the floor at the trial, defendant Aslan İşçioğlu said that “Eleven Kurdish prisoners have been attacked and put in isolation cells for protesting against Öcalan’s isolation.” The court board turned his microphone off and didn’t allow him to speak.