PKK leader says Dicle ban may amount to declaration of war

TODAYSZAMAN

PKK leader Murat Karay?lan (C)
Outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Murat Karay?lan said the ban of a pro-Kurdish independent deputy, who is now jailed on various charges, may amount to a declaration of war against the Kurdish people if the government does not rectify the mistake.
“If the Turkish state and government do not develop an initiative to address this grave injustice or rectify it in the upcoming days, this will officially mean a declaration of war against out people,” Karay?lan threatened in an interview with the pro-PKK F?rat news agency.
A group of lawyers representing Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the PKK, announced last Friday that the PKK leader had decided to prolong a unilateral cease-fire his group had declared last summer. The PKK earlier announced that the cease-fire would expire on June 15.
Thirty-six independent deputies supported by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) were elected in the June 12 elections, and they were expected to form a group in Parliament under the BDP. However, six of the BDP-sponsored deputies are under arrest as part of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) trial. The Supreme Election Board (YSK) voted unanimously on Tuesday night to strip Hatip Dicle, one the six jailed deputies, of his right to assume his post over his earlier separate terrorism-related conviction, which led to outrage among the pro-Kurdish party and its supporters. The BDP announced on Thursday that it would boycott Parliament in protest of the YSK decision unless concrete steps were taken to address the issue.

Dicle was convicted of “disseminating the propaganda of the outlawed PKK” in 2009 by the Ankara 11th High Criminal Court, and the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the decision in March of this year. The court sentenced Dicle to one year, eight months in prison on terrorism charges. Dicle is also currently on trial in the 6th Diyarbak?r High Criminal Court as a suspect in a separate investigation into the outlawed PKK’s alleged secret urban branch, the KCK. He was detained in December 2009 as part of the KCK probe and has been in custody since.

Karay?lan supported the BDP’s decision to boycott Parliament and said there could be nothing done besides this, adding that the YSK’s vetoing Dicle entering Parliament is a situation that could be considered a cause for war. Karay?lan said the YSK decision is a bid to control Kurdish politics and send the message, “Don’t exceed your lines, we can stop you.” Karay?lan said the boycott is a sign of the strong determination that Kurdish political movements will continue to maintain in their honorable stance.

Karay?lan dismissed Parliament speaker Mehmet Ali ?ahin and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Ar?nç’s earlier remarks suggesting a legal change to solve the problem, and said he considers Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Bekir Bozda?’s following statement an official policy of the ruling party.

“Ar?nç and ?ahin partially spoke softly and pointed to a possibility for a solution. But it seems this is only their personal opinion, because only hours after their statements, Bozda? closed all doors by making an official statement on behalf of the AKP. It is clear that [party officials] contacted [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdo?an and there was a need to make that statement in line with Erdo?an’s view. … This is a decision. Therefore they will implement the decision,” Karay?lan concluded.

Bozda? held a press conference on behalf of his party earlier this week and responded to claims raised by BDP officials that the AK Party is responsible for the “Dicle crisis.” “The YSK is not an institution that has links with the AK Party or the government. It is unjust and wrong to link YSK decisions to the government,” he said.

The AK Party official also commented on a recent call by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to find a legal solution to the Dicle controversy similar to the one that paved the way for Prime Minister Erdo?an to enter Parliament in 2002. Bozda? said there is no similarity between the two cases and ruled out any kind of comparison. He said the existing laws were violated in the prime minister’s case, while the existing laws are being applied in Dicle’s case.


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