8 People Arrested in Urfa

The BDP provincial co-chair is among 8 people arrested in Urfa on 5 October. Lawyer Benek stated the arrests were based on insignificant wiretapped telephone conversations. BDP MP Bininci said his party is being “terrorized”.
06 October 2010
Eight out of a total of 24 people taken into custody in the scope of an operation against the KCK were arrested in Urfa on Tuesday (5 October).

The Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan (KCK) intends to organize Kurdish people. The KCK is the umbrella organisation that also includes the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

İbrahim Ayhan and Adile Fidan, Co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), are among the people arrested. BDP Provincial Deputy Chair Bekir Benek said that the arrests were based on information obtained by telephone tapping.

Benek, Azadiya Welat newspaper representative Mehmet Veysel Ateş, Mahmut Kutevi, Kays Işık and Mehmet Yılmaz were taken into custody three days ago and released pending trial after they had given their statements. The supposedly suspicious party members and executives and representatives of non-governmental organizations were taken to court under allegations of “spreading propaganda for an illegal organization” and “membership of an illegal organization”.

16 people were released pending trial. The court decided to detain the BDP executives as well as Azize Yağız, Fatma Silgir, Nevrez Alataş, Mikail Gözek, Mensure Engin and Aynur Şahin.

BDP Party Assembly member Ferhat Tarhan was taken into custody in Ankara in the scope of the same file and brought to the Ankara L Type Closed Prison.

About a hundred people waited in front of the courthouse all night, among them also relatives of the people in police custody. BDP Urfa Deputy İbrahim Bininci criticized the arrests, “We will spread the news to everyone that justice has been disregarded in Urfa”.

“Even inquiring after somebody’s health on the phone is seen as a crime. A telephone conversation between me and the Provincial Chair was registered in the criminal record. The phone of a member of parliament is being wiretapped and the provincial chair is accused on the grounds of absurd evidence. They try to terrorize our party”.

Democratic Society Congress Co-chair Ahmet Türk said to journalists in Muş, “The arrests of our friends severely harm the healthy developments of the process [to resolve the Kurdish question]”.

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