Posted by: hevallo | July 10, 2007

Harassment of Kurds in Turkish elections!

The Kurdish party DTP is facing intense harassment over its campaigning in the run up to the Turkish elections. Here the Independent News Website in Turkey, Bianet lists just some of the recorded events:

4. – Bianet – “Kurdish Politicians Harassed During Campaigns”:
The election campaign of the independent candidates supported by the pro-Kurdish DTP has been obstructed by police and gendarmerie. Particularly in the South-east, candidates have been prevented from putting up posters or opening election offices.
ISTANBUL / 9 July 2007
Since the beginning of their election campaigns, some of the so-called “A thousand hope candidates”, independent candidates supported by the pro Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) and some parties of the left, have been targeted by obstructions and bans.
Arrests, confiscations of flags and posters, closure of election offices are all examples of the kind of harassment candidates have faced. Below are listed some specific incidents:

22.06.2007 The General Staff registers a complaint against Mahmut Alinak, candidate in Kars (eastern Turkey). The complaint to the Ministry of Justice is based on a speech of 24 April 2007, in which Alinak said, “We do not want any of our young people to die, neither as soldiers nor as guerrillas”.

22.06.2007 In Van (eastern Turkey), independent candidates Saim Kartal, Özdal Ücer and Fatma Kurtulan are met by gendarmerie officer Kemal Zeybel, who tells them that rallies are forbidden and then shoots in the air when the crowd does not disperse.

24.06.2007 Candidate Hüseyin Armagan, candidate in Bursa (western Turkey), is arrested by the gendarmerie for opening an election office without permission.

27.06.2007 Posters of candidate Serafettin Halis in Tunceli (eastern Turkey) are confiscated after three local peace courts decide that they incite hostility and hatred.

28.06.2007 Cevdet Konak, mayor of one district in Tunceli, is arrested after a speech he made at the opening of Serafettin Halis’ election Office.

01.07.2007 When Bursa candidate Armagan uses the purple flags which represent the “Thousand Hope candidates” in an election Office opening, police confiscate the flags, arguing that they are illegal.

04.07.2007 In a district of Sirnak (south-east of Turkey), the flags of independent candidates are pulled down by plainclothes policemen, and candidates are told that they can only use the flags at rallies.

05.07.2007 In a district of Mus (eastern Turkey), gendarmerie officers forbid the putting up of posters and flags in villages, arguing that it is illegal. Furthermore, Kurdish music cassettes are confiscated from the vehicles.

05.07.2007 Hilmi Karaoglan, candidate in Tekirdag (western Turkey), is arrested for playing Kurdish music in his election bus.


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