Posted by: hevallo | November 5, 2010

>Turkish Judge Responding to Defence in Kurdish: "This is an Unknown Language"!

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A Diyarbakır court was forced to recess during a trial of the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, on Thursday, after arguments erupted regarding Kurdish being spoken during the proceedings, news agencies reported.

When Bayram Altun, deputy head of the shuttered pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP, began to read a defense statement in Kurdish, the head judge had his microphone turned off. “The defendant is making his defense in an unknown language,” he reportedly said.

Following this eruption, defendant Ramazan Morkoç also reportedly addressed the court in Kurdish, and then in Turkish. “You cannot insult the language of a people,” he said. The head judge moved to expel Morkoç from the courtroom, sparking protests from the other defendants who asked to be expelled from courtroom collectively.

When the judge decided to remove all the defendants from the courtroom the defense lawyers objected. Lawyer Tahir Elçi said the suspects’ request to defend themselves in Kurdish is not a political request but a legal request. Elçi said calling Kurdish an “unknown language” would have heavy political consequences.

The case against the urban alleged wing of the PKK, the Kurdistan Communities Union, or KCK, started last month. Among the more than 150 suspects are mayors of several southeastern Anatolian cities elected from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, as well as alleged PKK members. The suspects are charged with being members of the KCK. Source:Hurriyet

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