Court case on use of Kurdish in politics draws varied reactions
Analysts see ruling as a positive symbolic step, but its practical impact is unclear. The Constitutional Court decision easing restrictions on use of Kurdish in political activities has received mixed interpretations, with observers offering cautious praise amid lingering uncertainty over the ruling’s legal ramifications.
The decision, which went into effect last week after being issued in July 2012, overturned article …
Kurdish permitted in Turkish courts
ISTANBUL – The Turkish parliament has passed a law that permits the use of Kurdish in court houses. The right to defend oneself in one’s mother tongue is an important demand of the Kurdish political movement.
The law was approved after an emotional debate. Some opposition MP’s claim the use of any other language than Turkish in courts will break the …
Parliamentary immunity crisis seen as setback
A move to lift BDP deputies’ immunity hurts prospects for a negotiated settlement of the Kurdish conflict, observers say.
A government proposal to strip immunity from several deputies with ties to the BDP opposition party could force the Kurdish representatives from Turkey’s political process, observers said.
The prime minister office’s recently submitted to parliament of a motion seeking to strip the immunity …
Slowly but surely
In Turkey, the need for reform is large – as is the country’s capacity to implement these reforms. So, how effectively does governance in Turkey serve the needs of present and future generations, asks Fréderike Geerdink.
Let’s start with the good news. Starting with the bad news would mean stating that Turkey is performing rather badly when comparing OECD countries …
Life imprisonment for coup plotting Turkish generals
ANKARA – Three former Turkish generals have beensentenced to life imprisonment on Friday. They were on trial for planning a coup against the government in 2003. Because the coup plans didn’t lead to an actual coup, they can be released after twenty years. Thirty-four other officers were acquitted.
These verdicts are the first from trials over coup plans. Hundreds of officers …
Trial of 44 journalists starts
ISTANBUL – In the Turkish city of Istanbul the trial of 44 journalists working for Kurdish media has started. They are accused of ‘membership of an illegal organization’.
The journalists were detained last December and 35 of them have been in jail ever since. They are being tried in the so-called ‘KCK trials’, in which thousands of Kurds are being prosecuted …
Thou shalt not tweet about God
Today I was interviewed on Belgian public radio. Subject: the world famous Turkish pianist Fazil Say. He tweeted about religion, a Turkish prosecutor didn’t like that and started a case against him. Belgian radio wanted to know everything about that because Say was giving a recital that evening in Brussels.
Listen to the interview here – sorry, …
Abortion restricted in Turkey
ISTANBUL – The government of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is drafting a change in the abortion law that will most probably make the procedure illegal in practice. Erdogan announced the new law Tuesday in a speech at the opening of a hospital in Istanbul.
The Turkish parliament will soon debate a Ministry of Health report on abortion , in which …
Turkey prosecutes Israeli military personnel
ISTANBUL – A Turkish court has decided to prosecute three high-ranking Israeli military officers for the death of nine Turkish activists on board the aid ship Mavi Marmara almost two years ago, according to Turkish media reports on Monday.
At the time the ship was heading for Gaza to deliver aid supplies and try to break the Israeli blockade of …
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‘Esteemed Öcalan’ no longer punishable in Turkey
ISTANBUL – In Turkey it is no longer a criminal offence to call PKKleader Öcalan ‘esteemed Öcalan’. That is the result of a verdict of the Supreme Court of Appeals, which acquitted two previously convicted politicians. ‘Esteemed Öcalan’ was considered by the law to be ‘praising a terrorist,’ and many court cases evolved around it. Turkish media reported that on …