More members of Turkey's BDP arrested

BIANET, 30 December<2009

A further 24 people have been arrested in Van and Batman, cities in the pre-dominantly Kurdish south-east of Turkey, in the course of raids against pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). BDP is the succession party of recently closed Democratic Society Party (DTP). Members of BDP, DTP and of non-governmental organizations are among the people taken into custody on 28 December.

The prosecutor's office accuses all 24 individuals of membership of KCK (Koma Civaken Kurdistan), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

People arrested in Van:

MEYADER (Mesopotamia Association of Those Having Lost their Relatives) Van Branch President Ferzende Abi, Hacıbekir Suburb Free Citizen Association Chairman Tefik Say, DTP Van Provincial Treasurer Sıddık Gül, BDP Women's Council Member Yıldız Tekin and Eylem Açıkalın, Kerem ÇaÄŸlı, Ramazan Özlü, Selim Çay, Cafer Koçak, Zihni Karakaya, Mustafa Ayaz and Kamuran Parlak.

People arrested in Batman:

Former DTP Batman Provincial President Ahmet Sormaz, Göç-Der (Migration Association) Batman Manager Selamet Akyüz, former DTP city and county administrators Veysi Gülseren, Ä°lyas SaÄŸlam and Aydın Kılıç, Urban Women's Council employee Gülizar Kal, politicians Cahit Conbay, Rıdvan Asaln and Åžeymus YaÅŸar, Batman Municipality Council Members Åžirin BaÄŸlı, Rıfat BaÅŸalak and Nesri Kılıç.

23 people had been arrested in Diyarbakır on 26 December, among them 7 mayors.

Peace Council: AKP is playing with fire

A delegation of the Peace Council of Turkey (TBM) went to Diyarbakır as an act of solidarity with the Kurdish politicians one day prior to the latest arrests. The TBM announced, "AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] is playing with fire". The delegation demanded, "All operations should be stopped immediately, representatives of the Kurdish people on all levels should be able to do politics freely, the detainees should be released and apologized to".

The TBM stressed the fact that the Kurdish question cannot be solved by eliminating the Kurdish movement, "The slogan 'Until the last terrorist is defeated', which was said by the government addressing the ones in favour of an armed struggle, means nothing else but 'Until the last politician is confined'. But this means to allow the weapons to have a say in this matter".

The TBM urged all citizens of Turkey to beware any developments that make a solution impossible and to support a peaceful and democratic solution of the Kurdish question.DTP MPs refusing statement

In the context of the recent closure of pro-Kurdish DTP by reason of "focussing on terroristic activities", the Ankara 11th High Criminal Court tries MPs Aysel TuÄŸluk, Ahmet Türk, Emine Ayna, Sebahat Tuncel and Selahattin DemirtaÅŸ in five separate cases. When the MPs refused to give their statements, the court issued the decision to "bring them in by force" in order to get their statements. However, the former DTP members still decline to answer questions at court. (TK/VK)

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