- General Secretary of United Nations, President of European Union and Amnesty International,
On December 24th, more than 80 people related to the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party), as well as human rights defenders and members of NGO’s were arrested across Turkey. On December 28th, another 24 people were arrested in Van, and Batman, cities of the pre-dominantly Kurdish south-east of Turkey.
The BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) is the succession party to the recently closed Democratic Society Party (DTP). The prosecutor's office accuses the detained of membership in the KCK (Koma Civaken Kurdistan), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The detentions are part of a wider pattern of repression of pro-Kurdish politicians, and in fact this is the fourth major crackdown on Kurdish politicians since the DTP won a landslide victory in the local elections in March 2009. Immediately following this success, executives of the DTP, including the party’s vice-co-presidents, were taken into custody and arrested. In the intervening eight months, not one of those individuals detained has been brought to trial. Moreover, the authorities have yet to give reasons for their detention. To date, some 500 Kurdish politicians, including DTP executives and members have been arrested or detained since April 2009. The arrested politicians belong to those who worked hardest for local democracy in their communities. In spite of constant harassment from the Turkish state, they have tried to build a functioning infrastructure in their municipalities.
If Turkey is to have any credibility left as a modern and democratic country they must have the imprisoned elected politicians and human rights activists immediately released.
A list of some of the detained and some details follows:
Muharrem Erbey: Lawyer, Vice President and Diyarbakýr Branch President of Human Rights Association (IHD).
Following the detention of Muharrem Erbey, the police raided the Diyarbakir Branch of Human Rights Association in the hope of finding “more evidence”. Besides the unlawful raid, the search and confiscation in this office , which had no relation with the related investigation, was a scandal in terms of law. The Diyarbakir Branch of IHD has not ever been raided even during the years of state of emergency. Muharrem Erbey’s activities are the work of a human rights defender.
Hatip Dicle: DTP co-chairman, he was previously arrested while member of parliament and imprisoned for ten years.
Firat Anli: DTP Amed city leader. He was the mayor of Yenisehir in the last term and stood for Mayor of Cewlik in the last election.
Abdullah Demirbas: Mayor of Sur. He was removed from power by the state for supporting multi-lingual administration, but was put back into power by the people in the March Elections. In addition he has health problems that make his detainment without attention of a doctor a threat to his well being
Aydin Budak: Mayor of Cizre-- just like Demirbas was removed from power by the state and re-elected by the people.
Zulkuf Karatekin: Mayor of Kayapinar Serving his second term in office.
Nejdet Atalay: Mayor of Batman. He won his office with a high majority in Batman.
Ferhan Turk: Mayor of Kiziltepe He spent years in the notorious Amed prison and felt the full force of the coup. He is now imprisoned for the second time.
Leyla Guven: Mayor of Viransehir She has previously been a local administrator and has actively taken part in the women’s freedom movement.
Ethem Sahin: Mayor of Suruc won the local election with a landslide victory and has since changed the appearance of the town.
Huseyin Kalkan: Former mayor of Batman
Emrullah CIn: Former mayor of Viransehir
Abdullah Akengin: Former mayor of Dicle
Kazim Kurt: Former mayor of Hakkari
Nadir Bingol: Former mayor of Ergani
Ali Simsek: Assistant mayor of Amed
Yasar Sari: General Secretary of DISKI
Ferzende Abi: MEYADER (Mesopotamia Association of Those Having Lost their Relatives) Van Branch President ,
Tefik Say: Hacıbekir Suburb Free Citizen Association Chairman
Sıddık Gül: DTP Van Provincial Treasurer,
Yıldız Tekin: BDP Women's Council Member
Eylem Açıkalın: BDP Women's Council Member
Kerem Çağlı: BDP Women's Council Member
Ramazan Özlü:BDP Women's Council Member
Selim Çay: BDP Women's Council Member
Cafer Koçak: BDP Women's Council Member
Zihni Karakaya: BDP Women's Council Member
Ahmet Sormaz: Former DTP Batman Provincial President , Göç-Der (Migration Association)
Selamet Akyüz: Batman Manager
Aydın Kılıç: former DTP city and county administrators ,
Gülizar Kal: Urban Women's Council employee
Cahit Kanbay: politician
Rıdvan Asaln: politician
Şeymus Yaşar: politician
Şirin Bağlı,: Batman Municipality Council Member
Rıfat Başalak: Batman Municipality Council Member
Nesri Kılıç: Batman Municipality Council Member
Fethi Suvari: Coordinator of Local Gundem21
Abbas Celik: Administrator of Goc-Der’s Diyarbakir Branch
Cebrail Kurt: BDP worker
We ask you to urge turkish state to respect the political will of Kurdish People, their elected leaders, politicians and release them immediately.