Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Turkey Holds Top Pro-Kurdish Lawyer for ’Terrorist Propaganda’

Turkish police on Tuesday arrested a top lawyer in the majority Kurdish city of Diyarbakir for alleged "terrorist propaganda", taking him to Istanbul for questioning, a legal source said.

The source said Tahir Elci, head of the bar in the southeastern city and campaigner for Kurdish rights, was arrested over an interview to CNN Turk last week in which he said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) "is not a terrorist organization".

On Tuesday he was being questioned by anti-terrorist prosecutors. Being a "terror apologist" is punishable by jail under Turkish law.

"This scene clearly shows the state of freedom of expression in Turkey today," Cihan news agency quoted Elci as saying as he was taken away by police.

"Is Turkey a country of freedom, a democratic country? This scene shows what it is."

In the interview, Elci sparked anger from other CNN Turk guests by saying:
"The PKK is a political movement which has important political demands and which enjoys widespread support, even if some of its actions are of a terrorist nature."
Source: AFP


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