Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mayors risk jail in language row

Mayors risk jail in language row
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

DIYARBAKIR – TDN with wire dispatches
Prosecutors are seeking jail terms of up to three years for two mayors and 17 councilmen in southeastern Turkey who introduced Kurdish and other languages in office, court officials said yesterday, the Agence France-Presse reported.
The accused include Diyarbakır Mayor Osman Baydemir and Abdullah Demirbaş, who was removed from his post as mayor of Diyarbakır's multi-ethnic Sur municipality last month after the city council in January allowed the use of Kurdish, Armenian, Arabic, Assyrian and English in municipal services. The charge sheet accused the defendants of "abuse of office" and sought prison sentences ranging from one to three years. The trial of Baydemir, Demirbaş and the 17 city councilmen who voted for the municipal bill is scheduled to begin in November.
Diyarbakir's governor asked a district court to scrap the multilingual services. According to the Constitution, Turkish is the sole official language and no other languages can be used in government offices and municipalities. Ankara has in recent years legalized broadcasts in Kurdish and allowed private institutions to teach the Kurdish language. The law, however, still requires Kurds to use only Turkish in official communications and politics.

Turkish as a foreign language:
Meanwhile, a group of deputies supported by the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in the elections, including the former head of DTP Ahmet Türk, entered “Turkish” as the foreign language they could speak when filling out their information forms to register in Parliament, media reports said. The short biographies of the deputies were not put on the Web site of Parliament. Meanwhile, the biographies of other deputies who registered on Sunday with Parliament were not launched on the Web site either, so as not to give the impression that only the DTP-supported deputies were left out, the daily Radikal reported.
Ahmet Türk said the entry was an error, not ill-intentioned, daily Milliyet reported. Türk went to Parliament and corrected his form. Parliament officials stated that as Turkish is the only official language in Turkey, it could not be referred to as a “foreign language” in Parliament.
The former Democratic Party (DEP) deputies wrote “Kurdish” as the foreign language they could speak on the information form in 1991, but this information was not included in Parliament records

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Baydemir's dossier goes to chief prosecutor

Baydemir's dossier goes to chief prosecutor
Friday, July 13, 2007
ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
The Council of State yesterday approved a decision by the Interior Ministry to launch a probe against Osman Baydemir, mayor of Diyarbakır for using the Kurdish language during municipal activities, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Turkey's administrative court sent Baydemir's dossier to the office of Diyarbakır's chief prosecutor.
Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu permitted authorities to launch an investigation into claims that the mayor of Diyarbakır was writing letters in Kurdish in his office and was putting up posters in Kurdish. Baydemir's lawyers did appeal against Aksu's permission but the Council of State turned down the appeal unanimously.
Meanwhile Baydemir's recent interview with Roj TV, drew criticism here. Baydemir, while defending himself Wednesday, said he was doing the same thing for 10 years and there is nothing new about it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Veronika says:

I really like this blog. You show a spirit of continuity which is very important.

Dear Veronika!
Please write to us longer comments.
Save ROJ TV Team

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Diyarbakir,ŞIirnak mayors being investigated

Diyarbakır, Şırnak mayors being investigated for conducting Kurdish propaganda

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ANKARA – Turkish Daily News

An investigation has been launched against the mayors of Diyarbakır and Şırnak, Osman Baydemir and Ahmet Ertak, for Kurdish propaganda in interviews given on television.

Baydemir is accused of making statements in support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in an interview he gave to Denmark-based Roj TV. He is claimed to have described the PKK as �armed opposition.� Turkey says Roj TV is a PKK mouthpiece and has asked for it to be shut down. Denmark's failure to do so has caused tension between the two countries.

Şırnak Mayor Ertak is accused of calling for support to be given to the PKK in an interview he gave to France-24 news channel. He later denied making such a comment.

Ertak said he spoke in Kurdish to the French channel and that his statements were mistranslated. He denied saying, �The PKK supports Kurds and we support it. The PKK needs to be supported.�

Ertak said he would never say such a thing, accusing the channel of tampering with his comments. Frederic Helbert, the interviewer, told the Doğan News Agency that Ertak's statements surprised him, arguing that the translations were correct.

Two inspectors from the Interior Ministry will investigate the actions of the two mayors

Diyarbakir mayor, Dicle apear on ROJ TV

Diyarbakir mayor, Dicle appear on ROJ TV angering Turks
The New Anatolian / Ankara
09 July 2007

The mayor of southeastern provincial capital of Diyarbakir Osman Baydemir and prominent Kurdish politician Hatip Dicle appeared on ROJ TV once again preparing the scene for a new controversy.Baydemir called the PKK "Kurdish armed opposition." Baydemir also accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being inconsistent. Dicle who is a former parliamentarian who was expelled from the house and sent to jail for ten years on charges of his links with the PKK said independent Kurdish deputies will enter the Parliament after the July 22 elections and will work for a "demoratic solution (of the Kurdish problem)." Dicle said he and other Kurdish deputies had entered the Parliament in 1991 and had cleared the way for the current deputies to struggle for their rights. "They have a huge crowd behind them (Kurds of Turkey). We were like the donkeys sent to the minefield. We cleared the mines (by ending up in prison) and today the new deputies will now have an easier time opening up the fields for cultivation. They are facing a historical task."Dicle said the people were concerned as they heard the slogans in mass rallies say "we are all Turks, we are Kemalists."Besides Baydemir former Human Rights Association chief Yusuf Akatas and Prof. Cengiz Gulec also participated in the program.Turkey has repeatedly called on Denmark to ban ROJ TV. The issue of closing ROJ-TV in 2006 created a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Denmark. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan boycotted a news conference with the Danish prime minister in Copenhagen to protest the presence of Roj-TV journalists there. Also the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen requested Denmark revoke the station's broadcasting license but to date the Danish government has refused to do so, citing freedom of speech. Later, the U.S. intervened and urged Denmark to close down the channel, sending Copenhagen a secret letter which has been included in a file on the channel.However Danish police have been investigating whether ROJ-TV has any ties with the PKK, something the station has repeatedly denied.In 1995 a political wing of the PKK opened its fourth European office in Copenhagen, sparking protests from the Turkish Embassy. The office later closed because of a lack of funding. In 2000 Turkey protested that a Kurdish-language satellite TV station, Mesopotamia TV, was allowed to broadcast from Denmark to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.Baydemir was put on trial when he previously defended ROJ TV. He was one of the fifty-six pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) mayors who wrote to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen last year asking him to keep ROJ-TV on the air.The mayors, including Baydemir, faced charges of "aiding and abetting a terrorist group."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Tuesday,10 July 2007

PKK propaganda by mayors from DTP
The Şırnak and Diyarbakır mayors have uttered inconsiderate words.The mayor from Şırnak, Ertak, said on the France-24 channel: "we support the PKK." Baydemir defined the PKK as "armed Kurdish opposition."
"The PKK is armed opposition"
The Diyarbakır mayor from DTP, Osman Baydemir, referred to the PKK as "armed Kurdish opposition," during a show on Roj TV.The Diyarbakır mayor from DTP, Osman Baydemir, has caused reactions with his statements on Roj TV. Turkey has made a number of attempts to close Roj TV; Baydemir attended the show with the former DEP deputy, Hatip Dicle, and former chairman of İHD, Yusuf Alataş. Baydemir said the recent events in the region are being observed closely and mentioned the PKK as armed Kurdish opposition. Baydemir evaluated the PKK's retreat to the camps in Northern Iraq as a starting date. Baydemir stated there have been two major events after 1999 and added: "the armed Kurdish opposition started a strategic change and sent its militants outside of Turkey. This is a period which could be considered a starting point. Turkey was included in the EU process in Helsinki with the background determined by this."


News Diplomacy
Southeast mayor says Kurds, PKK supporting each other
The mayor of the southeastern city of Şırnak, located on the Iraqi border, was seen praising the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging a campaign against Turkey for over two decades, speaking to the France-24 news channel in a Friday interview during the weekly "Reporters" show. Şırnak Mayor Ahmet Ertak, speaking to France-24 in Kurdish said: "The PKK supports the Kurdish people. And we support the PKK. The PKK should be supported." Ertak continued: "We will go until the very end for democracy, justice and our cause. I am addressing Turkish authorities: We will respect you as long as you respect us and our culture. If the Turkish army stops operations, the PKK will lay down arms."
Ertak was voted mayor as a candidate of the Social Democrat People's Party (SHP) in the local elections in March 2004.
Footage featuring images of Turkish security forces was shown during the interview and the show also claimed that 20 million Kurds were looking for freedom in Turkey, and that the Turkish army was a state within a state. The program added that the Turkish military was not in reality pursuing an incursion to northern Iraq to root out the guerilla based there, but that such expressions were a "policy based on forestalling the Islamists in power."
Earlier the pro-Kurdish TV channel Roj TV, which broadcasts from Denmark, showed an interview with Kurdish leaders, including Diyarbakır Mayor Osman Baydemir, who referred to the PKK as "armed Kurdish opposition." Baydemir was speaking as a studio guest for a political program on Roj along with former deputy of the now banned pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) Hatip Dicle, former Human Rights Association (İHD) President Yusuf Alataş and academic Cengiz Güleç.
Former DEP deputy Dicle expressed his opinion that this year's independent deputies from the Democratic Society Party (DTP), a continuation of the DEP, would emphasize "peace" as their first word in Parliament. The participants expressed concern about increasingly nationalist and populist calls from political parties emphasizing hostility to different ethnic identities.
Speaking about recent developments and Turkey's threats of a military incursion into northern Iraq, Diyarbakır Mayor Baydemir said two major developments had taken place in Turkey after 1999. Referring to the PKK, he said: "The armed Kurdish opposition changed its strategy and removed weapons from its methods, and its militants to outside Turkey. This is a milestone of a process. It was with the ground this laid that Turkey was included in the European Union process." Baydemir also expressed concern that Turkey's citizens were experiencing a lack of confidence in each other. Turkey has long staged efforts to get Denmark to ban Roj TV.
France-24 is a French government-funded global 24-hour satellite and cable TV news, based in Paris.
10.07.2007 Today's Zaman İstanbul


Tuesday, July 10, 2007 21:45

Roj TV comments spark investigation into Diyarbakir's Baydemir

The mayor of Turkey's southeastern city Diyarbakir, Osman Baydemir, has made some striking statements regarding the PKK while speaking on Roj TV, a television station whose closure Ankara has been pushing for for years.
Roj TV, which broadcasts out of Denmark, hosted not only Baydemir, but also former DEP MP Hatip Dicle and others, has been the focus of much Turkish state criticism. Baydemir referred in his comments last night on Roj TV to the PKK as the "armed opposition" of the Kurdish people. An investigation has reportedly been opened into Baydemir for what state prosecutors are calling his actions in spreading propoganda.