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"Propagandation in Kurdish" Is A Crime In İzmir, Not So In Digor

Two DTP mayors in İzmir are on trial for violating the law on political parties, because they addressed the crowds in Kurdish before elections.

Erol ÖNDEROĞLU, Istanbul - BIA News Center, 30 June 2009

Despite a recent positive approach by a prosecutor in Digor, a colleague in İzmir contradicts his optimism by filing a case against the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) Karabağlar mayor Cemal Coşgun and Gaziemir mayor Şehmuz Seyhan on allegations of violating the political party law by "propagating in Kurdish".

Two DTP members will stand trial on 31 July at Bakırköy 10th Criminal Court. The alleged "crime" took place two days prior to the local elections on 29 March.

The prosecutor's office in İzmir stated in the indictment "the accused had owned up to the alleged crime, proposing that the constitution and the current legislation fails to answer the needs of the society, therefore speaking in Kurdish."

The prosecution stated that the law on political parties explicitly states that political propaganda in languages other than Turkish is forbidden.

Noting that three other inquiries are filed against him, Cosgun expressed his concern to bianet.

"Existing legislation doesn't cover the needs of the society. The constitution was prepared following the military coup of 1980 and it exerts pressure on the society. Taking someone to court because of speaking in his or her mother tongue is a shame." (EÖ/AGÜ)

Source: BIA News Center

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