Search

 

Cablegate: Turkey: Pro-Kurdish Dtp Defends Itself Before

VZCZCXRO6926
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #1676/01 2631408
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191408Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7504
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU//TCH//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEUITH/TLO ANKARA TU
RUEHAK/TSR ANKARA TU
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001676

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL OSCE TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: PRO-KURDISH DTP DEFENDS ITSELF BEFORE
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

REF: ANAKRA 1651

1. (SBU) Summary: In a two-hour verbal defense presented to
the Constitutional Court September 16, Pro-Kurdish Democratic
Society Party (DTP) Co-Chairman Ahmet Turk urged the Court
not to close DTP and ban 220 of its members from politics.
Turk claimed DTP has been working diligently to find a
peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue and that closing the
party would "make millions who voted for DTP lose hope in the
democratic system." He denied any organizational link
between DTP and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK),
and argued that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan had focused on
finding a peaceful solution since his imprisonment in 1999.
Turk encouraged the Court to review the party closure
standards set by the European Court of Human Rights and the
Council of Europe's Venice Commission, which he said militate
against closure. Turkish media, focused on the Deniz Feneri
(Lighthouse) corruption case and realizing most of the public
is apathetic to the plight of pro-Kurdish parties, has given
the case little attention, in contrast to its prominent
coverage of the AKP closure case. Upon completion of a Court
rapporteur's recommended ruling, the Court's President will
determine a schedule for the judges to convene and issue a
ruling. Closure requires the vote of seven of eleven Court
members. End summary.

--------------------------------------
Ahmet Turk Presents DTP's Oral Defense
--------------------------------------
2. (U) DTP Co-Chairman Ahmet Turk delivered the September 16
verbal defense in the Constitutional Court case filed by
Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Yalcinkaya's indictment to
close DTP and ban 220 of its members from politics. Arguing
that Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman's
Yalcinkaya's November 2007 indictment was "political, not
legal," Turk presented numerous political reasons for why the
Court should allow DTP to remain open. Turk opened by
emphasizing that DTP has been "working to find a peaceful and
democratic solution to the Kurdish issue." Closing the party
would quash this effort and make millions who voted for and
trusted DTP lose hope in the democratic system.

3. (U) Turk said the current Turkish Constitution fails to
accept the ethnic identity of Kurds. While the 1921
Constitution gave autonomy to provinces, the 1924
Constitution introduced a form of nationalism that rejected
the presence of Kurds. The 1960 and 1982 Constitutions
continued this unfair practice. DTP, per Turk, believes
Turkish should remain the official language of the country
but there should be government initiatives to allow Kurds to
speak Kurdish and freely express their culture.

4. (U) Turk denied an organizational link between DTP and the
PKK. Turk argued that the PKK developed as a reaction to the
Turkish state's policy of assimilation and blossomed under
the oppressive atmosphere that followed the 1980 military
coup. Turk criticized the Chief Prosecutor for failing to
mention the "state violence" in the 1990's, including the
evacuating and burning of over 3000 villages. The PKK was a
result, not a cause, of the Kurdish issue. A solution
requires dialogue and cooperation. Military operations would
never work. Turk complained about the insistence by many
state and government officials that DTP declare the PKK a
terrorist organization. Though DTP opposes violence, Turk
explained, labeling the PKK a terrorist organization would
ignore the need for dialogue and promote a military solution.


5. (U) Turk argued that the statements of imprisoned PKK
leader Abdullah Ocalan should not be a reason to close the
party. Since he was imprisoned in 1999, Ocalan had focused
on finding a peaceful political solution. Most recently he
had espoused a policy of granting more regional autonomy to
the heavily Kurdish provinces of southeastern Turkey. DTP's
adoption of this approach "does not contradict universal
legal norms and democracy, and should be considered normal."

6. (U) Turk urged the Court to review the European Court of
Human Rights' rulings on party closures. The ECHR rulings
made clear neither Ocalan's remarks nor the statements of DTP

ANKARA 00001676 002 OF 002


politicians necessitated the closure of DTP. Turk praised
the Constitutional Court's recent rulings to not close the
ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and pro-Kurdish
Rights and Freedoms Party (HAKPAR). Turk also said the Court
should heed the Council of Europe's Venice Commission's
standards for party closure, which state that a political
party should only be disbanded if it advocates violence.

--------------------
Media Coverage Scant
--------------------
7. (U) Turkish press gave little mention to DTP's oral
defense. In one of the few columns covering the issue,
"Turkish Daily News" columnist Yusuf Kanli struggled with the
issue of whether DTP should be closed. Kanli found the DTP's
actions of "praising the PKK in public" and "blaming
terrorism-related violence on security forces" to be in
violation of Turkey's laws and "totally unacceptable."
However, closing the party would "mean punishing the electors
who voted for DTP deputies and expelling their will from
Parliament." Kanli asserted that the best solution would be
to amend existing laws to make party closure an exceptional
penalty that could be ordered only under very limited
conditions, "such as concrete evidence that a party is
involved in violence, engaged in treachery, or received
financial contribution from foreign individuals, corporate
bodies or foreign states."

----------
Next Steps
----------
8. (U) Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic will now
assign a Court rapporteur to review the case file and prepare
a recommended ruling. When the rapporteur completes his
recommendation, Kilic will distribute it to the judges and
establish a date for the judges to convene and rule on the
case. There is no legal time requirement for the judges to
decide. Closure requires the affirmative vote of seven of
the Court's eleven members.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC