Army words on Kurdish debate in Turkey goes to court

A group of intellectuals filed a criminal compliant against the General Staff for "overstepping its authority by getting involved in a political debate about the use of Kurdish in public places.

Army words on Kurdish debate in Turkey goes to court

World Bulletin / News Desk

A group of intellectuals on Monday filed a criminal compliant against the General Staff for "overstepping its authority by getting involved in a political debate about the use of Kurdish in public places," Cihan news agency said.

The debate about the use of two languages in public places in Turkey, sparked by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), has been going on since last week. BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş said last Wednesday in Diyarbakır that they would start the bilingual system de facto, adding that “a Kurd's failure to speak Turkish in Turkey is not his or her fault.”

“It is the guilt and shame of a system that has been trying to assimilate Kurds for 80 years,” Demirtaş said, adding that there was an opportunity for the state to rid itself of this shame by paving the way for education in Kurdish. He said shop owners should be allowed to use Kurdish, give their businesses Kurdish names and speak with their customers in Kurdish, adding that there is no obstacle to this.

What complicated the discussion on Friday was the involvement of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which issued a written statement criticizing the BDP.

Intellectuals Ahmet İnsel, Ali Bayramoğlu, Aydın Engin, Baskın Oran, Cengiz Aktar, Cengiz Ağlan and Gencay Gürsoy filed a criminal compliant against the General Staff at the Ankara Prosecutor's Office, saying that the General Staff violated Article 148 of the Military Penal Code by getting involved in a political debate.

They also launched a petition campaign for those who want to protest the General Staff's statement.

In the meantime, the Jurists Association released a written statement criticizing the General Staff for intervening in politics. The association said "involvement by the military in political debate is unacceptable in a democracy."

Last Mod: 21 Aralık 2010, 09:26
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