KCK student arrests

I attach here a press release about a student who has recently been arrested of suspected links to the KCK, the civilian wing of the PKK guerrilla group.

These kinds of ‘terrorism’ arrests, targeting people engaging in peaceful political activism, are so commonplace in Turkey as to hardly elicit any attention.

I feel quite sickened today by the hypocrisy of the Turkish government, champion of democracy in the Middle East, and the idiocy of some of its cheerleaders.

Here is the press release. I should perhaps warn you that it is – potentially – an illegal terrorist document:

In the last 10 days, over 50 young persons were taken into custody in a series of operations held simultaneously in İstanbul, Ankara, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Van, Siirt and Batman, allegedly directed towards the youth organization of left wing, pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). Over the course of a series of events that were triggered on April 18 of this year with the rejection of BDP-affiliated independent parliamentary candidates by the High Council of Elections (YSK), 2 persons lost their lives, 930 persons were taken into custody and 120 of them got arrested. As a part of this operation, our friend, NEJAT AGIRNASLI, a graduate student at Boğaziçi University Sociology Department, was taken into custody from his residence yesterday (April 29) by the Special Task Force with long-range weapons at the early hours of the morning. His computer, class notes and even course syllabi were confiscated for being “potential illegal documents.” We have been informed that Nejat was taken to Diyarbakır today (April 30), without being allowed to see his parents or his lawyers. What will happen to Nejat and other captives remains unclear. It is quite hard to predict the scope and extent of this “witch hunt.” The situation of our friend Nejat, and the other captives, be it our friends or not, deeply concerns and scares us. The following words of his parents express our ideas and feelings and we share their concerns. We also declare to the public that we will not keep our voices down in face of state violence and the police terror! “Our son Nejat is a young socialist sociologist, who positions himself on the side of the laborers and the oppressed. In this “witch hunt”,we do not know of what “crime” the police accuse our son; or for how long he will be kept captive.We are aware that in Turkey no one is safe before the state and any person can be treated as a criminal and be taken under custody at any time. We also know that, the main aim of this process of “criminalization”of any ordinary person is to oppress the whole society, youth and the dissidents.We share the responsibility of our son’s ideas and deeds. We have stood by and we still stand by his life and his ideas.We declare to the public that, whatever the consequences of this witchhunt might be, we will not remain silent, but will make these violent practices of the state public. Nuran Ağırnaslı – Hikmet Acun” His friends.

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