On Trial for Commemorating Deceased Communist
24 people are on trial in Bursa on charges of "praising a criminal" because they commemorated communist Kaypakkaya. Several NGOs and political parties protested the trials questioning, "Killing somebody by torture is not a crime but it is a crime to commemorate revolutionists?"
Bursa - BIA News Center
07 April 2011, Thursday
In Bursa (north-western Anatolia), several trials were opened against members of the Democratic Peoples Federation (DHF) and the Desim Association and readers of the Özgür Gelecek newspaper ('Freedom will come') on the grounds of allegedly attending various events between 2008 and 2010. The trials were protested on 4 April in front of the Bursa Court House.
According to the Etkin News Agency (ETHA), 24 people are being sued under allegations of "praising crime and a criminal" because they reportedly praised İbrahim Kaypakkaya. Kaypakkaya was the founder of the Turkish Workers' Peasants' Liberation Army (TİKKO), the armed faction of the clandestine Turkey Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist (TKP-ML). He was injured in an armed conflict with the security forces in 1973. He was arrested and taken to the Diyarbakır Prison where he died of torture.
The protest action in front of the court house was joined by the Bursa Democracy Platform, the DHF, the Socialist Party of the Oppressed, Partisan, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Independent Revolutionary Class Platform (BDSP), the Bursa Association of the People from Dersim and a number of other organizations. The joint press release was read out by Hüseyin Cankıran.
"It is not a crime to torture somebody for months and kill him because of his opinions. But it is a crime to commemorate a revolutionary leader who defends the happiness of the people and the independence of the country without looking after his won interest at all?", Cankıran put forward.
Different courts previously sentenced several people by reason of having commemorated Kaypakkaya; the most prominent convicts in this respect are the Kurdish musicians Ferhat Tunç and Pınar Sağ.
Kaypakkaya himself was never convicted by any court. However, commemorating the revolutionist was taken as "evidence" in trials opened against various newspapers and organizations, among them the Halk için Devrimci Demokrasi newspaper ('Revolutionary Democracy for the People') or the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). (EÇ/EÖ)
* Photograph: Kızıl Bayrak website.