The publication of the Azadiya Welat newspaper was suspended for the ninth time on 13 June. The daily started publishing on 15 August 2006 and is the only nation-wide newspaper published exclusively in Kurdish.
The Kurdish daily was banned for the duration of 15 days. Nine Azadiya Welat employees are still in prison. On Monday (13 June), the police raided the daily's printing house in Diyarbakır, a city in the pre-dominantly Kurdish region of south-eastern Turkey. As of Monday afternoon, the printing of the newspaper was stopped.
As reported by the Fırat News Agency (ANF), the Special Authority 12th High Criminal Court of Istanbul decided for the seizure of all copies of the 12th June issue and a 15-day suspension of publication upon the demand of the Istanbul Public Prosecution. The decision was based on news items published in the issue of 12th June.
The court gave several reasons for the decision; namely two articles entitled "The guerrilla will not descent from the mountains until Öcalan will have been released" and "We say it again: join us, let's be united" that supposedly conveyed the opinions of Murat Karayılan, Board Chair of the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that includes the armed outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The court decision was furthermore based on a news item entitled "brotherhood" that disclosed the code names of deceased PKK members and allegedly spread "propaganda for an illegal organization".
The court applied Article 25/2-3 of the Press Law (confiscation and prohibition of distribution and sale) as far as the confiscation of copies the 12th June issue is concerned. The 15-day publication ban was based on Article 6/last paragraph of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) (committing a crime on behalf of a criminal organization). (EKN/VK)
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