Kurdish parties wronged in Turkey

Advocating for the rights of the Kurdish minority in Turkey isn’t the same as advocating terrorism, a European human rights court ruled.

The Turkish Constitutional Court ruled in 2003 that the People’s Democratic Party was acting against the state through collaboration with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The court decision effectively disbanded the party and barred several of its leaders from politics.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled, however, that taking a stance in opposition to government positions isn’t necessarily illegal.

“They did not incite hatred, revenge, recrimination or armed resistance,” the European court said of the pro-Kurdish political party.

The European courts said that advocating on behalf of the Kurdish minority is a contradiction to democratic principles and isn’t the same thing as advocating terrorism.

The Turkish newspaper notes that Turkish courts have a reputation of banning pro-Kurdish political parties, prompting action from the European courts.

A 2009 decision to ban a pro-Kurdish party was in part to blame for a stalled effort to reconcile with Kurdish groups.

December 16, 2010.





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