Court orders granddaughter of historic Kurdish figure to display Turkish flag on social media accounts

A granddaughter of Sheikh Said, an iconic Kurdish figure who led a Kurdish nationalist rebellion against the new Republic of Turkey in 1925, has been ordered to post a photo of a Turkish flag on her social media accounts for 30 days as part of punitive measures following her release from detention, Turkish Minute reported, citing the Bianet news website.

Noşin Fırat was given the penalty as part of judicial probation measures imposed on her following her release from detention. The measures also require that she check in at a police station three times a week.

Fırat was detained the eastern province of Erzurum on Tuesday on accusations of spreading terrorist propaganda in Facebook posts in 2015 and 2016. An indictment seeking a prison sentence of almost three years on charges of dissemination of terrorist propaganda has been filed with the court.

Following her detention, Fırat was referred to the Hınıs Penal Court of Peace, which ruled for her release under judicial probation. The court ordered that she post a photo of the Turkish flag on her social media accounts for 30 days following her release, adding that failure to do so could lead to her arrest for violating the terms of her probation.

Fırat began sharing a photo of the Turkish flag following the court’s decision on her Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, accounts.

Fırat told the Mezopotamya news agency that her punishment has to do with her familial relationship with Sheik Said, her family and her Kurdish roots, adding that she and her family are receiving threats on social media and are under great pressure.

Fırat’s lawyer, Ensar Fırat, described the court’s decision as “scandalous,” saying his client would file a complaint with the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) against the judge behind the controversial ruling.

Meanwhile, the Diyarbakır Bar Association has filed a criminal complaint against judge Murat Şakru, who issued the ruling, arguing that he exceeded the scope of his authority and the law.

Fırat’s posts from 2015 and 2016 include one featuring the flag of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq and another taken at the 2016 convention of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Ankara, displaying a poster of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

The PKK is listed as terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Sheikh Said, who was was executed along 46 others as a result of his rebellion in 1925, is a prominent figure among Kurds, while he is cursed by nationalist circles and labelled a “traitor.”

The Sheikh Said rebellion, which was led by Sheikh Said with the support of the Kurdish secret organization Azadî, was described as “the first large-scale nationalist rebellion by the Kurds” by academic Robert W. Olson in his book “The Emergence of Kurdish Nationalism and the Sheikh Said Rebellion, 1880-1925.”

The uprising was suppressed the same year, with over 7,000 people prosecuted by independence tribunals and more than 600 executed. The Independence Tribunal in Diyarbakir imposed a death sentence on Sheikh Said and 46 other rioters on June 28, 1925.

The executions were carried out the next day.

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