Turkey investigates Kurdish politician for promoting his book on social media

Kurdish politician Mahmut Alınak

Prosecutors in the eastern Turkish province of Kars have launched an investigation into Kurdish politician Mahmut Alınak over a series of social media posts, including one in which he had publicized a novel that he authored, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Thursday.

The prosecutors are accusing him of fomenting enmity and hatred among the public as well as disseminating terrorist propaganda.

Presenting his newly published novel titled “Immortal Love in Kurdistan,” Alınak had written, “To this day, such love has neither been seen nor heard of.”

Evidence cited in the investigation also included the comments “Turkey’s liberation depends on Kurdistan’s liberation,” “Turkey’s chain of captivity will be broken off in Kurdistan” and “The problem is not the ‘Kurdish problem’ but rather the ‘Kurdistan problem’.”

Commenting on the investigation, Alınak said, “The state is trying to protect the regime through coercion. I am trying to explain how this oppressive rule will collapse. I should admit that my opinions are dangerous and detrimental to the regime.”

It is common for Turkish authorities to prosecute people over pro-Kurdish statements for allegedly disseminating “terrorist propaganda.” These prosecutions often involve charges of membership in or propaganda on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed insurgent group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Turkey’s anti-terror laws are often criticized by human rights groups and international organizations for being overly broad, allowing too much room for interpretation.

Since the breakdown of peace talks between the government and the PKK in mid-2015, these laws have been frequently used to prosecute politicians, journalists, writers, rights advocates and people from other backgrounds.

Turkey, where the judiciary is accused of being under the control of the government, was ranked 117th among 142 countries in the rule of law index published by the World Justice Project (WJP) last week, dropping one rank in comparison to last year.

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