Turkish court hands down lengthy sentences to Kurdish defendants in main KCK trial

KCK operations have been launched by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in 2009.

A high criminal court in the eastern Turkish province of Van on Monday handed down lengthy jail sentences ranging between six and eight years to 13 defendants including a former mayor on terrorism charges, Turkish media reported.

The defendants who stood trial in what is known as the main Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial included former Van Metropolitan Municipality mayor Bekir Kaya.

The defendants were given jail sentences of between six years, three months and eight years, nine months on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

The KCK is known as the umbrella organization that encompasses the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

This was the second time the defendants stood trial. The first trial was concluded in January 2016. When the defendants appealed the court’s ruling at the Supreme Court of Appeals, the top court annulled the local court’s ruling, paving way for the retrial of the suspects.

Kaya and the other 12 were detained in police operations on June 7, 2012, against the KCK in Van, and a case was launched against them on terrorism charges.

On Monday, the Van court ruled for the detention of the 13 individuals who had stood trial while out on bail. (turkishminute.com)

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