KCK suspect Ersanlı says doesn’t believe Hizmet behind coup, terror trials


Date posted: January 6, 2014

İSTANBUL
Professor Büşra Ersanlı, who is among suspects in an investigation into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) on terrorism charges, has said she doesn’t believe claims raised by some officials linked with government that the faith-based Hizmet Movement led by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen is behind major trials.

Speaking to the Hürriyet daily on Monday, Ersanlı has said she doesn’t agree with allegations that the Movement could be behind the Ergenekon, Balyoz and KCK trials.

The allegations surfaced after a major far-reaching corruption investigation into the alleged bribery and rigging linked with public tenders began to proceed by inclusion of high-level members of the government. Some government officials have come up with accusation that the Movement indeed was the main culprit for launching investigations into the claims of plot to topple civilian government by army officers in first years of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rule.

The Movement has strongly denied such claims, deeming such full-hearted efforts a conscious campaign to divert public attention away from the graft probe which has shaken the roots of the government, leading to resignations of three ministers and several other deputies from the ruling party.

Ersanlı and Ayşe Berktay said they don’t believe claims suggesting that the Movement could be behind the trials.

Historian Ersan was released pending trial in July 13, in 2012, along with 15 other suspects in the KCK case. Several defendants in the case appealed the İstanbul 15th High Criminal Court recently in an attempt to benefit from a law inserted in a newly approved judicial reform package, requesting their release from prison pending trial. They argued that the newly approved reform package allows for them to spend the remainder of the trial outside of prison. The court accepted their request on Friday, ruling in favor of the release of 16 suspects.

Ersanlı, along with publisher Ragıp Zarakolu, was arrested in November 2011 on terrorism charges as part of an investigation into the KCK, an umbrella group that allegedly encompasses the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and affiliated organizations. Zarakolu was released pending trial in April.

Ersanlı, who was a member of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) constitutional commission, faces up to 22-and-a-half years in jail on charges of leading a terrorist organization. In a recent interview, Ersanlı denied the charges and said all her activities were within the limits of freedom of expression and freedom of association.

The KCK is accused of attempting to establish an alternative system of governance and terrorizing locals in the country’s predominantly Kurdish areas. Most of the accused face charges of membership in and/or aiding and abetting a terrorist group.

Source: Today's Zaman , January 6, 2014


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