Dersim on Turkey’s ‘genocide’ list

October 29, 2008, Wednesday/ 18:30:00/ SELÇUK GÜLTAŞLI
Another genocide claim has been added to a list of crimes allegedly committed against humanity by the Turkish Republic. Following accusations of genocides against Armenians, Assyrians and Pontus Greeks, Turkey is accused of committing genocide against its Kurdish-Alevi population in the first half of 20th century.The European Parliament is scheduled to later this month host an event called the "Dersim '38 Conference," labeling the Turkish Republic as having committed genocide against Kurdish-Alevi population 70 years ago. Feleknas Uca, Kurdish member of the European Parliament from Germany, is lending support to the conference, which will be held Nov. 13 by the Left Party of the European Parliament in Brussels.

The event is dedicated to commemorating 70th anniversary of the events called the Dersim Riot or Revolt. A riot/revolt by the local Kurdish-Alevi population in the eastern Anatolian province of Tunceli -- then named Dersim -- was forcefully suppressed. While those alleging genocide claim that around 70,000 people were killed, no official figures have been provided by authorities.

Key figures from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), which is facing a closure case in the Constitutional Court, are among those who will participate in the conference. According to an announcement from the Association of Reconstruction of Dersim, which is organizing the conference, DTP deputies Şerafettin Halis and Aysel Tuğluk as well as Tunceli Mayor Songül Erol Abdil, also of the DTP, will deliver speeches.

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