KCK indictment reveals inner functioning of terrorist organization

Some of the lawyers who were arrested as part of the KCK investigation are seen in this november 2011 photo while being transported to İstanbul’s Metris Prison. (Photo: Today's Zaman)

April 19, 2012, Thursday/ 17:36:00

An indictment which was filed as part of an investigation into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) and accepted by the İstanbul 16th High Criminal Court on Wednesday reveals the inner functioning of the KCK and how communication was maintained between jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and senior PKK officials in Kandil.

The 892-page indictment -- prepared by Specially Authorized Prosecutor İsmail Tandoğan as part of the investigation into the KCK, an umbrella group that encompasses the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) – accuses Öcalan's lawyers of maintaining communication between Öcalan and senior PKK officials who are in Kandil in northern Iraq where PKK hideouts are located.

The indictment, which includes 50 suspects, is referred to as the “second KCK indictment” since another court accepted a 2,400 page KCK indictment last month in which publisher Ragıp Zarakolu and Professor Büşra Ersanlı face lengthy prison terms on charges of leading and aiding a terrorist organization.

The indictment asserts lawyers who have regular meetings with Öcalan, who is currently jailed on the prison island of İmralı in the Marmara Sea, are members of the KCK's “Leadership Committee,” and provide communication between the PKK leader and the PKK. According to the indictment, the Asrın Law Office, located in İstanbul's Beyoğlu district, which Öcalan's lawyers are affiliated with, is aiding and abetting the terrorist organization and making it easy for Öcalan's decisions to be implemented. The law office was established after Öcalan's capture in 1999. Öcalan is accused of urging the lawyer to establish new law offices in Iraq and to reorganize in order to address the needs of the organization.

The indictment says the KCK Leadership Committee is turning the records of the lawyers' meetings with Öcalan into texts and presenting them to senior PKK leaders in Kandil, hence making it possible for the jailed PKK leader to administer the terrorist organization, while he is in jail.

The lawyers, the indictment says, first prepare a draft text which they call “First Version of Meeting Minutes,” then they take out their own remarks from the text and call this one “the Second Version of Meeting Minutes,” which is once more amended and finally called “the Third Version of Meeting Minutes” or “Press Release.” This latest version is then sent to e-mail addresses shared by PKK members from Lavinya and Omeyra internet cafes near the Beyoğlu office. The text is ultimately relayed to senior PKK officials including Murat Karayılan who implement Öcalan's decisions.

The indictment also cites an interview with Şükrü Gülmüş published by the Türkiye daily on Jan. 9, 2011 in which Gülmüş makes remarks about the organization's lawyers. Gülmüş became a member of the PKK in 1978, but was dismissed from the organization because he was voicing opposition. In the interview, he says, “the lawyers founded the 'Leadership Committee' after Öcalan was put in jail in İmralı,” adding that these lawyers form one of the most influential groups within the PKK and Öcalan runs the organization with the help of these lawyers.

Another highlight of the indictment is the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)'s decision to boycott the Sept. 12, 2010 referendum on government-sponsored constitutional amendments. According to the indictment, Öcalan was the one who called on the BDP to force the residents of the Kurdish-dominated eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey

to boycott the referendum.

The records of the meeting between Öcalan and his lawyers that took place on May 12, 2010, before the Sept. 12 referendum, show an exchange of remarks about boycotting the referendum. The indictment highlights the fact that at the request of the PKK leader, PKK members terrorized people to prevent them from voting.

Öcalan proposes alternative education and religious services

The indictment also underlines that the KCK has implemented Öcalan's orders, via his lawyers, about education and religious services the KCK should establish as an alternative framework to undermine the state institutions in the southeast.

Öcalan claimed that genocide took place in Hakkari in September 2010 at the hands of security forces when they clashed with the PKK. He urged the organization to take revenge for the actions of the military's.

Defense forces of the organization are expected to retaliate against military posts in the cities.

Moreover, Öcalan believes a cultural assimilation is happening, therefore people should not send their children to schools. In an attempt to replace state institutions, the KCK has established alternative schools functioning in houses.

In addition, it became apparent last years that the KCK has also been resistant to religious services of the state. Öcalan called on his party members to not recognize imams who are assigned by Directorate of Religious Affairs in the region.

Performing Friday prayers in alternative places rather than mosques as part of a campaign titled “Civilian Friday prayers” shows the organization's new strategy to win the support of people in the Kurdish-populated regions of the country.

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