A Kurdish mother has been convicted for selling books related to Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). She is a new mother, her twins are 6-months-old. As a new mother myself, I can’t put into words how incredibly frustrated I have become over this news.
Over the past years I have documented horrendous Human rights violations by Turkish authorities – politically and socially. The countless Kurdish activists, writers and even politicians that have been imprisoned over the years are an indicator that Turkey is not working towards improving its hideous Human rights record. Instead, it seems to deploy the same methods we have seen in previous years, with little concern over how it looks in front of the world.
The recent peace-talks between PKK and Turkish government started over one year ago. The 30-year-old conflict was supposedly coming to an end. In retrospect, I wonder, if there are ongoing peace talks between PKK and the Turkish government – why are books that mention PKK criminalised?
Mulkiye Demir Kilic plea is that her sons are too young to be in prison. Instead, she has asked for the sentence to be postponed for a year, until they are able to walk and taking care of them will be much easier.
Usually, I have much to say over issues pertaining to Kurdish rights in Turkey, but this time I’m just lost for words. I don’t understand why selling books that mention or even talk about PKK are criminalised, given that there are ongoing peace talks. Secondly, even if that is where the law stands, surely the punishment for this young mother is not proportionate to the “crime”.