Saturday, May 14, 2005

Öcalan retrial inevitable, risks touching raw nerve

The idea of a retrial may get even more unpopular in Turkey, as Öcalan describes any fresh trial as ‘a new chance to resolve the Kurdish question’

Turkey has little choice but to retry the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) after the European Court of Human Rights ruled his original trial in 1999 had been unfair, and any failure to comply with the ruling may risk Turkey's bid to join the European Union just months before Ankara is due to open accession talks with the 25-nation bloc.

The idea of a retrial, however, may be even more unpopular in Turkey than ever before, as Öcalan describes any fresh trial as “a new chance to resolve the Kurdish question.” If a retrial is held, Öcalan will have the chance to promote his idea of “a peaceful solution to Kurdish issue” in a court trial that is sure to be watched carefully by the outside world.

Despite all the risks at home, however, a retrial is the only way to abide by the court ruling, contrary to arguments in Turkey that Thursday's ruling did not make a retrial compulsory.

(Source: Turkish Daily News)

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