Thursday, July 07, 2005

Phrase "dear sisters" in Kurdish results in 7 month prison sentence for DEHAP politician

The phrase "dear sisters" has resulted in the handing down of a 7 month prison sentence for Kurdish DEHAP Party deputy leader Handan Caglayan. The incident took place in March at a local election meeting for DEHAP, when Caglayan greeted a group of Kurdish women at an election meeting, saying "dear sisters."

Following the meeting, a case was taken up in the Halfeti Criminal Court against Handan Caglayan as well as DEHAP Urfa region head Ahmet Dagtekin. In the trial, Caglayan said that she had not in fact spoken Kurdish at the meeting, but had simply greeted illiterate women there who did not know Turkish. Caglayan, who is also known to be a representative for women's rights in the area, also noted that following her greeting, the rest of her speech at the meeting had been in Turkish.

The Turkish Political Party Code forbids the use of election propoganda in any other language than Turkish. The court ruling handed down Caglayan a 7 month sentence and a 513 YTL fine, and Dagtekin a 6 month sentence and a 440 YTL fine.

(Source: Hürriyetim)

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