Ayhan Demirel, Tutak district chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), and five children were arrested by the police when they were handing out leaflets related to the school boycott campaign initiated in the Kurdish-majority region of south-eastern Turkey. The boycott campaign demands the right to education in the mother tongue. It was scheduled for this week, starting on Monday (20 September) with its last day on Friday (24 September). Tutak is a town in the province of Ağri in eastern Turkey.
BDP Ağrı Provincial Chair Mustafa Akyol told bianet that Demirel was released later on together with three children.  The other two children were brought to the Children Court Prosecution in Erzurum because of their young age.
"Prosecutors try to turn the tide"
Akyol argued that Demirel and the children were arrested because they were campaigning for the one-week school boycott. He reported that he had been interrogated by the Ağrı Public Prosecution a couple of days before out of the same reason:
"I gave my statement to the prosecutor as well because I distributed leaflets. The prosecutors are trying to turn the school boycott into a certain direction. The prosecutor asked me questions such as if the leaflets were printed by the organization [i.e. the militant Kurdistan Workers Party PKK]".
"My party supports the school boycott. Our co-chairs have issued a related statement and directives were given within the party. We abide by these directives. I wrote the leaflets myself but the prosecutor tries to drag them into a different corner. We claim our right to education in our mother tongue as our democratic right".
The one-week school boycott for the right to education in the mother tongue was initiated by the Movement for Research on the Kurdish Language, Development and Education (TZP- Kurdî) and started on the first day of the new school year. (SP/EÖ/VK)
 
Istanbul – BİA News Center
24 September 2010
Semra PELEK

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