Among them are three party c-chairs and leading party representatives.
Right to defence violated
Muharrem Erbey, lawyer and president of the Diyarbakir Human Rights Association (IHD) branch, has complained that those under arrest have not been informed of the accusations levelled against them. He added that there are claims that they were not allowed to touch documents, but only saw them from far, on the prosecutor’s desk.
Erbey argues that this is a violation of the right to defence, and also illegal.
The lawyers are being kept away from documents because the court has ruled that the case is "confidential". However, so Erbey, Article 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an investigation can only be confidential if it does not harm the rights of defence.
Erbey says that those under arrest are being accused of membership in an illegal organisation and managing that organisation. He says that he has found out that these accusations are based on telephone conversations between party members.
Prison refusing to pass on personal belongings
He further told bianet that prison guards are not allowing things brought to prison by relatives to be handed on to those under arrest.
According to the Günlük newspaper, more than 250 people have been taken into custody since 14 April, and around 80 have been arrested.
Protest in Ankara
On Sunday (19 April), representatives of more than 20 organisations gathered in front of the DTP head quarters in Ankara to express their support. Among them, so the Günlük newspaper, were representatives from the 78’ers Revolutionary Federation, the Trade Union Confederation of Public Employees (KESK), the Turkey Peace Parliament, the Alevi Pir Sultan Abdal Culture Assocation, the educational trade union Egitim-Sen, the People’s Houses (Halkevler), the 78’ers Unity and Solidarity Association, the Labour Party (EMEP), the Labour Movement Party (EHP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Socialist Party, the Turkish Communist Party (TKP), the Freedom and Democracy Party (ÖDP), the Socialist Platform for the Oppressed (ESP), Anti-Kapitalist, Federation for Democratic Rights, the Federation of Alevi Bektasi Associations, the Confederation of Trade Unions of Revolutionary Workers (DISK), The All Turkey Progressive Youth Association (Tüm IGD), the Mustafa Suphi Culture Centre, the New Democratic Youth, Lever, Özgür Theatre.
Protesters took part in a sit-down that lasted more than seven hours.
"AKP frightened"
DTP MP Fatma Kurtulan related the detentions and arrests to the success of the party in the local elections, saying, "The result frightened all officials, especially the AKP."
She said that her party followed a horizontal organisational model, but that the organisational structure of parliament made such organisations illegal.
She demanded the immediate release of the party members.
DTP province and district party organisations have released press statements of protest and in support of the DTP in Hakkari, Van, Igdir, Adana, Istanbul and Kocaeli. (TK/AG)
BIA News Center – Diyarbakir – Ankara, 20 April 2009, Monday