23 charged over alleged ties to Kurdish rebels

AP News
Posted: Nov 01, 2011 7:47 AM
23 charged over alleged ties to Kurdish rebels

A Turkish court on Tuesday pressed separatism charges against 23 suspects, including a university professor and a publisher, on suspicion of membership in a separatist Kurdish rebel group, state-run television reported.

The court in Istanbul said the suspects included Prof. Busra Ersanli and Ragip Zarakolu of Belge Publishing, according to the state-run TRT channel. They were among about 50 suspects detained over the weekend in a crackdown on the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK.

The court ordered the 23 jailed pending trial, but it was not clear if the rest will also be tried. No trial date has been set.

The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party said Ersanli was a representative of the party at a parliamentary commission that is seeking reconciliation in drafting a new constitution and that her detention was detrimental to peace efforts in the country.

The trial comes amid intensified clashes between Kurdish rebels and Turkish troops in the country's largely Kurdish southeast.