When the media reported in Turkey on the evening of 28 October that the word ‘Kurdistan’ was used in casual dialogue between an opposition party leader and a shop owner in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Siirt (Sêrt), most readers were surprised that the reports didn’t mention any serious consequences taking place. But it didn’t take long for someone to take the initiative.
On Friday, the media reported that Cemil Taşkesen, the shop owner who had complained to Iyi Party leader Meral Akşener a day previously that the language, identity and the reality of Kurdistan was being denied, was detained.
The Police Department of Siirt reported on 29 October, ‘Republic Day’ in Turkey, that a criminal investigation had been launched into the remarks by Taşkesen, saying to Akşener, “Our language, identity and Kurdistan are denied. We’re against this. We exist.”
The Police Department confirmed that a criminal investigation has been launched over the allegation that Taşkesen ‘made propaganda for the organisation’. The use of the word ‘organisation’ is an implication in official jargon of ‘illegal organisation’ and more specifically, of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated by Turkey, the European Union and the United States as a ‘terrorist organisation.’