Skip to main content

Mass Political Show Trials in Turkey

Public meeting

Mass Political Show Trials in Turkey

6.30-8.30pm Tuesday 18 September 2012

Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields,
London WC2A 3LJ (nearest tube: Holborn)

Chaired by Prof Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, President of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and International Secretary of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Speakers include:

Margaret Owen OBE, barrister, member of the Bar Human Rights Committee

Ali Has, solicitor

Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation; editor of The Spokesman

Barry White, NUJ representative of the European Federation of Journalists

Obsessively sensitive about its image, Turkey seeks to present a modern, liberal and democratic face to the outside world, but the reality for people involved in public life inside the country is far different. Repression is the regime’s inevitable knee-jerk response to those seeking to exercise their civil rights to effect change and participate in political activities accepted as normal in a modern democratic state. Lawyers, journalists, writers, elected politicians, trade unionists and community leaders are all victims of a systematic persecution that has been waged by the Turkish state over the past few years as it has sought relentlessly to silence opposition voices in every area of public life. Kurdish demands for full citizenship rights that are taken as the norm across the modern democratic states of Europe are inevitably criminalised within Turkey.

The current mood inside the country is one of fear and intimidation under a climate of repression with raids on offices, mass arrests and prosecutions against thousands of individuals allegedly associated with the Kurdish Communities Union, KCK, an umbrella association of various social organisations which has been deemed an illegal organisation by Turkey. Legal action against people assumed to be connected with the KCK has been continuing since 2009 and has included a mass trial of 151 Kurdish human rights defenders and political leaders which began in October 2010, and another trial of over 200 mostly Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) members, which began in June 2012. In addition, 35 journalists, also accused of membership of the KCK, are standing trial in September.

The whole process is part of Turkey’s concerted attempt to eliminate all genuine opposition within the country’s political and public life; in particular it demonstrates the regime’s intransigence towards all attempts to achieve Kurdish rights through the legitimate democratic process and as such should be a cause for alarm among human rights defenders everywhere. At present, Turkey is intent on pursuing its critics mercilessly by stepping up the repression; it is time to raise the level of the campaign to make it change course.

The event is organised by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign in association with Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

All welcome. For further information contact:

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign:; Tel 020 7586 5892


Popular posts from this blog

'Not as dumb as he looks' - Muhammad Ali on Bertrand Russell

In his autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, Muhammad Ali recounts how Bertrand Russell got in contact with him, and their ensuing correspondence:

For days I was talking to people from a whole new world. People who were not even interested in sports, especially prizefighting. One in particular I will never forget: a remarkable man, seventy years older than me but with a fresh outlook which seemed fairer than that of any white man I had ever met in America.
My brother Rahaman had handed me the phone, saying, ‘Operator says a Mr. Bertrand Russell is calling Mr. Muhammad Ali.’ I took it and heard the crisp accent of an Englishman: ‘Is this Muhammad Ali?’ When I said it was, he asked if I had been quoted correctly.
I acknowledged that I had been, but wondered out loud, ‘Why does everyone want to know what I think about Viet Nam? I’m no politician, no leader. I’m just an athlete.’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘this is a war more barbaric than others, and because a mystique is built up around a cham…

Nuclear Posture Review: Two letters of protest from Japan

The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation received copies of the following letters, dated 6 February 2018, from the Japan Council against A and H Bombs. The letters, written in response to the publication of the US Nuclear Posture Review, are addressed to President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We ask that as many people and organisations as possible circulate these letters as an act of solidarity with anti-nuclear campaigners in "Japan, the A-bombed country".

* * *

To President Donald Trump United States of America 6 February 2018
Letter of Protest against the US Nuclear Posture Review
We, of the people of Japan, the A-bombed country, strongly protest against your nuclear policy formulated in the newly released ‘Nuclear Posture Review’, which brings the US much closer to the actual use of nuclear weapons by modernizing your nuclear arsenals and developing new nuclear weapons.
Trying to justify that nuclear weapons are necessary for security, the Nuclear Post…

Vanunu update

Dear Friend and Vanunu supporter,

It is a long time since we last sent you any news of Mordechai for which we apologise. It has been a complicated and difficult period particularly with Mordechai not wanting the campaign for his freedom to continue. However, we thought now was the time for an update, because if you hadn't seen the relevant issues of the Morning Star, Scottish Herald or, just this week, The Guardian, you probably wouldn't be fully aware of what Mordechai had been suffering, once again, at the hands of the vindictive and malicious Israeli authorities.

For some while Mordechai has been threatened with a return to prison for speaking with foreigners; including friends, supporters and journalists. For breaking this restriction he was eventually sentenced to six months in prison. He appealed against this and at a hearing of the Supreme Court, some months ago, this sentence was reduced to three months. As an alternative Mordechai was offered to do a period of Community…