Jailed Kurdish politician’s poetry book banned for promoting ‘terrorism’

A Turkish court has banned a poetry book by jailed Kurdish politician Figen Yüksekdağ on grounds that it promotes terrorism, Diken news site reported on Thursday.

A southern Antalya province court ordered a ban on the publication, distribution and sale the poetry book titled “Yıkılacak Duvarlar” (Walls set for Demolition) by the former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP), citing its praise of a terrorist organisation and its members.

The court said the book, published in 2020,  praised the activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and its militants. The PKK is an armed group that has been at war for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for 40 years.

Yüksekdağ, along with her counterpart Selahattin Demirtaş, has been in prison since November 2016 on terrorism-related charges in a sweeping crackdown on the HDP.

Ankara accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathy and acting in the interest of the outlawed PKK. The HDP denies the charges.

Almost all mayors elected from the HDP have been dismissed and replaced by government-appointed trustees, while hundreds of HDP members have been jailed on terror charges.

The party is also facing a closure threat as part of an indictment, which is also seeking to ban hundreds of party members from holding political office on terror-related charges.

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