Blind man accused of "reading" illegal books and magazines faces prosecution

Blind man accused of "reading" illegal books and magazines faces prosecution
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A visually impaired Kurdish man in Turkey will face court on Thursday over allegations of reading illegal books and magazines linked to the outlawed PKK

A visually impaired Kurdish man who has been placed under house arrest following allegations that he is “reading” illegal books and magazines will go before court on Thursday in Turkey’s southeastern Batman province.

Yalcin was taken into custody after a raid on his home with charges of aiding and propagating for outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) in August 2020, four days after his daughter signed a statement at the police station which said her father was always reading the organization's books and buying their newspapers.

Yalcin was held at the police station for four days without an attorney and was forced to sign a paper with his finger with the statement signed by his daughter being used as evidence against him.

The statement at the time also led to the arrest of 35 individuals, who were later released.

Yalcın voiced his frustration, claiming that the statement was given to the police without his knowledge, and he had no idea what he was signing.

He added that his daughter was also misled into providing the statement by a relative and that the authorities used the statement to force him to give evidence against 35 others. Yalcın also revealed that his daughter was sent to a foster home but later returned when authorities realized their mistake. Yalcın and his wife are both disabled, and they have five children to take care of while living in poverty.