Turkey: "Terrorism" charge against CHP official over "Turkish Kurdistan" remark

Turkey: "Terrorism" charge against CHP official over "Turkish Kurdistan" remark
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After legal proceeding were launched against Nevaf Bilek, the CHP spokesperson rushed to announce that CHP's "official opinion" is that Diyarabakir is "a city of the Turkish Republic."

A legal proceeding has been launched over a public remark by a senior official of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) after he said "Diyarbakir is an important historic city in Turkish Kurdistan."

Asked earlier by Rudaw to comment on a recent branch congress of CHP in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir, Nevaf Bilek, a member of CHP's Party Assembly, said on Saturday:

"I hope the results of the congress turn out well for Diyarbakir and Turkey. Diyarbakir is an important historic city in Turkish Kurdistan. It's a great city."

The prosecutor's office in Diyarbakir launched a legal proceeding over the words "Turkish Kurdistan," accusing Bilek of "making propaganda for a terror group."

Four government dailies, Sabah, Yeni Safak, Yeni Akit and Takvim used the same headline over Bilek's use of "Turkish Kurdistan", saying: "Scandalous words from CHP official."

Faik Oztrak, spokesperson for CHP, rushed to make a correction, saying that the collective opinions of the party can be stated only by the party's chair, spokesperson and parliamentary group deputy chairs. He added:

"So in this context, I'm now announcing our official opinion: Diyarbakir is a historic city of the Turkish Republic."

As four countries, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, are inhabited by large Kurdish populations, the parts where Kurds constitute a majority are usually referred to as the "Kurdistan region" of the country, or simply as "Turkish Kurdistan", or "Iraqi Kurdistan", and sometimes as "Northern Kurdistan" (Turkish Kurdistan), "Southern Kurdistan" (Iraqi Kurdistan), "Eastern Kurdistan" (Iranian Kurdistan), or "Western Kurdistan" (Syrian Kurdistan, also referred to as Rojava).