Turkish Court Repeals Ruling On Pro-Kurdish Paper Closure

March 31, 2012 - 13:07 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - A Turkish court ruling to suspend the publication
of the pro-Kurdish Ozgur Gundem (Free Agenda) newspaper for an entire
month has been repealed after lawyers for the paper appealed the
decision, Today's Zaman reported.

Last week, the Istanbul 14th Criminal Court ordered Ozgur Gundem
suspend publishing the paper for a month, citing the "dissemination of
propaganda for a terrorist organization" in its March 24 edition. The
phrase terrorist organization refers to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers'
Party (PKK).

Earlier this week, Ozgur Gundem lawyers appealed the ruling. The same
panel of judges then agreed to repeal the original ruling. The new
decision was announced on Friday, March 30.

Ozgur Gundem's predecessors have been shut down several times before
and the newspaper has had to change names frequently.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists
while on his way to Tehran from Seoul that he was against shutting
down any organization, be it a political party or newspaper. He said
individuals should be held responsible for violations of the law, not
entire organizations. Erdogan said it was not only anti-democratic
to shut down organizations, but also futile, as such agencies tend
to simply re-open under a new name.