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    Mandela comparison sparks probe into Turkey's pro-Kurdish party leader

    Hurriyet Daily News with wires
    16.04.2009 - 14:12 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - Turkish prosecutors launched Thursday an investigation into a pro-Kurdish party leader who made a comparison between the head of the terrorist organization PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, and South Africa's legendary former President Nelson Mandela.

    The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir launched the probe into Democratic Society Party (DTP) chairman Ahmet Turk, the Anatolian Agency reported. 

    At a Nevruz celebration in Diyarbakir on March 21 to mark the arrival of spring, Turk told the crowd that the black-white dispute was resolved when Mandela was freed and that the Kurdish issue could only be resolved if Ocalan, who was currently serving a life imprisonment, was freed.

    Prosecutors requested a transcript of Turk's speech from Diyarbakir police and launched an investigation into Turk for disseminating propaganda on behalf of the terrorist organization, the agency said.

    Prosecutors will also prepare a report to be submitted to Turkish Parliament to lift Turk's legislative immunity. The report will be submitted to Parliament through the Justice Ministry.

    The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in the capital Ankara rejected Monday another complaint against Turk who in February addressed his party's legislators in the parliament building in Kurdish in defiance of Turkish law.

    Prosecutors decided not to start proceedings, saying the law does not clearly specify which language a lawmaker must use when addressing a political party meeting. The prosecutors' decision can be overturned by a higher court.


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