Turkish officials charge Kurdish party leader with inciting hatred over Kirkuk

[JURIST] Hilmi Aydogdu, leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party [official website; Wikipedia backgrounder], was charged by Turkish authorities Friday with inciting hatred after stating that any Turkish attack on Kirkuk [Global Security backgrounder], a city in northern Iraq with a large Kurdish population, would be comparable to an attack on all Kurds. Aydogdu could face up to three years in prison if found guilty.

Growing hostility between Kurds, Arabs, and Turks in Kirkuk, as well as suspicions that Iraqi Kurds seek to create an independent state with Kirkuk as its capital, has made Turkey wary. The country has suggested that it might protect its interests in the oil-rich city with military force. The status of Kirkuk [JURIST report] is set to be decided by referendum this year. Kurdish Media has more.

 

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