Kurdistan flag not PKK propaganda, Turkish court rules

A Turkish court ruled on Tuesday that photos of the Kurdistan flag would not be considered as propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The ruling by the second high criminal court in the eastern province of Van has been upheld by the regional Erzurum District Court, Rudaw reported.

The ruling follows lawsuits filed in 2018 against archaeologist Ahmet Kınay on charges of “making PKK propaganda.”

Photos of Kınay with a Kurdistan flag in an event in Van province in 2015, which were posted on social media platforms, including those of Rudaw, were submitted as evidence in the case.

The PKK is an armed group, which has been fighting inside Turkey since 1984 and is designated a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and the EU.

Kınay told Rudaw the Kurdistan flag was not a political or military symbol, but a historic one.

Moreover, the flag has been repeatedly raised in public institutions by the Turkish government, Kınay said.

The Van court also pointed out that the Kurdistan Regional Government was a legitimate structure recognised by the Iraqi Constitution and should be separated from the PKK.

Kınay’s posts were not efforts to conduct “propaganda for an organization, to legitimize or praise any threatening or violent methods, or to encourage the use of these methods,” the court ruled.