Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:35AM
Demonstrators chant slogans near the headquarters of Ozgur Gundem newspaper in Istanbul, on August 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Demonstrators chant slogans near the headquarters of Ozgur Gundem newspaper in Istanbul, on August 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
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Turkish prosecutors seek long jail terms or life sentences for nine staff of a closed pro-Kurdish newspaper on charges of belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The suspects are prominent writers and executives from Ozgur Gundem newspaper, who also face charges of harming national unity in Turkey.

Edward Corrigan, political activist and journalist, told Press TV on Thursday night that the Turkish government’s excessive measures against the Kurds will have consequences for Ankara.

“If you don’t allow peaceful criticism and opposition then you make violent opposition the only alternative and make it necessary; so, I think the Turks are playing a very dangerous game,” he said. 

Corrigan said since the attempted coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had basically been trying to impose very authoritarian and an almost dictatorial regime in Turkey.

"They [the Turkish authorities] are going beyond all the normal steps and they’re attacking all opposition of Alawites and the Kurds in particular,” he said.

The Turkish government accuse any media staffs who are pro-Kurdish of being members of the PKK, the analyst said.

Ankara is annoyed with the Kurdish fighters’ involvement in the fighting against the Daesh terrorists in Iraq and Syria, he said.

Corrigan also said Erdogan has territorial aspirations with Mosul and even with areas in Syria, which years ago were part of the Ottoman Empire.

“The Turks have been playing a very dangerous game and this is going to have explosive ramifications not only for relationship with the United States but also with the Kurds and of course for their own domestic policies,” he said.

The government in Ankara has launched a sweeping crackdown on those believed to have played a role in the failed July 15 coup attempt.

Turkey has arrested over 35,000 people and sacked over 100,000 others over their suspected links with Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric blamed for orchestrating the coup attempt. Gulen rejects the accusation.