Academic Hifzullah Kutum sent to prison over "Kurdistan" tweet
After a tweet featuring the word "Kurdistan", academic Hifzullah Kutum was suspended from his research assignment at Firat University in Elazığ and subjected to a lynching attempt. Now the Kurdish academic has been sent to prison.
Hifzullah Kutum, research officer in the finance department at Firat University, shared a tweet saying Şoreşa Îlonê hemû Kurdan pîroz be. Bijî Kurdistan! (Happy September Revolution to all Kurds. Long live Kurdistan!) and the rector dismissed him. A Turkish flag was hung on his office door in the university in Elazığ and the academic was arrested by the police. He was threatened with death and almost lynched. He was brought before the court on Saturday evening and arrested for "making propaganda for a terrorist organization".
Protests by lawyers
Former president of the Amed Bar Association, Mehmet Emin Aktar, protested Kutum's arrest through his Twitter account: “Can you be arrested for a tweet? That shouldn't actually be the case. However, if you write Kurdistan you will be arrested. Academic Hifzullah Kutum has been arrested over a tweet. There about this: Continue to say 'Kurdistan'"
"The term Kurdistan is not a criminal offense"
Kutum's defense lawyer Mehdi Özdemir states that the term "Kurdistan" used by his client does not constitute a criminal offense and must be assessed in the context of freedom of expression. "In historical and social terms, the term Kurdistan is both a geographical name and a political term. A preliminary investigation and subsequent arrest warrant for using this term has no legal basis. Recently, polarization has spread using the employment of the term Kurdistan as an excuse. The political atmosphere in a polarized society, the divisive use of language and the discriminatory treatment of Kurdish identity and the term Kurdistan are becoming increasingly sharper. The arrest of my client for non-punishable expressions is illegal."