Kurdish politician Mehmet Çakas: Kurdish is de facto banned in German prison

Kurdish politician Mehmet Çakas, who is imprisoned in Hannover prison, said that Kurdish is de facto banned in German prisons.


After seeing his asylum application rejected by Germany, Kurdish politician Mehmet Çakas applied for political asylum in Italy and was extradited to Germany in March 2023 at the request of the German state and imprisoned. The trial of Çakas, who is being tried under the 129b law, continues.

Kurdish politician Mehmet Çakas, who has been imprisoned in Germany for a year for his political activities, said, "Wherever there is a Kurd who defends his language, identity, honor and national values, he is declared a 'terrorist'."

Speaking to Yeni Özgür Politika newspaper, Çakas stated that he did not even throw garbage on the ground in Germany, where he has resided for six years, and said, "As a Kurdish individual who has been subjected to all forms of state terror for 40 years, I am accused of being a terrorist in a so-called democratic state of law where I have not violated any law. This is an admission of complicity in supporting the Turkish state, which turns the crime of genocide inside out with the manipulation of 'anti-terrorism'."

Stating that they are entitled to 4 hours of family visits per month, Çakas explained that speaking Kurdish is forbidden during these visits: "The meetings take place under the supervision of police and interpreters. Although the interpreters mostly speak Kurdish, speaking a third language other than German and Turkish is not allowed. So Kurdish is de facto forbidden."

The Kurdish politician remarked that he was not really interested in the sentence, but focused on the state terror that Kurds were subjected to as a people throughout the trial. Çakas said, "During the trial, the issue I focused on the most was the label of 'terror' imposed on us Kurds. As I stated in court, as a Kurdish individual who did not even throw garbage on the ground in Germany, where I have resided for 6 years, being accused of being a 'terrorist' on trivial grounds is the reflection of a big game being played on us as a people. The insulting part is that the label of 'terrorism', which is determined according to economic-political interests and alliance relations, puts us Kurds, whose very existence is under threat, in the position of collective criminals. They claim that not all Kurds are labeled as terrorists, but wherever there is a Kurd who stands up for his/her language, identity, dignity and national values and opposes genocide, he/she is labeled a 'terrorist'. As such, it becomes irrelevant whether they call me personally a 'terrorist' or not. We Kurds, the biggest victims of 100 years, are struggling to prove that we are not terrorists when we should be holding them to account."