A heavy criminal court in Istanbul yesterday announced a decision that could be considered “historic” because of its possible effects. Businessman Osman Kavala, who has been in prison for 1683 days, was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment, and seven people from different professions – Mücella Yapıcı, Tayfun Kahraman, Çiğdem Mater, Ali Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay and Yiğit Ali Ekmekçi- were sentenced to 18 years in prison. .
Those found guilty of the defendants awaiting trial were immediately arrested and sent to prison on the assumption that they could escape abroad.
Thus, the famous “Gezi affair”, which has been on the country’s agenda – and, by the way, Turkey’s agenda in the world – for almost nine years, has reached a new stage with this court decision. .
Don’t let fines and arrests fool anyone, the legal process isn’t over yet; If the decision is appealed and a similar result is obtained, avenues of appeal to the Constitutional Court (AYM) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are open.
In fact, the ECHR issued a favorable decision regarding Osman Kavala, which was not implemented despite Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey.
More importantly, the Council of Europe, one of the institutions that has closely followed the case from the beginning, took a decision regarding the release of Kavala and imposing sanctions on Turkey in case of non-compliance. of the decision of the ECHR.
There are comments that both the acceleration of the trial when it has lasted a long time, and the result of the sentencing of these eight names pending a different decision, occurred in response to the legal interest that the case has received from foreign institutions.
The reactions from when the verdict was delivered and from the courtroom where it was delivered reveal that the sentences handed down have not been widely embraced.
Personally, I find the attitude of state units regarding the Gezi incident, which was also reflected in the justice system, problematic from the start.
The event in question was a successful social movement, initiated to preserve the characteristics and function of Gezi Park, located in Taksim, one of the iconic places in the city of Istanbul, our country’s favorite city.
It was the product of a large participation that formed spontaneously and was not able to distinguish between right and left, believers and non-believers.
The young people took care of the trees in the park.
If the issue had been approached in this way – as some of the names in important positions in the state have approached – the mobilization which would have been easily ended, turned into a resistance, then into a painful event that it was hard to approve when viewed as an act of “terror” and was pushed to another point by resorting to the language of violence.
The names that the judiciary deemed appropriate to punish, were the perpetrators of the allegations in the decision?
It is difficult to answer this question, “Yes, they were”, as evidenced by the dissenting opinion of one of the judges.
Sentencing requires “evidence with absolute certainty beyond any doubt”. In criminal law, the accused benefits from the doubt.
Evidence of Osman Kavala’s involvement in the cases for which he was charged and punished is apparently not included in the decision.
The situation of the other defendants is no different.
Indeed, since yesterday, many people have spoken out against the decision saying that they were also in Gezi Park at the time of the incident – a sort of self-denunciation.
The ancients expressed their confidence in justice/judiciary with the adage “The finger cut by the Shari’a does not hurt”.
[Deyişteki ‘şeriat’ sözcüğünü biz bugün ‘adalet’ olarak kullanıyoruz.]
This word is an important sign of trust. It expresses the belief that the panel of the court that deals with any case – the judges – will make a decision entirely according to their convictions of conscience, after listening to the parties and weighing the evidence in terms of the laws, without being affected by any other external factors. It is a much stronger expression of the saying “There are judges in Berlin” in the international context.
No less important and no less prominent examples of well-known personalities in our belief system and history are also used to complete the phrase.
Because they are the beneficiaries of this trust, judges have always had a different respect and prestige in society than other professionals.
Is the conclusion of the Gezi trial with the verdict announced yesterday a development that will increase or at least strengthen public confidence in the judiciary, which has historical foundations but has been seen to decline in recent opinion polls?
However, there is another aspect of this incident which is difficult to understand: Why was Osman Kavala imprisoned for so many years, while the matter remained unresolved, and why the sentenced verdict been reached, even though the judicial process has not yet ended?
Why was such a procedure initiated without waiting for the finalization of the legal process?
In our political history, the above issues are of particular importance, because there are court rulings on Yassıada, which say: “The force that stuck you here wants it so”.
Turkey has come a long way in many areas since those words were spoken.
Every step that can be misinterpreted and reminds you of this word in the legal system is also reprehensible, because it will give the impression that it is in place in this area.
The mistakes of the past darken the present, and the mistakes of today darken the future.
*This article is taken from fehmikoru.com.
CLICK | Verdict of the Gezi trial: aggravated life sentence for Kavala; 18 years in prison and arrest for Mücella Yapıcı, Tayfun Kahraman, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Mine Özerden, Can Atalay, Yiğit Ali Emekçi!
CLICK | The judge in the Gezi/Osman Kavala case, Murat Bircan, has become a candidate for the AKP deputy!