The lawyers who made a statement about the Gezi trial, which resulted in sanctions in the Kobani case, said that a message had been sent to the Kurdish and Turkish people with these cases, and said: “We would like declare once again that we have not and will not receive the message that the government has tried to give us with these trials and these heavy sentences.”
Istanbul branch of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), former co-chairmen of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş, and members of the Central Executive Council (MYK) in the Kobani case, where 108 people, of whom 21 were imprisoned, were tried. He held a press conference in a hotel in Taksim about the sentences handed down to those tried in this case. HDP MPs Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Oya Ersoy, ÖHD Istanbul co-chairs Esra Erin and Gürkan Wishli, as well as lawyers from the Kobani case and representatives of legal organizations attended the meeting.
After declaring that the Kobani case continues with all its illegality, lawyer Gürkan Wishli from the management of the ÖHD Istanbul branch gave a word to the participants.
“The Gezi case is a case in which these plots are exposed”
Atilla Bahçıvan, one of the lawyers in the Kobani case and a member of the HDP PM, drew attention to what happened in the case. Beginning his speech by commemorating Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan, Atilla recalled conspiracy cases in Turkish history. Bahçıvan said: “The Kurdish people are the living witnesses of the conspiracy trials. The Gezi trial is a case in which these conspiracies are exposed. There are situations where the Kobani and Gezi cases are similar. In the Gezi trial, it was revealed that one of the court members was the AKP deputy candidate, and our friends were convicted.
“The indictment was either prepared at MHP headquarters or shared with them”
Pointing out that Bahtiyar Çolak, the head of the Kobani Magistrate’s Court, was involved in criminal crimes, Bahçıvan pointed out the following:
“It was an interesting name. It was a presiding judge who claimed to have read the case file in a week. All objections from our friends who were then on trial and from their defenders were overruled. During the first session, the trial started without telling our friends. Our request for refusal by the judge was rejected. We said that the Kobani Kumpas case was prepared by the AKP-MHP, not by the prosecutor. After the indictment was released, the announcement was shared on MHP’s Twitter pages within 18 minutes. This indictment was either prepared at MHP headquarters or shared with them. We shared this with the court. It turned out that Bahtiyar Çolak was a member of a gang. We see that this gang takes the president of the MHP and Süleyman Soylu as a reference.
“There was a lie about Çolak”
Emphasizing that they were not informed of the dismissal of Bahtiyar Çolak, Bahçıvan said that the president of the court told them: “Bahtiyar Bey underwent an operation on his nose. We don’t know when he will come. He said that the president who gave that answer was appointed president of the court. “He lied looking us in the eye. Just like the AKP tribunal member looked us in the eye during the Gezi trial. The ongoing process at the moment is questionable,” Atilla said, before listing the illegalities of the case, one by one, during the process of the new head of court.
“We try not to leave anyone the space to play politics”
Özgür Urfa, a lawyer from the Lawyers for Justice group, also pointed out the following:
“Turkey’s judicial practice, the relationship between politics and justice are interconnected. The judiciary is the apparatus of power. This was the case 50 years ago. We are trying to make it a crime to engage in opposition politics in Turkey. We saw it in the Gazi, Kobanê and HDP closure cases. Any peaceful gathering is considered a crime. When government policies conflict, a perception is attempted to be created by prosecutors and judges. Calling on the government to resign is a legitimate and legal right. In all these files, the message is passed that one should not make policy, if you oppose the government, it will be your end. If we count the illegality in the cases, it won’t stop here for months. We try not to leave politics to anyone. Those who try to play politics are also judged by law enforcement and justice. Politics is a right, it must be said that politics made by peaceful means cannot be criminalized.
Mustafa Söğütlü, member of Lawyers for Democracy, recalled that today is the anniversary of the end of the 2nd World War and said that the vestiges of fascism are still alive in the Gezi and Kobani cases. Söğütlü said they would follow the lawsuits and stand in solidarity.
“We will open the real Kobani file”
Speaking later, HDP MP Oya Ersoy said: “The real Kobani file has not been opened yet, we will open it. We will bring to justice those who opened the doors to ISIS and pushed paramilitary forces on the millions who took to the streets. This will be the true Kobani case. In this country, the judiciary has never been independent, but it has never been made an instrument of it. He drew attention to the Gezi and Kobani cases. Ersoy recalled that these lawsuits were filed years later as a result of the fear of President Tayyip Erdoğan, and said: “They are suing the political representatives of the Kurdish people with the Kobani case. It is the reflection of fear. Together, we will not allow this country to be ruled by a dictatorship. Those who are in favor of equality and freedom should be party to this case.
“We don’t need to watch a comedy”
Ankara HDP MP Filiz Kerestecioğlu said solidarity should be expanded and stressed that the judiciary has become an instrument. Keresticioğlu said, “We don’t need to watch a comedy”, and highlighted the events and convictions of the Kobani and Gezi trial. Emphasizing that these are conspiracy cases, Kerestecioğlu called for solidarity with judicial organizations. Continuing his assessments regarding the Gezi affair, Kerestecioğlu said, “We must fight together for a freer and more democratic Turkey.”
“We do not and will not receive messages intended to be transmitted with heavy penalties”
Gurkan Isteli, who spoke later, pointed out that those tried in the Kobani case are the claims of the Kurdish people and that revenge has been taken on the Kurdish people. Expressing that they will follow the process, Isteli said: “We would like to affirm once again that we have not received and will not receive the message that the government is trying to give us with these trials and heavy penalties. “
The meeting ended after the speeches.