Evaluation of Kobanê and Gezi by lawyers: we will not get the message

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 Kobanê 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 Kobanê case and representatives of legal organizations attended the meeting.

After declaring that the Kobanê affair continues with all its illegality, lawyer Gürkan Wishli from the management of the ÖHD Istanbul branch gave a word to the participants.


Atilla Bahçıvan, one of the lawyers in the Kobanê 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 Inan, 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 Kobanê 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.

“BAHTİYAR ÇOLAK gang member”

Pointing out that Bahtiyar Çolak, the head of the Kobanê Magistrate’s Court, was involved in criminal crimes, Bahçıvan said: “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 Kobanê Kumpas case had been prepared by the AKP-MHP, and 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.


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.


Lawyer Özgür Urfa of Lawyers for Justice group said: “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 given that you should not play politics, it will be your end if you oppose the government. 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. Doing politics is a right, it must be said that politics done by peaceful means cannot be criminalized.

Mustafa Söğütlü, member of the Lawyers for Democracy, recalled that today is the anniversary of the end of the 2nd World War, and declared that the vestiges of fascism are still alive in the Gezi and Kobanê cases. Mustafa said they will follow the cases and show solidarity.


Speaking later, HDP MP Oya Ersoy said, “The real Kobanê file has not yet been opened, 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 Kobanê case. In this country, justice has never been independent, but it has never been set up as an instrument. He drew attention to the Gezi and Kobanê cases. Ersoy recalled that these lawsuits were brought years later following the fear of President Tayyip Erdoğan, and said: “With the Kobanê case, they are suing the political representatives of the Kurdish people. 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.


Ankara HDP MP Filiz Kerestecioğlu said solidarity should be expanded and stressed that the judiciary has become an instrument. “We don’t need to watch a comedy,” Filiz said, highlighting the events and sanctions in the Kobanê and Gezi cases. 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.”

“People’s demands are put to the test”

Gurkan Isteli, who spoke again later, underlined that the people judged in the Kobanê 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.


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