Mehveş EVİNHe is only 13 years old. He is from Çanakkale, a northwestern province in the Marmara region. He is referred to by his initials “B.T.İ.” and is standing trial with the public prosecutor, who demands up to six years imprisonment because he spray painted the street during the Gezi protests, writing “Resign government” and “death to fascism.”
No terrorist organization was created out of the Gezi Park demonstrations. However, 64 young people have been held in prison for six months. These young people are being held in F-type prisons and because there was a verdict about the secrecy of the case, nobody knows what they are being charged with.
Meanwhile very young people, children, are standing trial, on the grounds that they “damaged public property.” The public prosecutor asks for beyond-comic punishments.
Here is another tragedy regarding a child: Berkin Elvan… He is still in a coma, but still no investigation has been launched against the policemen who fired the tear gas capsule that hit him.
On the contrary, efforts are ongoing to associate Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old 6th grade student, with being a member of an illegal organization.
The beginning and the end of Gezi
Where in the whole world would a child stand trial on prison charges because he wrote “Resign government” on a wall? In which part of the world could a child be hit on the head by police and be accused of being a terrorist? I would assume that even in Russia and China, this much could not happen. It could only be possible in North Korea, the Middle East and the dictatorships in Africa…
Let alone a child, if a mature citizen expresses the same opinion, will that be considered “freedom of expression,” or will he be punished as “an enemy of the state”?
There is an endless effort to separate the “first days” of the Gezi protests from “the rest of the protests.” It is being argued that, those protecting the park were innocent environmental activists, and then, later, members of organizations started getting involved.
For some reason, they do not take into consideration the torched tents, the tear gas used, the killed and maimed people “in the first days.”
They are pretending that the millions of people in town squares all over Turkey did not chant “resign government” because of this. The “punishment” goes only to a few scapegoats.
The operation, ‘why now?’
Now, on top of all this, there is a lot of dust in the air because of the “corruption and bribery” detentions. Everybody knows by heart why this operation is being conducted now and why it is being done in this style.
Nobody is yet convicted, so it wouldn’t be correct to comment.
However, we have not forgotten who said what in the political operations carried out in this country in previous years. How some people violated the principle of presumption of innocence, and how human dignity was nullified through mistaken and fabricated charges.
But when it is the sons of Cabinet ministers and certain businessmen in question, then they are innocent “until they are convicted.” Is that so?
Together with the bribery and corruption operation, the resignations of those ministers whose names are involved are being demanded, if not the resignation of the government.
The state that antagonizes a 13-year-old child because of the slogan “resign government”; let’s see how the same state responds to the rising chorus now.
*Mehveş Evin is a columnist for daily Milliyet, in which this piece was published on Dec 18. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff. email@example.com