Main opposition lawmaker Balbay visits journalists in his former prison
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Lawmaker Mustafa Balbay has visited journalists jailed over alleged links with the Ergenekon coup case in Silivri prison. AA photoLawmaker Mustafa Balbay has visited journalists jailed over alleged links with the Ergenekon coup case in Silivri prison, following his release from the prison where he spent more than four years on similar charges.
The journalist, who was elected to the Parliament in the 2011 general elections for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) visited his former colleagues Tuncay Özkan, Hikmet Çiçek, Deniz Yıldırım and Turan Özlü. The deputies were arrested over alleged links to the Ergenekon-named terrorist organization suspected to have been established to overthrow the Justice and Development Party- (AKP) led government.
Balbay himself has also been facing 34 years and eight months in prison as part of the same case.
After the Constitutional Court ruled his lengthy imprisonment amounted to a “violation of the law,” he was released two weeks ago after being held for four years and 277 days in prison.
Speaking to reporters after his visit, Balbay expressed his sorrow over five jailed Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies who were expected to be freed after Balbay’s release. Diyarbakır courts examining their case had ruled the Constitution Court’s decision was not binding for the BDP deputies’ cases.
“Law shouldn’t be practiced differently in Ankara, in Silivri or in Diyarbakır. The law should have a common language,” Balbay said, adding his first wish was for the release of five deputies who had been tried over their alleged links with the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).
“My other wish is for the disputed cases to proceed at least without detentions,” he further said.
When asked about his view on the ongoing corruption probe that has shaken the country, Balbay said the way of handling operations, by raiding suspects’ houses at dawn, was not the right way.
“I know these scenes. They take people in the small hours. How will you reveal that those scenes seen by the public were not the way they looked like?” he said, adding he was “of course siding with fight against corruption.”