INTERNATIONAL > Red notice issued for Turkish sociologist Pınar Selek

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Pınar Selek's Kafkaesque battle against the Turkish judicial system appears set to continue, after Interpol issued a red notice for the France-based sociologist. Hürriyet Photo

Pınar Selek's Kafkaesque battle against the Turkish judicial system appears set to continue, after Interpol issued a red notice for the France-based sociologist. Hürriyet Photo

A red notice has been issued for sociologist Pınar Selek, who was sentenced to life in prison Jan. 24 for her role in an explosion at Istanbul's Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı) in central Istanbul in 1998, which left seven dead and wounded dozens more.

Interpol’s red notice is “the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today.” Selek currently lives in the French city of Strasbourg and is pursuing her thesis at Strasbourg University. She may now face detention by French police and could be sent back to Turkey as part of the long-running legal battle that has seen her cleared of charges in the explosion on three separate occasions.

Reacting to the red notice, Selek said she was “resisting.” “I’m continuing to be who I am – ‘I’m resisting’ – I have nothing to say other than this,” she was quoted as saying by weekly newspaper Agos.

“I don’t know why they’re still bothering with me this much,” she reportedly told her father, Alp Selek, by phone after the announcement was made, daily BirGün reported.

Alp Selek emphasized that the case was not yet finished. “There is an attempt to make it seem like the case is over, Pınar’s been convicted and she’s gone on the run. However, Pınar is doing her doctorate in France,” he said, adding that his daughter’s legal team was still going to make its defense to the Supreme Court of Appeals and that the case had gone to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). “We will continue our battle.”

Pınar Selek also said it remained to be seen whether Interpol or France would act on the red notice.

The academic has undergone a number of legal tribulations since she was first apprehended in 1998 in the wake of the explosion, which the court most recently ruled to be a bomb even though several expert reports had concluded that the blast was caused by a gas leak. After more than a year in prison, she was released in December 2000 but was subsequently subjected to Kafkaesque-like judicial treatment, winning acquittals in the case on three separate occasions, only to be retried. In November 2012, a Turkish court ruled to overturn its previous acquittal, reopening proceedings against her before finally convicting her again in January.

In prison, Selek was allegedly subjected to heavy torture, during which she also refused to name the people she had interviewed during her sociological research on the Kurdish issue.

Given the strong and persistent doubts that the bazaar explosion was actually caused by a bomb, many have speculated that Selek was purposely selected for harsh judicial treatment due to her work on Kurds.


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Notice on comments

Alex Kader

8/28/2013 11:03:40 PM

What is legal, what is illegal, what is crime and what is not crime in Turkey? If it was a reasonable country with respect to justice system, we could easily comprehend the acceptability of the result of a legal decision. As we can see in Ergenekon case, the justice system is not independent at all;moreover, it is fully controlled by fanatic Sunni Islamists in Turkey or not in Turkey. Therefore, the decisions are being made based on strategical calculations and agreements between those Islamist

mara mcglothin

8/28/2013 5:17:51 PM

Nothing is ever as it appears in Turkey, period. AGNES If she had had a headscarf then it would probably be a pink notice for her, and a red notice for her father, husband, or older brother that let her get out of hand. Hasn't evidence been presented that this was a simple gas leak issue and not an act of terrorism???? How many times now?????

Agnes Smith

8/28/2013 2:46:17 PM

I hope I can say this without upsetting anyone. If Pinar had a headscarf on and was looking miserable instead of happy would there be a red notice? I think we all know the answer.She was been framed and thus why the courts never had enough evidence. The courts need to spend time on more worthy criminals. While they waste time, the real perpetrators of human crime walk free. Try searching Dr. Yusuf Sonmez the organ transplant mastermind. I believe he still walks free. Who should be hunted?

Agnes Smith

8/28/2013 1:54:31 PM

This case should have been thrown out long ago. I have a sneaky suspicion this witch hunt is being financed by someone- in other words corrupt. As TAYYIR points out we have no legal justice. So what makes me ache is the finger pointing to the rest of the world giving advice. RTE get your own house in order and then you may have some credibility. Let the reporters out so they can investigate the truth - your special services and police are just giving the answers you want and not based on truth

american american

8/28/2013 12:03:12 PM

red tail, he is referring to the education of a woman

Red Tail

8/28/2013 8:36:25 AM

Cem Arda. You claim that France educate her in terrorism? Do you seriously think that doing a PhD in France on sociology, means that you learn how to make bombs? Or what is your point?

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

8/28/2013 2:32:06 AM

She is a feminist, which is a no no for a man dominated backward judiciary.

Tayyar Abi

8/27/2013 9:11:11 PM

I guess this means Turkey has no such thing as a double jeopardy restriction in the judicial system. Oh wait, I forgot, they don't really have a system.

world citizen

8/27/2013 8:24:12 PM

@ Cem Arda, it is easy to frame academics as terrorists in Turkey it seems... Experts saying it wasn't a bomb, 3 innocent verdicts. A political pressure for a 4th trial... There you go, you have your "guilty" terrorist! As for accusing France of helping terrorism, please look at Turkey's immediate neighborhood: Syrian Kurdistan. Check what kind of "freedom" fighters Turkey sponsors there Regards

Cem Arda

8/27/2013 7:07:45 PM

Nice. A terrorisits pursuing her thesis at a university in france. france just educate them to performs better attacks with much more death toll. well done, this year's nobel peace price should fly to france for its contributions into world peace!
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