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LOCAL > Released Hopa suspects vow ‘not to change a bit’

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

An Ankara court releases 22 people, most of whom are university students under arrest for alleged links to an outlawed organization, pending trial. The suspects, who were detained after a protest on May 31 and have been kept under arrest since, say the time spent in jail helped many things but giving up the fight

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Demonstrators carry the photographs of the students under arrest during a protest in front of the courthouse Dec 9. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Demonstrators carry the photographs of the students under arrest during a protest in front of the courthouse Dec 9. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Twenty-two leftist youths released by an Ankara court Dec. 9 say they will continue their fight despite their service in prison for the last six months. 

“We were supported by other revolutionaries in prison, they shared everything with us. For example we used the loophole in the yard to communicate with the people we never saw,” Mahir Mansuroğlu, one of the prisoners said as reported in the daily Radikal.

Another prisoner, Çağrı Yılmaz said the prisoners in the next dorm would even send them tea by putting it in a soda bottle and throwing it in from the roof. “If we couldn’t catch the bottle it would hit the floor and make noise, then they would hear it and throw one more,” he said.

Some 28 people, 22 of whom were arrested after they took part in violent street protests in Ankara May 31, were being accused of being members of leftist terrorist groups on the basis of leftist publications discovered in their homes.

Hair cutting 

To protest the arrested student’s conditions, several opposition lawmakers and university lecturers along together with 200 students had cut off locks of hair to express support for the students, one of whom had to have his coveted long hair cut.

“Even the non-political prisoners supported us in prison. They also sent us locks of hair as we were leaving,” another detained student, Hikmet Tanıl, said. “I read all the books in prison that were called ‘illegal’ in our indictment.”

Among the objects, the prosecutor listed as incriminating evidence in the indictment banners, sticks, an umbrella, a checkered scarf, books by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, posters of Mahir Çayan and Deniz Gezmiş, the iconic leaders of Turkey’s leftist movement, and leaflets calling for cheaper transport and food at university campuses.

The youth group also sent a message to the general public saying that if there is anyone that thinks that they will change after the prison service, they are wrong.

“We will continue being opponents; we will keep on expressing the problems of the poor, our thoughts on transportation and electricity price increases. We will continue our fight for a democratic Turkey,” they said.

The defendants had been charged with membership in a terrorist organization, spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization, deliberately injuring a public employee, damaging public property and resisting security forces.

December/12/2011

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