Students deny bomber claims
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Two university students, Elif Sultan Kalsın (25) and Harran Aydın (21), who were listed by the Istanbul Police Department as potential suicide bombers, made a statement to the press Aug. 13, saying they will file a criminal complaint against the city police and the provincial governor.
One police officer was killed in a suicide bomb attack earlier this week at a police station in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district. Following the attack, the Istanbul Police Directorate issued of nine potential suicide bombers the police had discovered to the press.
Kalsın, a junior in Kocaeli University’s international relations department, and Aydın, a first-class student in metallurgical engineering at Elazığ University, made a statement to the press with their lawyer Barkın Timtik, and filed a criminal complaint against Istanbul Police chief Hüseyin Çapkın and Governor Avni Mutlu.
Ranked as number five on the nine-person list, Kalsın said she was very surprised when she saw the list.
“I was jailed for attending press conferences and May 1 events, which meant demanding my rights. I served 21 months in prison for this. Now I have been pronounced a suicide bomber. Now I’m in the public eye. So in my opinion, if you’re a revolutionary or socialist in this country, it’s very easy to conspire against you or execute you,” Kalsın said.
Aydın was also shocked when she saw her name and picture on the Internet.
“It said that I was educated in Greece, and was now ready to become a new suicide bomber. I have not been to Greece, and they know that, too. We attend democratic press conferences and demonstrations. As students, we are looking for justice in this country. So I believe that is the reason for these rumors. Having socialist ideas, demanding justice and asking for free education is enough to make one a target in Turkey. That’s why we [have been named] as suicide bombers.
Timtik called the lawyer generalship after the list appeared in the media, and asked if any investigation was underway regarding his clients. The lawyer generalship indicated that there was no such a list.
“I am a recognized lawyer and the police know me. In spite of this, they pointed a gun at me when I went to police station in the course of my work. They could have shot me at that moment. As a lawyer, I was exposed to the police’s proceedings, and these police knew my identity. If my clients, whose pictures were given to media, were present for an identity check, they might be killed there. This security list is endangering their lives. It is a crime,” Timtik said.