The 'cosmic secrets' of lawyers
ÖZGÜR MUMCU, firstname.lastname@example.orgLast week, a new wave of arrests was added to the “conventional arrests and detention” festival with the arrests of member lawyers of the “Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği” (Contemporary Lawyers’ Association - ÇHD). Police said the operation was against the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). They also said, not satisfied with just this, that the detained lawyers were “agents” leaking “cosmic information” to foreign states.
The lawyers in question are no stranger to the media or those who monitor political cases. I know some of them. Not that we have together leaked “cosmic information” abroad. It is because I have witnessed them, while covering the weird cases of this country in front of courthouses, defending their clients against the system with much resilience.
If civil servants have been convicted in the case where Engin Çeber was killed as a result of torture, it is because of these lawyers.
If Festus Okey has not been forgotten as an unfortunate refugee killed in a police station, then it is because daily Radikal’s İsmail Saymaz and other journalists have persistently followed the case up – as have these lawyers.
It is these lawyers who have defended students who have unfurled posters for “free education,” who have stood beside textile workers unjustly fired and who have facilitated the unearthing of mass graves.
If there is a “cosmic” secret about the state they have leaked, these secrets are from these items and they have been announcing these secrets for years.
It is these lawyers who are behind the hotline project called “İmdat Polis” (Help, Police!), where citizens can complain about police violence. They are also behind the program “Ordinary Suspects,” where they teach about the rights of the detainee.
Members of the ÇHD and their chair, Selçuk Kozağaçlı, have always disclosed, through their articles and talks, the will that conducts political criminal cases. Kozağaçlı has been saying that the positions of the public prosecutor and the judge have been incapacitated for a long time. He has told us numerous times that starting from investigations until the final verdict, it was the police that dominate everything. His ironic article published on the web portal bianet.org, titled: “No [need for] prosecutor or judge in criminal cases,” is always on my mind.
Doesn’t it prove Kozağaçlı’s thesis anyway, that the first statement about the detention of the lawyers came from the police and not the office of the prosecutor?
Selçuk Kozağaçlı explained this in an interview with Tanıl Bora: “We know that, because of the Justice Ministry-HSYK [Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors] relationship, because of the HSYK-High Justice relationship, today, they are in a position to appoint any judge to any court they wish; or, just the contrary, they can dismiss whichever judge they do not want to take a case. For the first time in the republic’s history, there is such a clear block: The Supreme Court of Appeals/Justice Ministry/HSYK/judges and prosecutors of specially authorized courts … They act like a single block. If one among them makes a mistake, others immediately step in, and, legally, they cut him off and restore order. This is clear to us with what has happened to certain judges who have made some releases or the circulation when certain judges and prosecutors are reassigned fast because they have not acted ‘accordingly.’”
What will happen to the ÇHD lawyers should be monitored in the light of what the ÇHD has told us up until today. We will see whether or not the positions judges and prosecutors occupy are only showpieces and whether or not we will come across a mentality based on “the law of the police record.”
We will see whether the ministry/Supreme Court/HSYK/prosecutors and judges will act as a single block.
We will see, as ÇHD has always pointed out, whether case files will be synthetically “criminalized.”
All the weaknesses of a justice system are actually revealed when the defense starts being tried.
In the event that the lawyers are arrested and tried, then it means we will altogether follow the process of “the defense trying the system.” Then, at that time, it would be very interesting to see the “cosmic secrets” surfacing.
Özgür Mumcu is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece was published Jan 21. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.