Daughters defend fathers in coup case
Şehriban Oğhan ISTANBUL / Hürriyet
From L to R: İrem Çiçek, Zeynep Küçük, Elif Özüer and Nazlı Çubuklu. Hürriyet photoThe daughters of four high-ranking army officers currently imprisoned in Silivri Prison pending trial on coup-plot charges are leading their fathers’ defense as their lawyers.
Daughter of the number one suspect in the ongoing Ergenekon case retired Brig. Gen. Veli Küçük, 43-year-old Zeynep Küçük, 26-year-old İrem Çiçek, the daughter of retired Colonel Dursun Çiçek, another top suspect in the coup-plot cases, 25-year-old Elif Özüer, daughter of Col. Sedat Özüer, and 28-year-old Nazlı Çubuklu, the daughter of Maj. Gen. Hıfzı Çubuklu, the staff judge advocate at the General Staff, became their fathers’ lawyers after they were arrested.
Küçük was a lawyer at the Istanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB) when her father was arrested in 2007. She now works as a full time criminal lawyer and also follows her father’s case. Küçük said having her father as a client created problems with her other clients.
“[It is terrible] to be associated with the Ergenekon case. Those who know that I am the daughter of Veli Küçük think twice when they are hiring me as a lawyer. I am spending all my energy and time on this case,” Küçük said.
Küçük added that it would be very difficult to find a lawyer to be able to follow such a long
and detailed trial if she weren’t a suspect’s daughter.
Çiçek, who was graduated from law school in 2009, said she learned the criminal law with this case. “She complains about the conditions in the courtroom.
“According to the Criminal Court Law, or CMK, one can never prevent lawyers from meeting with their clients. However, they prevent us by building a barricade between us. Now we cannot even touch them,” Çiçek said.
Çubuklu began working as a lawyer in 2011 and her father was called for testimony in June 2011. “He was arrested in August and then I found myself inside this case. My advantage was that I did my masters degree in criminal law. I made my research much more thorough than I would normally do because the person who is on trial is my father,” Çubuklu said.
Özüer, who was graduated from the same law school as Çiçek, said her father was arrested when she was practicing law for six months. I do not have the sole responsibility of my father’s defense, I try to help other lawyers,” she said.