Jailed deputy calls for justice at mom’s grave

Jailed deputy calls for justice at mom’s grave

Jailed lawmaker Mehmet Haberal called for justice yesterday as he traveled to the Black Sea city of Zonguldak to attend his mother’s funeral on a 72-hour pass from prison.

“Freedom is the most beautiful thing in the world. [Turkey] used to punish criminals, not the innocent, and should continue down that path. The faults and shortcomings must be remedied to ensure that justice prevails. A country’s future is in danger if there is no justice,” Haberal, a lawmaker from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told reporters.

The eminent surgeon, who was elected to Parliament last year while awaiting trial in prison, traveled to Zonguldak by ambulance due to his own frail health. He was escorted by nearly two dozen soldiers, who followed him closely throughout the day. Haberal has been charged with membership in the Ergenekon network, which allegedly sought to unseat the government.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and his predecessor Deniz Baykal were among the many party members who attended the funeral.

“He should have been given a chance to say goodbye to his mother,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek telephoned Haberal to convey his condolences. Haberal is one of eight opposition lawmakers who were elected from prison while awaiting trial.