Crime and punishment are personal

Crime and punishment are personal

One of the plotters of the July 15 attempted coup, the Air Forces “imam” of the Fethullah gang, Adil Öksüz, somehow cannot be found. But Öksüz’s mother-in-law Hatice Yıldırım has been arrested. You must have seen her photos in the papers; she is an elderly lady in a wheelchair. It is not clear which stage of the coup planning she was involved in. 

Apparently, when Öksüz could not be caught, they took his mother-in-law. 

The passport of Dilek Dündar, the wife of journalist Can Dündar, was seized at the airport when she was set to fly to Germany. Dilek Dündar is not being prosecuted on any charge. She is not associated with any crime, but her passport can be seized because she is Can Dündar’s wife and he was prosecuted because of stories about trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). 

The universal principles of penal law are once more being disregarded. There cannot be any crime or any punishment without a previous penal law (nullum crimen).  

In our criminal code, there are no crimes about being the wife or mother-in-law of a person charged with a crime. 

On the other hand, crime and punishment are personal. Nobody can be punished because of a crime committed by somebody else. In Latin: Nemo punitur pro alieno delieto! 

These kinds of practices demonstrate that Turkey is fast moving away from rule of law. This can only serve the coup plotters. The victimization stories created by such practices will be very popular in the West.  
I am really suspicious about whether crypto Fethullahists are behind this business. 

The danger of moving away from law 

The phenomenon defined as the “police state” is where law does not prevail in state administration but arbitrariness does. 

In a police state, an act, an attitude, etc. which is not a crime today may easily become one tomorrow. Moreover, citizens may be accused retroactively for this reason and can even be jailed.  

Turkey looks like it is tumbling down from celebrating “democracy” after the coup attempt into a police state. People can lose their jobs today because their salaries were deposited into Bank Asya by their institutions; they are even detained by police. 

Was depositing your money in Bank Asya a crime at that time? No, it was not. We are talking about a bank established according to Turkish laws and monitored according to Turkish laws. 

If there was a wrongdoing there, it should be attributed to the state administrators who did not notice what this bank was serving, not the poor cleaners, guards, teachers or civil servants. 

Journalists such as Nazlı Ilıcak, Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Lale Sarıibrahimoğlu, Nuriye Akman and Ahmet Turan Alkan have been arrested. The arrest of journalists such as Eyüp Can, Yavuz Baydar and Ergun Babahan are sought. 

Their crimes seem to be having worked at newspapers financed by the community. They are not involved in the coup attempt. Why are they arrested? It is because state administrators wanted it so. 

Even if they say, “I was mistaken,” regarding the charges, it is not adequate to save them from being prosecuted. This defense does not work for journalists. 

This shows the tendency that the arbitrary practice, not the legal one, is spreading. With the statutory decrees (KHK) that were claimed to have been issued to cleanse the state of Fethullahists, many academics with nothing to do with this gang have been dismissed. We know there are many teachers also in this situation.  

The more you move away from law, the more you lose your ability to fight this gang, let me tell you.