What is the aim of these arrests?
On the heels of writer Aslı Erdoğan, writer Necmiye Alpay has now been arrested. The reason for Alpay’s arrest is the same as Aslı Erdoğan: Being a member of the Editorial Consultancy Board of daily Özgür Gündem. Thus, they are considered to be “members of the armed terror organization” and have accordingly been jailed.
As a matter of fact, the office of the prosecutor has nothing else to put into the investigation file. It is a mystery why they have been arrested. There is no probability that they would escape; there is no “evidence to be tampered with.”
Alpay went to the office of the prosecutor herself to give her statement. Would anybody who plans to run away ever go to the office of the prosecutor? Well, then why did they arrest her? Why were they arrested when they could be released on parole and be tried?
On the other hand, journalists and intellectuals who stood in as editors-in-chief taking turns in solidarity with Özgür Gündem against the pressures imposed on the newspaper have all been called to the prosecutor’s office to give testimony.
Among them are journalists such as Hasan Cemal, Tuğrul Eryılmaz and Nadire Mater. They are accused of, according to the office of the prosecutor, of making propaganda for a terror organization.
If you scrutinize what they have written and what they have said, there is no possibility of comprehending how they would ever have committed this crime.
However, the office of the prosecutor is able to define their participation in a democratic protest as “conducting propaganda for the terror organization.”
Frankly, I cannot find a trace of goodwill in these investigations. I cannot stop myself from asking whether there are “crypto-Fetullahists” behind these investigations. If so, I would not be surprised.
These people in question have worldwide reputations, not only have they never touched a gun, they have always opposed violence; they are intellectuals and journalists who have defended fundamental values of democracy. Now, if you jail these people for being a member of a terror organization or making propaganda for it, you cannot make the world believe this.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the ceremony to open the judicial year: “Hey world; we catch them and hand them over to justice. You, in turn, are saying ‘We are concerned.’”
The thing that creates and nurtures the “doubts” of the West is not the trial of coup plotters, but the wish to silence opposition voices by taking advantage of the situation.
Let me ask a question and let the justice minister think about the answer: Who are the ones who would benefit the most from the erosion of the justice system in Turkey because of this?
Time for parliament to go to the palace
The opening ceremony of the judicial year was held at the presidential palace at Beştepe, Ankara. Well done.
I had written earlier that this was wrong; the judiciary should not be under the executive and that the symbols of their independence were important. I had noted that the symbolic meaning of holding this ceremony at the Presidential Palace was that the judiciary had entered into the executive organ’s service.
However, now when I say that it was a well-done act, I should say that I am not contradicting myself.
It was good because now everybody has seen that “independence” was a role played by the judiciary. When President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan walked into the hall, all high judges stood up, buttoning up their jackets, and tidying up their robes; that scene has been engraved into the minds and will be remembered for many years.
Actually, that robe does not contain any buttons so that the judge does not need to do up his or her buttons in front of anybody. To pull a robe that has no buttons to all sides trying to show their “respect to the president” demonstrates the level of “independence” our justice has reached.
We already knew our justice was not independent from the executive; on the contrary it was under its service, but we were seeking an image of independence even if it was symbolic.
Now, we have learned that we should not even seek that.
Now is the time to hold the opening of the parliament ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
Since the judiciary goes to the “palace of the state and the nation” and holds an opening ceremony there, why should the deputies not go to the palace of the state and nation and stage an opening of the legislation term?
Konak Square at İzmir
Did you know the actual name of Konak Square at İzmir was Atatürk Square? I don’t think there is anybody living in İzmir who has called that place “Atatürk Square” even once.
We seem to have an ambition to rename the squares and streets of cities. Every day the name of a street or an avenue is changed and even those living on them don’t know about it. That is the reason why digital navigators working on GPS become dysfunctional.
Try going to Konak Square by directing your navigator to “Atatürk Square” and let’s see where the device