Is there justice in Turkey? Imagine it for yourself!


Invitation to observe a trial by the "Platform against Isolation"

On May 16 in Istanbul, a mass trial of the accused arrested in the April 1 operation will take place. On April 1, 2004, raids were carried out simultaneously in five countries. It was presented as an operation against the illegal DHKP-C. The operations in Holland, Belgium and Germany were based on a proposal by the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a close friend of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and were carried out as part of EU police cooperation. Around 100 persons were arrested in Turkey alone.
On the pretext of storming terror cells of the DHKP-C, what actually happened were raids against democratic and legal institutions which had permission to exist from the Ministry of the Interior. Turkey requested the aid of the EU countries for this extensive operation. This was an operation to silence opposition forces in Turkey and was based on falsified documents. It could only be legitimised with international support.

Why is there a state conspiracy here? Why are we inviting you to observe the trial?

As we already mentioned, On April 1, 2004 about 100 persons were arrested in Turkey. The first trial of 42 people arrested took place in Istanbul between 25.10.04 and 05.11.04. After the first trial, 19 people were released. Against the remaining 23 who were arrested, the second trial took place on February 12, whereby there were five released. The next trial against the remaining 18 detainees will take place in Istanbul on May 16.

Those arrested earlier and also those who are still in custody had their freedom taken from them because of diskettes. These diskettes were supposed to have been seized in the April 1 raid. The diskettes are supposed to have held names, surnames and cover names.
A concrete judicial procedure is supposed to take place for the diskettes to be considered evidence. The diskettes should immediately be locked up and sent to the the judge. They can only be unlocked in the presence of a judge, a prosecutor and a defence lawyer.

None of this was done. The procedure with diskettes that have deprived people of their freedom for over a year has been irregular in all cases connected with this. Even the initial search was improperly carried out. This is supposed to happen in the presence of a lawyer but lawyers were not admitted.

Moreover the police have admitted that they analysed the diskettes on April 3 but the operation was carried out on April 1. The arrests were carried out on the basis that names appeared on the the diskette. How can the operation be carried out on April 1 if the diskettes were first analysed on April 3?

But there is one much greater violation of justice.

After the lawyers had applied for a copy and a chance to examine the diskettes, it was established that the diskettes had spent two and a half months at the police headquarters and had never been locked up or sealed.

On May 16 in Istanbul, a mass trial of 18 accused takes place. At the same time the accused in other cities of Turkey were acquitted. These judgments are in principle a confession. State institutions had accepted that the diskettes were not admissible evidence:

JUDGMENT 1: in the trial of lawyer Zeki Ruzgar, who was accused, because his name appeared on a diskette, the prosecutor`s office in Ankara decided to QUASH proceedings.

JUDGMENT 2: in the trial of lawyer Selcuk Kozagacli, who was accused because his name appeared on a diskette the court for major criminal offences no. 11 in Ankara decided that he was ACQUITTED because the evidence was insufficient for a conviction.

JUDGMENT 3: the prosecutor`s office in Bursa found that such documents are not proof and REJECTED A CONVICTION of the persons which were arrested based on a diskette.

JUDGMENT 4: Nurhan Yilmaz and Sadik Eroglu were arrested because their names were on a diskette. The court for major criminal offences in Izmir found the evidence insufficient and ACQUITTED them at their second appearance.
JUDGMENT 5: the court for major criminal offences no. 2 in Erzurum found in the procedure against the activists arrested in Unye that these documents were inadmissible as evidence.

The summit of illegality was clearly reached in the second hearing on February 12. It emerged that such a diskette does not exist. The police said they had sent the diskette to the court. The court however indicated that such a diskette had never been received. The court received a couple of documents, but NO DISKETTE!

In addition Sadi Ozpolat, one of the 18 prisoners on trial on May 16, said in an interview for an online newspaper conducted through correspondence: "This is a procedure where the Interior Minister, that is, the state, decides who is arrested and how long they remain in prison. The irregularities are based on that and they continue. It turned out even in the second hearing on February 11, 2005 that we had been convicted on the basis of evidence on a non-existent diskette. But even this fact did not lead to an acquittal. There are therefore very openly no proofs, no laws, no justice. We are only in prison because the state wants to preserve its interests. The proceedings have become a comedy... "

In addition, the Turkish police have not only deceived the Turkish courts and public. They have brought legal irregularity onto the international plane. The total "documents" in the ongoing trial in Italy are based only on this non-existent diskette. The police would like to get the courts in Italy to render a verdict based on falsified documents. This trial is a classic example of the violations of justice and denial of democracy in Turkey.
Therefore we ask all institutions, organisations and individuals to show interest and would like to invite you to observe this trial.

The significance of an international observer delegation was shown at the March 30, 2005 trial of Sandra Bakutz in Ankara. Because of the broad international support she received, she was released.

With your participation, these people will also not be left to their fate.

International Platform Against Isolation
Rue Stevin 190,
Tel:0032-2-230 0866
Fax:0032-2-280 2229