Muratcan Gözmen (24), Burak Baran Katar (28) and Taylan Şimşek (32), arrested and detained for allegedly having threatened officials at the AKP’s stand in Istanbul Yenibosna on 10 June, have waited 73 days to be brought before the court. The indictment was returned to the prosecution due to the sparsity of the evidence, but the youngsters’ application for release has not been granted. The families of the youngsters who are embarking on Eid in jail are furious. The families say, “This is our second Eid away from our kids. Our kids have been deprived of their schools and jobs. We want an immediate end to this injustice and arbitrary treatment and for our kids to be released.”
Gözmen, Katar and Şimşek were arrested for having said, “How much longer are you going to be here?” to the AKP people, detained on charges of “threat” and “verbal abuse” and sent to Metris Prison. At the conclusion of the investigation that Istanbul Republic Chief Prosecution conducted, an indictment was drafted against the youngsters on the counts of “threat,” “verbal abuse” and “membership of a terrorist organization.” Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 29 dismissed the indictment, saying, “There is no evidence in the file to serve as the basis for the organization charge.” The prosecution’s objection to the order returning the indictment was also overruled by Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 30. However, the youngsters’ applications for release are not being granted.
“A conspiracy has been hatched”
Mehmet Uysal, Attorney-at-Law, said the file into his clients had been sent to the organized crime bureau at the behest of the AKP Bahçelievler Sub-Provincial Chair and Bahçelievler Sub-Provincial Police Chief. Uysal said, “A conspiracy has been hatched. These youngsters have actually been detained for threat and verbal abuse. In the absence of concrete facts and evidence concerning organization membership, there is no such charge in the grounds for detention. Their remaining so long in detention on charges of threat and verbal abuse and their not being brought before the court and given a fair trial shows that other things are going on in the background. The file is currently with the prosecutor. We are waiting for a new indictment to be drafted.”
The state of emergency has ended but...
Stating that the file is under a confidentiality order and they have been unable to obtain even the court’s dismissal ruling, Uysal continued, “We cannot speak to the prosecutor, either. The state of emergency has ended but a fair investigation is not being conducted. The most recent detention examination was performed on the evening of Tuesday 14 August. The youngsters’ statements were taken by video link but continuation of their detention was ordered. We objected to this decision on Monday, but our objection was overruled, too. Three youngsters are deprived of their freedom despite there being no legal grounds. It is unknown how long it will last, either.”
Uncle for the first time
Burak Baran Katar’s mother Neşe Topçular said, “We are going through very tough days. My son has lost his job in this process. He has become an uncle for the first time but has been unable to see his sister’s baby. Is this justice? They are held in single-cell rooms and his health and morale is in tatters.”
Let my daughter be joined with her father
Taylan Şimşek’s wife Gülcan Şimşek, in turn, noting that she is working all by herself and is both providing for the household and taking care of the child, commented, “My husband’s detention has affected both me and my four-year-old kid negatively. I have health problems and I am trying to cope with everything by myself. Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday and he isn’t with his family. Let this injustice and unfairness be put right at once and my daughter be joined with her father.”
Turning to Muratcan Gözmen’s father, Ali Gürbüz Gözmen, he had the following to say: “I had a heart attack in this process and came back from the verge of death. We have now given up on our own lives and it is enough for our children to gain their freedom at once. They are behind bars for nothing.”
The AKP people came to the police station and we were detained
As to the detained youngsters, they wrote in a letter they sent to our newspaper that they are in strict solitary confinement and are being held in single cells. Stating that there were unfounded charges in the indictment that the court returned, they said, “We were taken to the Yenibosna 75. Yıl Police Station because we argued with the people at the AKP election desk about the loud music. Despite being released at 21:00 by Bakırköy duty prosecution, the AKP sub-provincial chair and his organization came to the police station and, after they had spoken to the police station chief, they took us into the custody room. They confiscated everything about our person. They did not permit us to inform either our lawyers or our relatives. We witnessed in the custody room the plot that had been hatched against us. Four people went into the police station chief’s room and changed their mendacious statements countless times until getting approval. Finally, a superintendent brought the four people together and gave the statements their final form. This is how they had the arrest order issued against us.”