May 7, 2015

A fictional and imaginary ‘terrorist organization’

Erhan Başyurt

Samanyolu Group Chairman Hidayet Karaca has been in Silivri Prison since December 4, just because of a fictional sentence spoken in a fictional TV series script.

Along with several police officers who were involved in an investigation (upon prosecutorial instruction and court decision), he is charged with “starting and managing an armed terrorist organization."

Yet, there were no weapons, no organization, no coercion or violence, and no causal connection.

There is no doubt of escape or tampering with the evidence.

Still, Karaca, who has been a TV executive for years, has been kept in prison since last December.

As a colleague and an elder whom I know for many years, I applied to the Ministry of Justice to pay him a visit, and I was “rejected.”

I applied twice to the Silivri Prison Prosecutor, and I was “not allowed."

What did Karaca do? Why has he been under detention for five months now? Despite the decision to release him, why has it not been implemented?

In the end, Karaca’s lawyers made an individual appeal to the Constitutional Court.

And they announced that they might take the case to the ECtHR afterwards.

The lawyers went to retired Military Judge and Assistant Professor Ümit Kardaş, who is a respected jurist in Turkey.

Kardaş prepared an extensive “opinion” of 20 pages.

His assessment exposes that charges against Karaca “lack any tangible or intangible evidence."

The judge’s reason for arrest makes reference to a “fabricated voice recording," which the investigating prosecutor could not inquire because it was “illegal evidence”; hence, Kardaş points out, the arrest warrant is “defective."

Besides, Karaca’s interrogation process lasted for 4 days and 14 hours, and exceeded legal limits, which means it violated the “right to fair trial” as provided by the ECtHR and the Turkish Constitution.

Therefore, stresses Kardaş, no arrest warrant may apply; and according to the Constitution, the release decision of April 24 cannot be disregarded and should be immediately executed.

Kardaş declared that for 10 days now, Karaca has been practically a “captive” whose “freedom is under constraint.”

Retired Military Judge Kardaş’s extensive opinion discloses that Karaca’s trial should not be even possible.

Kardaş points out that the MİT and military intelligence concerning the Tahşiye group precede the mentioned script, and for the claim to have any legal validity, the MİT and the Turkish Army should have been under Gülen’s and Karaca’s control back in 2008, which would be simply “impossible.”

As a result, there are no concrete charges against Hidayet Karaca. There is no concrete evidence. Still, he has been kept in Silivri for five months now, on the grounds that he “started and managed an armed terrorist organization.”

Karaca is a person who would avoid doing harm even to insects, and his treatment is beyond any legal justification – it is arbitrary and politically-motivated cruelty.

Let alone press freedom, it is a blow not just to the law, but also to human rights and dignity.

Each moment of his detention is a silent cry that “justice is dead in Turkey."

Each second of his time in jail is a stain on our nation's heart, a stain all can see which stands as a testimony to injustice.

Karaca is patiently and faithfully waiting for souls to “wake up to the fact that justice is being slayed.”

Published on BGNNews, 07 May 2015, Thursday