October 14, 2015

Suicide bombers have 'legal rights'!

Erhan Başyurt

In a live interview on the NTV channel, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu commented on the suicide bombing attack in the heart of Ankara that killed around 100 people: “We have a list of suicide bombers. But ours is a state of law. We can’t arrest them before they do something.”

One cannot believe his ears.

It also says a lot about the “security lapses” in the tragedies that occurred in Diyarbakır, Suruç and Ankara.

A prime minister who passed the Domestic Security Package that conceives arresting those who wear the “poshu” scarf, plus the "reasonable doubt” law that grants authorities power to search and detain without evidence, now says “We know the suicide bombers but we cannot arrest them. We are bound by law.”

It sounds like a cruel joke.

However, journalist Hidayet Karaca has been under arrest for over 10 months for “establishing an armed terrorist organization” because of a line in the script of a TV series, which he had not written. The only evidence cited is an illegal and legally invalid wiretap recording and a doctored tape.

Journalist Mehmet Baransu has been in jail for 8 months for revealing coup plots against the AKP. He faces charges related with the acquisition and destruction of a document that should be in possession of the General Staff. He is tried for “attempted coup” since he wrote pieces on public health risks of genetically modified rice.

Our columnist Gültekin Avcı is charged with “establishing an armed terrorist organization” and “plotting to topple the government” because of 7 columns he wrote. He has been kept in Silivri Prison for about a month. Though his columns did not have references to any document, he is charged with “leaking confidential documents” and “military espionage.”

Journalist Bülent Keneş, a former student of Davutoğlu, was sent to Metris Prison for his tweets during the investigation phase. Besides, the charges against him do not require arrest. The judge who arrested Keneş turned out to have released the assailants who injured Ahmet Hakan in an organized and planned attack outside his home, breaking his nose and ribs.

İpek Media Group was raided by the police after reports by the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) that were full of lies and libels.

The headquarters of Hürriyet daily was attacked by a club-swinging and stone-pelting mob, among whom was AKP Istanbul deputy and youth branch head Abdurrahim Boynukalın.

The offices of Dicle News Agency (DİHA) in Diyarbakır were raided under the pretext of terrorism and on the ground of “reasonable doubt”, without a court decision. 33 journalists were taken into custody and eventually released.

Hundreds of journalists have faced investigations and trials during the AKP rule.

Many respected journalists have been handed sentences by disregarding the freedom of expression and opinion.

The “strongmen” dealt a severe blow to Davutoğlu, who had said “No TV channel can be removed from the TURKSAT platform without a final court order.”

Seven TV channels have been arbitrarily and unlawfully expelled without a court verdict by public institutions directly reporting to Davutoğlu, or by Tivibu, Digiturk, Turkcell, Teledünya and Kablo TV platforms, whose boards are appointed by the government.

The list of tens of thousands from public and security bureaucracy who were removed from duty, exiled, dismissed from profession or jailed on trumped-up charges without any concrete evidence would fill volumes.

For some reason, Davutoğlu denies free media and innocent bureaucrats the respect to “the law” that he shows in the case of suicide bombers.

Imprisonment on trumped-up charges, libels, raids by club-swinging and stone-pelting mobs, assaults on journalists, and censorship imposed on TV channels by the government…

All are practices that trample on the law.

All of them occurred during Davutoğlu’s “premiership.”

Davutoğlu, who respects the legal rights of “suicide bombers” but has failed to prevent the massacre of over 150 citizens in Diyarbakır, Suruç and Ankara during “pro-peace” rallies, somehow denied the same respect regarding the freedom and rights of journalists.

You can add this list the blocking of operations against members of the armed separatist terrorist organization by “order of the executive branch” and more than 150 security forces we have lost in the last two months.

I find it unnecessary here to mention the course of foreign policy that changed from “zero problem” to “zero friends” and evolved from the ambition to become a “global actor” to “valuable loneliness.”

Mr. Davutoğlu, as a professor you must be certainly much more aware than us that you will go down in history not for your words but your deeds, and that you will be remembered by future generations for these deeds. Well, what else to say?

Published on BGNNews, 14 Ocotber 2015, Wednesday