New Age Islam
Sat Apr 20 2024, 04:19 PM

Islam and Politics ( 12 March 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Political Justice in Turkey



By Yusuf Kanli


Turkey is experiencing, once again, some very interesting days. The doors of the Silivri concentration camp were opened, this time to release people confined behind bars for years, without a final verdict declaring them guilty of any crime. They were sentenced with some stuff crafted and concocted at the “Centre for Excellence in Fabricating Evidence,” but they were deprived of the right to appeal, as the reasoning of the verdict was not written by the now officially dissolved “Court with Extraordinary Powers.”

Some of these people developed fatal illnesses behind the walls of the prison. Some developed psychiatric conditions, such as panic attacks. Who would not have developed similar illnesses after being subjected to such treatment for so long?

After so many years cut off from the world outside and after they were subjected to a heinous character assassination campaign, should those who were released this week thank the government for realizing, ahead of a crucial election, the need to set them free? Or, shall no one ask the question why Tuncay Özkan was released after so many years? Why was former Chief of Command İlker Başbuğ released after almost two years in prison?

Do we have independent courts, anyhow? Was the decision to sentence so many people with trivial evidence – some of which was officially discarded as “manipulated” or “made up” by the country’s top scientific institutions – the product of a free judiciary, or is their release a product of a free judiciary?

Justice has become a fairy tale in this country and both the rulings of the Ergenekon, Sledgehammer and such politically motivated cases, as well as these politically-engineered pre-election releases, vividly show the sad situation of Turkish justice.

Would we see Başbuğ or Özkan or any of the scores of people “freed” this week out in the sunshine if the government and the Islamist Fethullah Gülen fraternity had not started a war of attrition between themselves? If the government did not realize “out of the blue” that the fraternity might have been concocting evidence proving alleged organized crime in the government, as well as from the families of ministers and if such allegations did not reach the prime minister and his family, would it have been possible to see these releases?

Naturally, everyone who never believed in the legitimacy of either the probe, the court process or the verdict in those politically motivated – if not politically designed – court cases were delighted to see distinguished people deprived of their freedom for years, walk free through the doors of the Silivri concentration camp, or similar facilities. Our friends reacquiring their liberty ought to be a sufficient reason to celebrate. Yet, no one should forget these releases were politically motivated as well and tomorrow when the wind starts blowing from another direction, our friends might find themselves behind walls screaming out again for justice – pure justice not tainted with political aspirations.

As they were walking through the doors of Silivri and other prisons, people deprived of their freedoms because detention replaced punishment were all screaming their demands for justice… Justice that is plain, simple and ordinary must take over the justice system in this country. That will be the real justice reform that might bring an end to this farce of “advanced judicial cacophony” of political Islam.

Regardless, it’s so nice to see friends out.