BIANET 14.12.2012 – The case of Pınar Selek–Turkish sociologist who was found not guilty for involving in the 1998 Spice Bazaar bombing in previous three prosecutions over 14 years–was held this afternoon by a criminal court in Istanbul.
The case of Pınar Selek–Turkish sociologist who was found not guilty for involving in the 1998 Spice Bazaar bombing in previous three prosecutions over 14 years–was held this afternoon by a criminal court in Istanbul.
Dozens of supporters assembled on the steps of Istanbul Courthouse to show their solidarity with the Turkish sociologist. Several intellectuals including Mete Çubukçu, Ömer Laçiner, Yıldırım Türker, Lale Mansur, Pelin Batu, Gençay Gürsoy, İpek Çalışlar, Jülide Kural, Özcan Alper, Esmeray, Akın Birdal, Rıdvan Akar, Nur Sürer, Oya Baydar, as well as alumni association representatives from Selek’s educational background and worker union officials stood for Selek in the cold winter afternoon.
Observers from EU delegation to Turkey and embassies attended the trial. Gülseren Onanç, deputy chair of Turkey’s main opposition party CHP, attended the trial along with deputies Musa Çam and Sezgin Tanrıkulu. While Selek was not present in the trial, 50 of her defense attorneys filled up the small court room barely capable for 20 people. International Human Rights Federation submitted a request to join the defense.
Initially, the court rejected the recusal proposal made by the defense attorneys, saying that “there is no appearing reason to doubt judges’ objectivity”. Defense attorney Akın Atalay objected the rejection and said that it violated Crime Prosecution Law Article 31. The judges ruled an intermission at 3:50 pm to consider appeals from defense attorneys Akın Atalay and Bahri Belen for recusal. An hour later, the court rejoined and ruled to accept defense proposition of recusal, a decision to reconsider the reassignment of judges until the next trial session on January 24.
“Witnessing brings responsibility”
We Are Still Witness Initiative released a statement demanding justice in the decade long trial process.
“We have to the steps of courthouse one more time. We changed different courthouses so far, but there are no improvements in the juridical system. We have evolved from being a witness of Pinar Selek to resisting the ongoing injustice. We demand justice in her person but for all of us. We don’t know how to live differently in this country. Witnessing brings responsibility. If we don’t do the right, our witnessing will turn into a crime. This is why we are so angry. We can’t stand the shame of the ongoing slaughter of justice. We are proud of holding Pinar Selek’s hand. And we will never let go of it. Until the day that she will celebrate her freedom by freely roaming in her home country’s streets. That day, she will be standing ahead of us, and we will be throwing confetti and laugh aloud to celebrate. This is how we picture the justice,” the statement said. (ÇT)
* Statement was endorsed by: 1million4equality, Amargi, İzmir Amargi, Ankara Woman Platform, European Lobby of Women, AKL Turkey, KADAV, European Parliament, Ev-Ek-Sen, Foreign Minister of France Laurent Fabius, Fransa Destek Komitesi, GIT Kanada, GIT France, GIT North America, OMCT, Swedish Parliament, KADER, Women’s Solidarity Foundation, KAOS GL, KİH-YD, Lambdaistanbul, Muğla Antimilitarist Women Initiative, Nü.kolektif, Pen Germany, Sessiz Kalmamak Gerek Initiative, Socialist Feminist Colective, SOMDER, Strazburg University, Strazburg Mayor, GIT Turkey, Uçan Süpürge Women Communications and Research Association, IGLHRC, FIDH, International Pen, International Pen Women Authors Committee, VIDC, Yeryüzüne Özgürlük Association.
* Observers: GIT Turkey, Amnesty International Turkey, Istanbul Bar Association, EU Delegation to Turkey, 27 Embassies to Turkey, Lambdaistanbul LGBT Organization, SPOD.