Saturday, September 26, 2009

Avşar's Interview Word by Word - Sue Us If You Want To

Submitted by Tsiatsan on Thursday, September 24 2009
güncel Emine ÖZCAN-Bakırköy Public Prosecutor Ali Çakır's investigation against Hülya Avşar and Devrim Sevimay has nothing to do with "justice". This abuse of public power under the pretense of the "Kurdish Initiative" is nothing else but mobbing against the two women. We are protesting.
Bakırköy Public Prosecutor Ali Çakır called famous actress and singer Hülya Avşar and journalist Devrim Sevimay to take their statements. Both women are suspected of violating article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) punishing "inciting hatred and hostility in the public and humiliation of the public". Avşar reflected her views on the government's "Kurdish Initiative" in an interview made by Sevimay. Journalist Sevimay had conversations within this context with dozens of people, including me. Those conversations were published in Milliyet newspaper [one of Turkey's biggest nationwide daily papers].The Turkish media, political parties and people with their own opinion discuss this topic day by day via the entire written and visual media channels. It cannot be explained with justice and equity that among all those people Ali Çakır chose especially Hülya Avşar and Devrim Sevimay and tried to trial them as "suspects".

What does it have to do with justice to make a newspaper conversation the subject of a crime, which cannot be evaluated at all under TCK article 216 which is clearly stated by law to be valid in case of an "emergence of an open and immediate threat to the public order". Ali Çakır is only mobbing these women by abusing his public power, this is harassment. Let us remember that Çakır also brought Bülent Ersoy to court because of his statements regarding the "Kurdish Initiative" and he lost that case. Let us remember that Çakır brought dozens of journalists and writers before the court when he was Press Prosecutor of Bağcılar and lost almost all of these cases. Despite all this he is still holding his position and puts his signature under a new judicial scandal every day.

I am asking the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors to present a process similar in speed and power as the one when the Şemdinli Porsecutor was taken off duty. The council should take Ali Çakır off duty, who is darkening the environment of democratic discussion in Turkey by abusing the power given to him by his position; who is taking people to court who are not doing anything else but expressing their thoughts and who publicly threatens them to be punished; and who is trying to turn the courts into institutions where people are deterred from expressing their thoughts and criticism although they should be the institutions to protect thoughts and freedom of expression. The investigation about Avşar and Sevimay should be stopped.

We are protesting this investigation. If this conversation is a crime, we are "guilty" of the same crime and by publishing the interview of the Milliyet Newspaper's website we surrender to Ali Çakır for our "crime".(EK/VK)

Bianet asked a number of Turkish artists for their opinion about the investigation. Actress Jülide Kural, poet Küçük Iskender, assistant Barbaros Şansal, director Ümit Ünal and actors Derya Alabora and Nedim Saban all agreed that the investigation violates the freedom of expression. They support Hülya Avşar and emphasized not to keep quiet.

Avşar commented that she is true to her words of the interview, adding: "I think this is the greatest insult I have ever experienced in my whole life. This is not an opening initiative, this is a closure." (EZÖ/BÇ/VK)