Friday, November 5, 2010

17 month old and in prison

04 November 2010

Baby Shana was taken to prison when she was 17-month old, together with her mother who was sentenced to 3 years 9 months imprisonment,

Her name is Shana which means happiness in Laz language spoken in Northern Turkey on the black sea coast. She was taken to prison when she was 17-month old together with her mother who was sentenced to 3 years 9 months imprisonment, as a result of a police conspiracy. She is too young to understand why she is in a cold prison cell instead of her home. She was waving to her father behind the bars who came to visit them the other day. And the father who is also on trial within the scope of the same case was suffering while seeing his daughter like that. “I am blaming myself for bringing her to such an unfair life. I was grieved when I left her behind those heavy iron doors.” said father.

In order to avoid any ‘trouble’ during the NATO submit of 2004 the Turkish police arrested dozens of people with fake grounds including two former ‘undesirable’ students who are mothers today. Their trial ended the other day. The two mothers were sent to prison together with their children merely because of being leftist. The grieved fathers were left behind.


One of the mothers is called Nazire. She also has a surname which has never found in the evidence used against her. She was arrested in 2004 while studying educational faculty in Samsun. The police claimed that her name was in a floppy disk which had been allegedly ‘seized’ at the office of Bread and Justice Magazine. After 4-day-interrogation she was released in order to be tried without arrest. The copies of the disks were sent to Ankara prosecutor office but the name Nazire was still without a surname. 

Based on this evidence the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Office launched a case against her on account of aiding and abetting DHKP-C organisation. She was also acused of taking part in the funerals of Fatma Hülya Tümgan and Özlem Türk who lost their lives in hunger strike. 

The trial started before the Heavy Criminal Court Nr. 11.

An expert was assigned in order to examine the photocopy documents presented by the police. While the expert report stated that the so called evidence cannot be used in a criminal trial, the report prepared by the Chamber of Electronic Engineers upon a request from defendant lawyers supported the expert report. Despite these two reports in 2008 the court sentenced her to 3 years 9 months imprisonment on account of deliberately aiding and abetting an outlawed organisation. Upon appeal, although the prosecutor of the Court of Appeal suggested overturning the judgement Chamber 9 of the Court of Appeal upheld the decision.

In prison together with her baby

While the trial against her was going on Nazire married Yaşar Civelek and later gave birth to a daughter whom they named Shana. When the Chamber upheld the decision Shana was only 17-month old.

My baby was playing with my nose

After the sentence was upheld by the higher court on 28 October together with her husband Yaşar and her baby Shana, Nazire went to Bakırköy Court House. Then she was sent to Bakırköy Women and Juvenile Prison, together with Shana. Her father was farewell Shana who met the prison when she was still 17-month. 

At the farewell the father was saying: “I am blaming myself for bringing her to such an unfair life”. “I went to visit them the other day and Shana was waving me as we were playing a game. I was grieved because I am not with her, because I could not protect my daughter.” added father. He also blamed the system which he says always on the side of the suppressers. 

Another baby in prison

In the same case Serpil Aslan and her husband Savaş Düzgün have been also convicted. Serpil was also sent to prison with her 4-month old baby. And the father Savaş will not even be fortunate enough to visit them as he will be in another prison. Yaşar Civelek would speak out on their behalf: “Whole family was wronged with illegal evidence. I do not believe that there is justice in this country…”

The case is based on unlawfulness

Head of the Contemporary Lawyers Association Selçuk Kozağaçlı who was acquitted in same case stated that all case is based on unlawfulness. “The police never explained the reason for searches and although the search warrant had been issued for Bread and Justice Magazine not their office but the office of Yilmaz publishing house was raided. The searches were conducted unlawfully. Moreover, all the evidence was unlawful.” added Kozağaçlı.

He also stated that not the seized floppy disks but the photocopies of the content was presented to the court. Although the defendants were arrested on 1 April 2004 on account of the lists in the disks, the transcriptions of these floppy disks were not ready until 3 April 2004.

They will take the case before the ECHR

Kozağaçlı also stated that due to legal errors they will take the case before the European Court of Human Rights. He also added that the trials are not legal rather political and the aim is muting the opposition.