Click to read the article in Turkish
Journalist Ahmet Şık has been behind bars in Silivri Prison on charge of "propagandizing for the FETÖ (Fethullahist Terror Organization) and PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). He is in confinement cell in the prison in which he was kept for 375 days in 2011-2012 due to his book on Fethullah Gülen Community's infiltration into the state institutions.
The area where he is taken for fresh air is four steps to seven steps. The sky is behind the barbed wire. He can meet his family and attorneys for one hour per week. These meetings are held under the watch of a guardian and are recorded. He is not allowed to receive or send letters. The books are limited.
The state has justified his prison conditions with a couple of court documents. Only journalistic practices were included in one arrest warrant and three arrest inspections.
A huge part of the decisions consists of long paragraphs, which are bureaucratic formalities. The two arrest inspections were carried out with copy-pasting. The decisions are exactly identical except for the dates. What he has now is the days, weeks and months spent in the prison without even an indictment.
"I've sought the truth"
İstanbul 8th Criminal Court of Peace's verdict dated December 30, 2016 ends with "ruled arrest...". Seven pages of the 8-page document are comprised of the statements of Ahmet Şık and his attorneys.
Ahmet Şık says he is face to face with a plot similar to the one laid against him six years ago for having explained Fethullah Gülen Community's organization within the state bodies, and he adds:
"We had experienced this tragicomic play recently. I was targeted by the community's members, who had settled down in the jurisdiction and police institutions. This gang had their police, prosecutor, judge, supporters in the media, and the AKP (Justice and Development Party), which was backing all their crimes unlimitedly. Hitmen in the media point one, police lay plot, and their prosecutor send to court for arrest, and the judges seize our freedom...
"It is obvious that the AKP is more accountable than any other factor for Gülen Community to become the FETÖ. The one needs to be tried primarily is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said, "We've given them whatever they wanted" and "I helped them a lot too. May Allah and our people forgive me.
"I've sought the truth from the first day I started my occupation, because it is a right of people to know the truth".
Threat of "don't talk anymore" in the verdict
The arrest verdict reads exactly as follows:
"Since his statements that accuse the state and state officials continue, proofs that show the presence of a strong criminal suspicion were found..."
The cost of telling the truth, not remaining silent in today's Turkey can be seen starkly in the 2-page indictment that was found sufficient to keep someone in confinement cell.
As Ahmet Şık spends months between four walls, the indictment, which is composed of seven tweets, three articles and one interview, is not prepared and turning Şık's arrest to a punishment.
The things cited as evidence are some of Ahmet Şık's articles that are already in the possession of the prosecutor's office, and that it wouldn't take more than one day to examine them.
When Şık was sent to prison in 2011, Gülen Community's police officers, prosecutors and judges were at least bothering themselves with placing fabricated documents into computers with viruses, now, even such an effort is seen unnecessary. News reports, interviews and tweets are seen sufficient to imprison a journalist.
Continuation of arrest was issued three times during the period in which Şık was kept in Silivri Prison. Attorneys' objection to the arrest verdict was rejected by İstanbul 9th Criminal Judgeship of Peace four days later. The justified decision only states that the arrest is proportionate.
Telling Ahmet Şık about the FETÖ
The second "arrest inspection" was carried out by İstanbul 3rd Criminal Judgeship of Peace on January 30, 2017, one month later of Şık's arrest. Judge Necmettin Kafalı tells in detail how dangerous the FETÖ is.
The judge starts to talk about the FETÖ with the MİT (The National Intelligencey Agency) Head Hakan Fidan being summoned to testify. However, before that date, Ahmet Şık was arrested for having explained what the FETÖ in reality is. If the verdict was read out in his face, he would probably say "You had arrested me in 2011 for having said those".
However, the judge in his verdict doesn't count the plots laid against thousands including Şık, leading some of them to death and suicide before February 7, 2012 as a crime. The accusation only consists of reports, interviews and tweets but rules the continuation of arrest on the grounds that the proofs were not gathered yet and a strong crime suspicion was constituted.
Same judge, copy-paste decision
The third examination of Şık's arrest was carried out by İstanbul 10th Criminal Judgeship of Justice on March 2, 2017. The court is different this time, but the judge is the same; Necmettin Kafalı. The clerk of the court is different but his job is simple: To press "Ctrl-C" and copy-paste the decision from last month.
Ahmet Şık's arrest continues like this. These decisions are fantastic examples for how political power can tear judiciary away from reality and reason.
It is a crime to think and write
The posts on Twitter, the reports and the interview claimed to be FETÖ and PKK propaganda in the arrest decision are as follows:
* "Those in power and their supporters who are trying to prove that the assassin [addressing Mert Altıntaş who killed the Russian Ambassador Karlov], what will you do about the fact that the murderer is a police officer?" "Then you get offended when we say the state is the murderer". (It has not been determined in the investigation yet, to which organization the murderer serves. Only the President and the Minister of Interior have stated that he is affiliated with the FETÖ. Though the claims that he went to schools of FETÖ or that there are FETÖ members in his family have been denied)
* "The war with the PKK in certain regions of the country exist since 1984, even if with some interruptions".
* "Instead of comparing those who were burned to death in basements in Cizre with others who were torn to pieces by a bomb in İstanbul, object to both of them, they are both acts of violence".
* "If the action, which Sırrı Süreyya Önder is charged with, is a crime, shouldn't there be a plenty of suspects including the one sitting in the palace?"
* "They chose to slaughter Tahir Elçi instead of arresting him. You are a mafia, a pack of murderers".
* " Why do those, who believe that the state has started a war in order to prevent its crimes, which make it a mafia, be investigated, also believe that it detonates a bomb?"
* "Do those who try to prove that the PYD which the US and the EU call 'our allies against the jihadist terror' is a terrorist organization, count as usual suspects?"
The claim on a website:
* That he had said "Those who work for the PKK are journalists" in a press workshop on September 23-26, 2014...
* An interview with Cemil Bayık, a member of the leadership council of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) on March 14, 2015 with the title "Either Apo (Abdullah Öcalan) to Kandil or we to İmralı"
* The report on a statement of Özcan Şişman, the prosecutor in the MİT trucks case saying "MİT already knew about the massacre in Reyhanlı yet did not share it with the police" in an article published on July 8, 2015 with the title "What we do is journalism, yours is treason".
* The report on July 9, 2015 with the title "MİT Trucks prosecutor: MİT has shut its eyes to Reyhanlı, we would have prevented it, if we had not given them any information"
* The report on February 13, 2015 with the title "The truth behind the Truck revealed" (The arrest decision refers to this report as "...his articles which say that the shipment of arms and ammunition on MİT trucks from Turkey to Syria was not destined for the Turkmen people but the jihadist organization of Ansar Al İslam..."
The judge in the arrest decision has listed these tweets, reports and the interview which contain no call for violence has claimed that such reports which demonstrate that state authorities could have committed some crimes are delicts.
Ahmet Şık in his statement explained that occupational practices are not a crime. He noted that his interview with Cemil Bayık was considered a crime but many journalists and state authorities had meetings with the PKK. He added that only finding the truth as required by his profession, underlay his reports. He said that saying that the state was a murderer was not a crime, that there were many court decisions supporting this and added that the murders committed by the state were still a subject of action before many courts.
What you have read in this article is three A4-pages long. Ahmet is jailed under aggravated solitary circumstances for months only on the grounds of state documents which are much shorter than this article. His crime: Not to remain silent, and trying to deliver the people the truth (TS/ÇT/TK/DG)
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