LOOKING AT TURKEY’S POLICY THROUGH PINAR SELEK’S CASE

26 Apr

A PANEL AT STRASBOURG

Turkey in the Mirror of Selek Case

Atalay, Alp Selek, Çalışlar, Karakaşlı, Direk, Pradel, Lauchbihler and Flautre discussed the judiciary problems in Turkey using Pınar Selek case as example.

The symbolic role of the case of Pınar Selek from the point of democracy in Turkey was stressed during the international gathering in Strasbourg.

The participants of the meeting were Pınar Selek case lawyer Akın Atalay, Pınar Selek’s father and lawyer Alp Selek, journalist and author Oral Calislar, journalist and author Karin Karakaşlı, philosophy professor and author Zeynep Direk, lawyer Martin Pradel from FIDH, Chairman of the EP Human Rights Subcommittee Barbara Lauchbihler and the President of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission Hélène Flautre.

“Justice for Pınar Selek is a requirement of democracy”

The city of Strasbourg hosted an important international meeting. The meeting with the title, “The case of  Pınar Selek and the problems of jurisdiction” was held on the 18th of April with the initiatives of Union of Citizens with origins from Turkey Associations (RACORT) and its member associations (The Citizens’ Movement among Cultures in Strasbourg (ASTU), The Citiziens’ Assembly in Paris (L’ACORT) and Workers’ Assocation in Etz in Moselle) in the Unions House. The meeting was moderated by the historician and political scientist, Samim Akgönül, from Strasbourg University and it started with the message of solidarity of Helene Flautre, the Chair of the Delegation to EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.

The importance of Selek Case’s symbolic meaning

Pınar Selek case has been on the agenda for 14 years. The symbolic meaning of this case in terms of Turkey’s democracy was discussed in the meeting and the participants called for support.

Chairman of the EP Human Rights Subcommittee Barbara Lauchbihler made the opening speech and mentioned that they were following the judiciary process of Pınar Selek case closely and they would continue to contribute to freedom of expression process in Turkey by the Progress Reports they issue.

Alp Selek and lawyer Akın Atalay examined the unlawful details of the ongoing case for fourteen years.

In the darkness of February 28

Alp Selek stated that even though it was clear that the explosion was because of the gas leak and Pınar Selek’s statements were taken under torture, they insistently try to convict her. They seized her scientific study about Kurdish movement and they convicted her by Egyptian Bazaar conspiracy.

He underlined the interventions of police headquarters, Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry and Ministry of Justice to this case at the darkest period of Feb.28 and added that although Pınar Selek has been acquitted 3 times, there’s an inexplicably insistent attempt for the case to persist.

Lawyer Pradel from FIDH expressed that their organization is following this case closely; philosophy professor and author Zeynep Direk pointed out the extraordinary perspective of Pınar Selek as the sociologist.

While describing Selek’s studies, Direk said that Selek adopted the “asking independent questions towards groups of people who are exposed to violence due to their ethnic and sexual identities” method.

“The attitude of the media has changed”

Journalist and author Oral Çalışlar has been following the case closely for 14 years. He stated that media process began with targeting headlines and police cooperation but in time it evolved to a point of solidarity and the media began to give place to the facts. Oral Çalışlar indicated that primarily the press contacts of Alp Selek and the solidarity of all groups who want justice for Pınar Selek were effective on this. Oral Çalışlar also asked for support from abroad.

Finally journalist and author Karin Karakaşlı began to her speech by talking about Hrant Dink who introduced Pınar Selek to her.  She mentioned the process of targeting people who struggle for peace and she talked about the necessity to look for justice at the sense of community, as it cannot appear at Turkish courts. She underlined that the solidarity for Pınar Selek brought together many different groups in accordance with Selek’s philosophy of life and politics.  She finally expressed that when Pınar Selek is released, live happily and work productively in Turkey that will be the sign of democracy for Turkey.

The meeting ended after the questions of the audience which showed a big interest in the event and the common decision and will about the continuation of similar meetings of solidarity were expressed.

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