Pınar Selek is one of the most important activists in the antimilitarist-peace movement in Turkey, as well as one of the founders of Amargi. She is also one of the editors of the publishing board for Amargi’s feminist magazine. Selek’s articles have been published in various books, newspapers and magazines around the world. She is also the author of 6 books.
Pınar Selek was born in Istanbul in 1971. She graduated from the Sociology Department at Mimar Sinan University and completed her Master’s degree in Sociology at her alma mater. She also studied economy-politics relation at Sophiantipolis UDEL University in France and is currently a doctoral candidate in political science at Strasbourg University.
Since the late 1990’s Pınar Selek has faced life imprisonment for a charge she has been acquitted on three times. In 1998 as a sociologist, Selek was working on a potentially controversial book about the Kurdish separatist movement and why they had chosen a path of violence in their struggle for independence. She carried out a research project that involved interviewing members of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. On return she was apprehended by the Turkish security services and, when she refused to reveal the names of her informants, was tortured.
Selek was accused of belonging to the outlawed PKK, and committing a terrorist bomb attack in their name in Egyptian Bazaar of Istanbul two days before her arrest that killed seven people and injured over one hundred more. Pınar Selek spent two and a half years in custody, even though numerous experts had confirmed that the explosion on the Bazaar had not been caused by a bomb but by faulty gas pipes. Furthermore, the main witness for the prosecution admitted that his testimony, which named Selek as an accomplice, was obtained under torture.
In the twelve years since the explosion Selek has been subjected to continuous unresolved prosecution. Selek has been tried twice in the Istanbul local court (in 2006 and 2008) and each time acquitted. On both occasions the prosecution has refused to accept these verdicts and appealed to the Supreme Court which has found Pinar guilty of the charges against her. Fearing another jail sentence, Selek left Turkey and took up offers of financial support from charity organizations in Germany, including the German P.E.N. – an association for poets, essayists and novelists. On 9 February 2011 she was acquitted for the third time in an Istanbul court. Next day the prosecution appealed for the third time to the Supreme Court to over-rule the finding.
To get more information about the newest developments in Pınar Selek’s legal prosecution check out her homepage.
Here you can read an interview with Pınar Selek in German or French.
For further and/or your proposals to support Pınar Selek please contact:Yasemin Öz, firstname.lastname@example.org (International spokesperson of Pınar Selek Support Campaign) Solidaritepinarselek.email@example.com (Pınar Selek Solidarity Committee France)