Dismiss the charges of public disorder for Koray Basdogrultmaci and Cinel Senem Husseyin for flying 3 Republic of Cyprus flags outside their shop in Famagusta, Cyprus

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I am a Cypriot not a martyr                   

Kibrisliyim Sehit değilim 

Είμαι ένας Κύπριος δεν είμαι μάρτυρας

THE TRIAL of a Turkish Cypriot couple, charged for hanging the Cyprus Republic’s flag outside their home and shop in June last year in Famagusta has been postponed until June 11th 2014.  Koray Basdogrultmaci and Cinel Senem Husseyin were charged with offences against public order.

The couple were arrested and jailed on June 21st 2013, even though they had tried to explain to the Turkish Cypriot police that Basdogrultmaci, who was arrested four years ago for the same reason, had been acquitted in court.

The couple said hanging the flag was their way of protesting the Turkish Prime Minister’s hypocrisy. Tayyip Erdogan had, the previous day attended the opening ceremony of the Mediterranean Games in Mersin, in Turkey where the Cypriot flag had flown unimpeded.  The Turkish Cypriot couple protested that the Cypriot flag could wave in Turkey but not in northern Cyprus.

Holding and hanging the Cyprus Republic flag is not a crime. The related trial against Koray and Cinel Basdogrultmaci is completely political and Turkish authorities are the ones who are responsible.   The incident has fully exposed the policies of the breakaway regime and that policies like these were designed to force Turkish Cypriots to leave the island.

Their crime? Flying 3 Cypriot flags outside their shop in Famagusta. This was such a bad crime, to fly the flag of Cyprus, the one that they feel represents them, that they were subsequently arrested on 21st June 2013. The case has been postponed several times:

21st June 2013 Koray Basdogrultmaci and Cinel Senem Husseyin were arrested outside their shop for flying 3 Cypriot flags and were kept in jail for 6 and a half hours.  As there was no law pertaining to flying the Cyprus flags, the charges were for disturbing the peace and non-recognition of the 'TRNC' ('Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus') Five mainland Turks complained to the police about the flags hence the arrests and confiscation of the flags. 
21st January 2014 First court hearing, their solicitor, Eylem Şerifoğlu, asked for time to prepare their case. The case was postponed till 24th February 2014.
24th February 2014  The case was postponed till 18th March so the prosecution could study the videos of the arrests from 21st June 2013
18th March 2014 Conveniently the judge who had heard the case from the beginning went on maternity leave and another judge took over the case. As he was unfamiliar to the case he asked that it be postponed till 9th April 2014
9th April 2014 On this date the judge asked Koray and Cinel to apologise and they would be given a small fine but they refused and were told that if it went to trial again they would be facing a much heftier fine and possible imprisonment, they refused and it was referred till 6th May 2014 because of their refusal

6th May 2014 The judge wanted the police witness (Number 9) called to testify before him but as he was not in court, the case was postponed till 11th June 2014

Since the 11th June 2014 courtcase, which was predictably postponed, the couple have been coming and going to the Famagusta Court several times which again are always postponed for flimsy excuses.  The last courtcase which was on 13th April 2015 the Police witness once again did not turn up and has now been set again for 13th May 2015.

Koray and Cinel call themselves CYPRIOTS. No label attached before or after, just plain simple CYPRIOTS. For their belief they are being victimized and are standing proud stating they are willing to go to jail and then a battle at the European Court of Human Rights to protect their basic human right. Their Freedom of Expression.

We are trying to gather support for Koray and Cinel outside Famagusta courts on 13th May 2015 at 8.30am but need people to sign this petition to show the ridiculous trumped up charges are a total injustice. This should never have come to court, we need these charges dismissed so that the couple can get on with their lives.   Please sign the peition to show your support, not only in Cyprus but internationally, every signature helps.  Thank you.

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