SAVE DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEY
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On 5th of May, the Turkish Government arrested and sent my Brother in Law to prison… His crime? Read on…
Up until 5th of May afternoon- my brother in law, a Kurdish, Alevi (not that these should matter!) Criminal Judge in Turkey, shocking arrest, his family were very happy just as any one of us. But since Turkish Government’s unjust detention and arrest and imprisonment, my family's lives especially my four nephew’s lives are ruined! My sister devastated, scared and lives in fear on how she will cope! Three days after his arrest, my sister was sacked from her employment on the basis that her husband was in arrested for being a terrorist which he is not!!!
My brother in law, studied relentlessly, passed so many exams to become a Judge only about two years ago (before then a Solicitor)... He was proud of his job and was doing it with integrity. He passed all of these tests two years ago including passing number of detailed security checks that was done on him by the Turkish Government. So first, question is how can the Turkish officials checking him so thoroughly did not find anything yet and allowed him to practice in most notorious cases, yet just few days ago suddenly he became a terrorist so dangerous that he is likely to be kept in a one man cell and tortured!
My brother in Law is only one of those thousands! So what happened that made the Turkish Government start punishing innocent people… What was these innocent people’s guilt or crime? Well, the answer is that, (for some) they liked the ideas and talks of an old man, named Fethullah Gulen (FG). Gulen was also loved and admired by the Turkish President and was his close friends for years. The president and his close friends even sent their children to the colleges founded by FG’s supporters. This religious cleric FG, by the way, appears to have done nothing but good for society. This old man, FG appears to have spoken to his followers to help the poor, help them with education. Do google FG's name, you will get the picture. So his followers opened schools, universities, factories, news outlets, and TV channels, so on...
I am not one of FG supporter. I don't support the Turkish Governments actions in ignoring the rule of law and imprisonment of innocent people. I am totally against the way the Turkish Governments inhumane, degrading, totalitarian attitude!
The president says that the president himself ' was tricked by FG’!! So one asks the question on as to why the same president DOES NOT thinks that may be all of those people were tricked also!!!
Now, I am not sure about what happened. I am sharing only what I think and attempting to help you understand how and why this purge happening! Obviously living abroad I am limited with the knowledge also. The relationship between The Turkish President and FG changed when the Cleric did not agree with the Turkish president’s weird ideas, including moving from European values. I guess it was like a divorce! The Turkish President went into a rage swearing that he will finish off Gulenists! It is not clear why number of questions still left unanswered on the relationship or the coup attempt that took place on 15th July.
With the coup attempt the president now had a great reason to call a State of Emergency, blame an almost 80 years old (I think) cleric who has been living in the USA for the past 20 years… Do you get the picture? We all do!
So now, bearing in mind that European Countries have confirmed that there is no evidence that Gulenists were involved in the coup attempt- the Turkish Government started their arrests and torture within hours of the so called coup and to this day have not stopped!
To this day, Turkish Government continues the arrest and punishment of the innocent people who may or may not follow the cleric. The president decided to call all of Gulen’s followers ‘terrorists’ giving them the name FETO (only recognised in Turkey). The Turkish Government based their arrest and imprisonment decisions on a (firstly) mobile phone APP!! Seriously – the president and the Turkish judiciary considers an app that may be downloaded on the mobile phones of people as evidence that the people are followers of Gulen and therefore they are terrorists! This is like, someone downloading WHATSAPP for a week then the government declares that the users of WHATSSAPP are all terrorists… You could have downloaded this app out of curiosity – but no! You are a terrorist and that’s that! Now you may end up serving a life sentence for that curiosity!
Secondly the President and his Government apparently paid good money for the people to give out the names of Gulenists… So out goes Jesus and 'Love thy Neighbour', in comes, ‘grass your neighbour up, we will look after you for years to come'… Of course the information was used as evidence to arrest. So if you had a neighbour or a colleague who didn’t like you, they could report you as Gulenists and that’s it, you are finished! I think one of the weirdest news I had read was the one where a man reports this lady as a Gulenists who had refused his offer in marriage… I know some of you (if you are still reading cannot believe this- but it is true!)
The numbers so far are; 138,147 (teachers, bureaucrats and academics) sacked, 101,485 detained, 50,601 arrested, 2,099 schools, dormitories and universities shutdown, 8,271…And the numbers are on the up!
In judiciary, total of 4,424 judges and prosecutors dismissed. As it happened on Friday, my bother in law became the victim of the system… Only it wasn’t only him, it was his wife and their children (us as extended families).
The police have raided my sister’s home early in the morning whilst children were asleep! Four police officers, a prosecutor and not to mention a neighbour! I am sure you can imagine how shocked and distraught the children were… They confiscated the telephones, computers, iPads, and even the children’s photos saved in CD’s… They told my sister that they may retrieve them back in something like 4 months!!! Can you believe it!
The allegation is that my brother in law is a member to a so called terror organisation FETO. Even if he was a sympathiser or a follower of Gulen (which he is NOT!) should not in my opinion be a crime in itself anyway… this is not DEMOCRACY that I remember Turkey had! This is simply put totalitarianism. My brother in law, who is type 1 diabetic-, has to have 5 injections every day, now taken away from his family and loved ones, stripped of his freedom and his fundamental human rights. He needs support and help! He should be released pending trial!
So who in this world would go and help him and them as a whole? We are talking about men and women. Fathers, mothers, Aunties, Uncles, Nans and grandads... People!
Sadly NOBODY in Turkey! And so far, the world, the politicians, they are all SILENT… Why? Is that because enough people haven’t died yet? Or is that because there is an agreement with the Turkish Government that the UK/EU to remain silent? Is it because it is OK for a NATO country to dismiss all of the EU warnings specifically on Human Rights issues? Or is it because there is no oil or gas nearby? I won't go into other conspiracy theories.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH THOUGH! UK/EU to only state that ' they are gravely concerned is not good enough! Further, stronger talks need to take place.
I am ashamed to be living in a world, in 2017 – where people cannot choose to like or dislike somebody, follow or unfollow a legitimate group, practise their beliefs, religion, make free political choices ... I am ashamed that we cannot respect and accept each other as we are- because we are all HUMAN! But more importantly, I am ashamed that we live in a world where we close our eyes to the issues that do not affect us...
Please sign the petition and support my efforts in asking the British Parliament to debate and decide to take a strong stance against the Turkish Government’s actions on this purge. Let our Parliament to speak to the Turkish Government to stop using an APP as evidence/excuse to arrest and convict people, respect the rule of Law and free Judiciary… Let our British Parliament tell the Turkish Government to release these innocent people and follow the rule of law. Let British Government to ask the release of my brother in law- pending trial at least!
One last thing - out of all of the purged people and organisations do you notice WHO I did not mention? YES… the Turkish POLITICIANS…
I rest my case!
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