Tuncel: I have no expectations, I rejected your court board

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  • 15:02 23 September 2021
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ANKARA - Speaking at the Kobanê Case, former DBP Co-Chair Sebahat Tuncel stated that she did not have any expectations from the court board and that she rejected it and said, “We want to build a women's libertarian, democratic republic against a monist, racist mentality. Is this a crime? I don't like the constitution and I want to change it."
The third session of the 4th hearing of the Kobanê Case, where 108 people, 20 of whom are currently behind bars, including the executives of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), was held at the Sincan Prison Campus today.
The "Kobanê trial" against 108 defendants has continued in Ankara. The subject of the trial is the protests in Turkey at the time of the ISIS attack on Kobanê in October 2014. The defendants include the entire executive board of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) at the time, including the former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. Twenty of the defendants are in prison. The 108 defendants of the case heard by Ankara 22nd High Criminal Court are tried on 29 different charges and a total of 19 thousand 680 years of prison sentence is requested for the defendants. 
Nezir Çakan, one of the imprisoned politicians, said that he had made his defense before and also examined digital documents during this time. Reminding that the only concrete evidence in the file about him is based on the statements of two witnesses, Çakan said, “Witness Sami Baran declares that I was in Qandil. At the time the witness said that I was in Qandil, I was withdrawing money at the ATM at that hour in Turkey. I did a lot of work and submitted documents to your court. In the letter written by your court to the General Directorate of Prison Detention Houses, they asked me whether I was in prison with the witness Baran. In the answer given, it was revealed that I was not in prison with the witness.” 
Bülent Parmaksız, a former HDP member of the Executive Board, also spoke and stated that the file was opened purely for political reasons. Parmaksız said, “The political process is now evolving in another direction.  I demand that the legal developments in the recent process be taken as a basis.”
HDP Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) member Ali Ürküt said, “The reasons put forward in your decision to continue detention are not relevant. For example, the flight risk, does your committee believe we will escape?  Or has the decision already been made and communicated to you? I was here when our co-chairs were arrested. I didn't run anywhere. I am a member of RTÜK. The flight risk is unrealistic."
Ayşe Yağcı, one of the imprisoned politicians, who stated that she gave her defense in detail, noted that there was not a single concrete evidence in the Kobanê incidents in her file. Yağcı said, “There is an anonymour witness and a 25-second video. None of the witness' statements are true. It's the fourth time I've been on trial for the same file. I have served my time, my criminal record has been erased, but after 18 years, you are putting the file in front of me again. It is about intention, not law. I request the removal of the statement of 'flight risk'. If I was going to flee, I would have by now. I live in this country, I am not planning to flee my country."
Pervin Oduncu, one of the imprisoned politicians who stated that she had given his defense before, said, “We were a member of the CEB in a legal democratic politics.  Is it a crime to attend a legal, democratic political party meeting?  Aren't other parties have Central Board Meetings. How are they doing it if it's not legal? But we have been saying from the beginning that this case is political. We have been inside for a year, we are faced with a collective violation without any evidence, without an individual crime.”
Referring to the presiding judge's words, "Prove your words, I will resign," in the case heard on September 21, Sebahat Tuncel said, "But in this country, resignation is not possible. The relationship between the Minister of Interior and the mafia leader reveals, but he does not resign. There are serious problems in the field of health, but there is no resignation. The son of a prime minister in this country is mentioned in the drug trade, but didn't resign. Resignation is not an institution of blackmail, it is an institution of responsibility.. resignation is used as a tool of blackmail." 
Stating that if the law had been applied they shouldn't have to be here, Tuncel continued, "This is a political case. Not a legal case. We are hostages here. You are following the orders of the government. You mentioned you did not know about the ECtHR decision. You can not hear, you can not see, how can you implement the decision? We all shouldn't have been here. There is no freedom of expression in AKP- MHP government. Not to the Kurds anyway. The Kurdish question is here in this court room. And yet you are still discussing if there is a Kurdish question. The arrests of the HDP politicians, the closure case against the party..AKP brought the Kurdish questions before the courts."
Noting that the Kurdish people have a problem of rights and freedoms and self-determination, Tuncel continued: “The laws, TCK, CMK have been suspended. Otherwise you would have to release us. While the government, which took away the right to life of the people in question in this hearing on 6-8 October, should be held responsible, the opposition is on trial. You deprive the Kurds of their citizenship. When I express an opinion, I am prosecuted. The People's Alliance is discussing the constitution. It says it is a constitution written as a result of a coup. The Kurds were ignored. AKP is once again trying to plunder a monist, nationalist constitution with the alliance of the People without the Kurds. It cannot solve problems. New problems will arise. In general, everyone has rights and freedoms other than us. We are not allowed to be Kurdish. We can become the prime minister, we can become a parliamentarian. We can't be Kurdish. Why are our friends here? Is there any concrete evidence? 
This hearing here was ordered by the government. You are doing what it says. I have no expectations from your court. I rejected your court board. You shoud have rejected this file. You didn't do that. Moreover, you are letting an other political party question us. We were in the parliament making laws. We have gone through a peace process. Kobané didn't happen today. It was 2014 back then. We criticized the policies of the government. They said they were fighting ISIS. We know that is a lie. Now it is taking its revenge for standing up to a barbarian organisation like ISIS, for defeating them. ISIS is not mentioned in this huge case file. We know what is what and we know why we are here. We are very used to courts. Our history goes way back. The real crime is not to give a people their rights, not defending the rights of a people. I do not have a personal request from you. But our friends who have been under arrest for a year were deprived of their freedom. I demand their release if you have any will of your own. And one other thing. We can't solve the Kurdish question here in this court room. Now it is being discussed in the parliament. Let them come here and see if there is a Kurdish question. We are here despite the ECtHR decision. Are we guilty? No my friend. We are not. We are right. We don't like the current government. We will never like it. We want to build a women's libertarian, democratic republic against a monist, racist mentality. Is this a crime? I don't like the constitution and I want to change it. This is why I got involved in politics.  I do not want women to be murdered and children abused in this country. I want the peoples to determine their own destiny in this country. If these are crimes, I will continue to commit this crime. They are trying to strip us from our citizenship by the hand of the courts. We will defend ourselves anywhere. We will stand strong. We will self-criticize if we do wrong. We are the people. We want another world, another Turkey. Is this a crime? How can you prosecute us for our thoughts? This political power is responsible for the conflict and war in this country.”
Sibel Akdeniz, the imprisoned politician, reminded that they rejected the court board and said: "We had criticisms about the attitude of the President of the Court. Today the existance of Kurds is being discussed. How can we make our defence under these circumstances. I will make my defence later. 
Yüksekdağ, Kışanak and Akkaya, among the imprisoned politicians in Kocaeli, stated that they would not give any defense.
The temporary court board adjourned the hearing until 14:00 to make interim decisions. 

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