It has been more than two years since the July 15 coup attempt. However, the “operation plan” which exists in every military coup or coup attempt throughout the history, has not showed up. On top of that, lots of inexplicable (mysterious) events took place that night, but none of them has become clear.
The self-proclaimed captive Chief of General Staff, force commanders, and MIT Chief, who was informed about the coup attempt at least 6 hours before, according to the court records, have still been silent. Investigation records indicate that AKP district organizations were informed about the upcoming coup before hours, had made preparations for demonstrations. These are all questions still waiting for answers.
The lawyers and journalists who dared to ask questions on TV to remove doubts and who question some abnormal events have all been arrested or investigated.
As a result, while the silence on the people in charge of the event has been reigning, hundreds of privates and cadets of military school have received aggravated life imprisonments in the investigation launched after the most absurd and funniest coup attempt in the history of the world.
Without doubt, some of the most scandalous investigations are the ones carried out on some authors and journalists who are not shy about criticizing the government and revealing its mistake. Many intellectuals have been still tried on unlawful, unreasonable, and relentless indictments.
As the defendant of one of these trials, Ahmet Altan shouted out this nonsense and brazenness as artfully as possible in a manner of Emile Zola during the hearing which began a year after his arrest.
“The honest authority which enables the millions to turn into a nation and establish a state is not one of politicians, soldiers, executives, or political parties.
The honest authority, that great source of trust, resides in the judges.
The magical link that turns millions of dispersed pearls into a necklace is the honesty of those judges.
Without judges, there cannot be a nation. Without judges, there cannot be a state.
What makes a nation and what makes a state is its judges.
In the same way that removing the oxygen atom from a water molecule turns the very source of life into one of death, removing the judges from the state turns it into an armed gang.
If there are no judges then there is no state.
When you remove the oxygen atom from a water molecule it no longer qualifies as water. Similarly, when you remove the judges from the state, the state no longer qualifies as a state.
What distinguishes a state from an armed gang is the presence of judges.
Well, then what makes this ever so vitally important judge a judge?
It is not his or her diploma, his or her cloak, his or her podium.
What makes a judge a judge is their possession of an almost godly honesty and the people’s undoubting belief in that honesty.
In the same way that there cannot be a lying God there cannot be a lying judge.
A judge would lose their qualification as judge the moment they were to lie in court.
If a state were to allow a judge who no longer qualifies as a judge to continue, that state would no longer qualify as a state.
A judge demolishes the state as they demolish their qualification as a judge by lying in court.
A year ago, Mehmet Altan and I were arrested on the charges of ‘giving subliminal messages to the putschists.’
Later on, this ridiculous allegation disappeared and we were sent to prison on the charges of staging the coup on 15 July and attempting to overthrow the government with weapons.
We are said to have staged an armed coup d’etat.
This is the crime we are charged with.
This is a case in which the absurdity of the allegation overwhelms even the gravity of the charges.
Now, I’ll say something loud and clear to his court, to this country and to those around the world who have taken an interest in this trial:
Show us even a single piece of concrete evidence of the strange allegations against us, and I will not defend myself anymore. Even if I am sentenced to the gravest penalty I will not appeal the ruling.
I am saying this loud and clear.
Show me a single piece of evidence and I will waive my right to appeal.
I will submit to spending the rest of my life in a prison cell.
During this past year, which we spent in prison, a judge ruled each month for the continuation of our imprisonment by claiming that ‘there was solid evidence’ against us.
In the previous hearing, you, too, said there was ‘concrete evidence’ against us.
Now, for you to be able to preserve your integrity and your qualification as a judge and for the state to be able to preserve its qualification as a state, you need to show us what those pieces of ‘solid evidence’ are.
Since you declared with such ease that there was solid evidence, that evidence needs to be in our case files.
Come on, show that solid evidence to us and to the rest of the world – the evidence which proves that we staged a coup on 15 July.
You won’t be able to show it.
Both you and I know that there is no such evidence.
Because these allegations are utter lies.
Go ahead, disprove what I have been saying, pull out that piece of evidence and show it to us.
There are some difficult aspects to arresting people on nonsensical allegations, Your Honor, and now you are confronted with those difficulties.
Either you will end this nonsense by saying ‘there is no solid evidence’ or you will show us some ‘solid evidence.’
Or, you will insist on saying ‘there is solid evidence’ while there is no solid evidence and thus lose your integrity and your qualification as a judge?
And with you, the state will lose its qualification as a state.
Thereby we will cease to be defendants.
We will become hostages of the judges, who have lied and therefore lost their qualification as judges, and to an armed gang, which has lost its qualification as a state.”
The accusation against Ahmet Altan, his brother Mehmet Altan, Nazli Ilicak, and three other journalists were giving support to the putschists by giving subliminal messages; as a natural result of this message, having beforehand information about the coup; and encouraging it. Firstly, the local court, and recently the court of appeal accepted the charges and approved the aggravated life sentences by copying and pasting the local court’s decision.
The word ‘subliminal message’ which the prosecutor hides behind, was chosen carefully. Because there will be no one to understand the message, except prosecutors and judges. Therefore, unable to understand and judge, the people will not question the reason of punishing the journalists.
The evidences of their guiltiness are the following statements: (About Altan brothers and Ilicak) “In the TV program released a day before the coup attempt, three defendants talked and gave message about ‘the inevitability of the coup; during the break a song, ‘Once more turned green hazel trees;’ a text saying ‘A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse’ on green backdrop was written with capital letters; participants laughed out loud at this; a video tape recording, titled ‘We have a hope,’ was played; and participants gave subliminal messages about the coup several times.”
(About the journalists of daily Zaman) “The 20-second advertorial of the Zaman daily starts with an overview of a residential place with emptied buildings and deserted streets together with sirens used to avert people in case of emergency and threat. Then a smiling newborn emerges in the screen. The advertorial was aired on 5 October 2015 which indicates 15 July 2016 when a normal pregnancy period of 9 months and ten days is taken into account. At the end of the advertorial, the logo of the Zaman daily appears on the screen accompanied by an artillery sound of armoured vehicles used by the military. The artillery sound heard at the end of this short advertorial creates a perception that the residential place seen at the beginning was bombed, in this sense, implied to the coup, Thus, it is understood (by the office of the prosecutor) that the organization aimed to give “encrypted and subliminal message” with this advertorial.”
The focus on “subliminal” by the prosecutors and judges replaced in time by the concepts like “appears”, “gives impression”, “in the direction of”, “…esque”. In fact, all these words have the following meaning: “They wanted to say that even if they did not say it”, “they meant that even if they did not say it explicitly”. However, in the criminal law, assumption is in no way deemed to be adequate and a crime must exist for punishment.
The most aggravated punishment in the Turkish Criminal Code has been based on such “vehim” and “assumption”. I don’t know if such bizarre justifications were used for the unlawful death penalty verdicts in the Middle Age courts. I guess their verdicts were more honorable than todays’ powerful oppressors. Foreign institutions share my perspective in this sense.
The following joint-statement of the UN Special Reporter for Freedom of Thought and Express and the OSCE Representative for Media Freedom underlined that no such verdict exists in the law literature.
These are the criminal acts of a couple of journalists they were accused of taking part in the coup and were given as examples as because of which more than 200 journalists experienced the same fate.
The so-called indictment and court decisions, that are the evidences of how “the law is raped” in Ahmet Altan’s depiction, are the best abstract of the law system in new Turkey.
Without doubt, everybody made contribution to this new system. William Carr, Hitler’s biography author, says: “Hitler is not the only responsible for Germany’s disaster. The responsible for Germany’s disaster, is the German people who created Hitler and left its own destiny to him willingly”. What can I say to those who do not see the existing and possible future disasters?