2nd August 2000
A Call from Selam Weekly.
Selam weekly is an Istanbul based newspaper. Its journalists have been regularly persecuted for their outspoken criticism of the government and their Islamic beliefs. Editor Nureddin Sirin is currently serving 17 and a half years in Bandirma prison, for supplying pictures to a rally in support of Palestine. Chief columnist Aydin Koral faces over a hundred years in prison if he returns to Turkey, for writing an article criticising the Turkish government’s relationship with Israel. Gul Aslan spent three years in prison without charge and was released last summer. Huda Kaya faced the death penalty last year for helping to organise a demonstration against the hijab ban in Turkish universities.
In May this year several men associated with Selam were arrested and charged with the murder in 1993 of Ugur Mumcu. Selam weekly was forcibly closed down, and anyone found reading it threatened with detention for sedition. Many people have in the past been charged with the murder of Ugur Mumcu – all of them from a variety of political backgrounds – were usually critics of the government.
It has already been confirmed that the men arrested in May have been tortured. The text of Selam’s message follows.
To all the NGO’s that are sensitive to human rights
and human dignity
Turkish Police organised an operation called “hope” in order to unravel 18
unidentified murders out of 750.000.
On May 5th 2000 the former owner of Selam Weekly’s Hasan Kiliç,
editor Mehmet Ali Tekin, distribution manager Abdülhamit Çelik, Ankara represantative Talip Özçelik and former director of Selam Foundation Mehmet Sahin were arrested on allegations of involving the assasination of Ugur Mumcu on 24 January 1993.
After they were arrested at about 3:00 am the police stayed at their houses without any formal permission for about two days. The police kept the household in the house and never let them go out. After the judge had stated that those were arrested because of involvement in the assassination of Ugur Mumcu the media started a campaign against them, even though their guilt was not proven and still not proven. Television and press and the police corporation gave described them as “killer terrorists”. Then operation “hope” transformed into a psychological lynch campaign with flimsy assertions that targeted Selam Weekly as an another “destination that those terrorist nourished”. After that the police began to arrest the readers and the representatives of Selam Weekly which was a legally printed newspaper. 300 readers and representatives are jailed and treated like terrorists and those who were jailed faced extremely hard tortures.
Selam Weekly stated in a press conference that the newspaper had no relation
with the ones who were arrested. The owner of the newspaper stated that it was an another Selam Newspaper which has no relation with the recent one. But even though the press know that reality they wrote in their papers that police raid at the Selam Weekly and captured the personal of the paper and caught some bombs and guns. But even though the police did not confirm those news/aspersions.
Those are so flimsy asssertions that has only one aim : to annihilate the
The police stated that the jailed suspects – Hasan Kiliç ve Mehmet Sahin araciligiyla,
Abdülhamit Çelik ve Yusuf Karakus- were the personel of the Iranian Intellegence and they organised the assasination of Ugur Mumcu for the behalf of Iran ! Those
suspects were denunciated by Yusuf Karakus.
Yusuf Karakus was the militant of MHP -the extreme nationalist party- before 1980 millitary coup. He was arrestted from murdering two trade unionist and then he said he was converted to Ýslam. He is known with his dark personality and character and suspected to work for the goverment as contragerilla. He was the member of the bloody contragerilla terrorist organisation of “Turkish Hezbollah” and involved in the assasination of leading Islamist figures in Turkey. He kidnapped Fidan Gungor, a leading Kurdish Islamist, and involved in murdering him by torture.
It was a very familiar for Turkey that a man like Yusuf Karakus can adopt the police scenario and prepare his testimony againist Abdülhamit Çelik’in, Hasan Kiliç and
Mehmet Sahin as they were killers.
In the exercise of assasination that public prosecutor was ready, it was seen that Abdülhamit Çelik was tortured. He said that he had never been to Ankara ever before but he was menaced by the police. There only a police camera was let. By the way the wife of Celik brought the wedding invitation card and proved that at that day they were married. After this, police had changed the scenario and produced many ones condactory to each other.
At last the leading and responsible police manager of Ankara, Kemal Iskender, stated that the assasination was the product of Ferhan Özmen and Necdet Yüksel and he told
that Abdülhamit Çelik had lied! But at he same time they did not let out tortured Abdülhamit Çelik who needs medical care as his urine was fully blood. And they did not care him in the Eskisehir Jail which is known as “coffin”, too. So hat he became so sick. Then the State Security Court (DGM) Public Prosecutor Hamza Keles, visited Abdülhamit Çelik’ in Eskisehir ail and told him that “Sorry you tried to told me in the exercise that you were innocent, but i did not listen to you. I need your testimony one more time”.
By the way it was understood that Ferhan Özmen and Necdet Yüksel were the murderer of 18 political crimes! It is known that there are only ten (10) and thirty (30)
minutes between some of those crimes which are operated in the distanced cities!
Then the public prosecutor changed his idea and claimed that Abdülhamit Çelik is the
assasinator of the Iranian dissident Abbas Gulizade and wanted death penalty for him. He also wanted death penalty for Hasan Kiliç, Mehmet Ali Tekin, Talip Özçelik ve
Mehmet Sahin. The trial is on 14 Agust 2000.
We all know that the State Security Courts and the pro state media see Kurdish and Muslims as the enemy of the nationalist Kemalist system as none of those belive that
only Turks live in Turkey and oppose anti democratic actions of the state. And when the suspects are Kurdish Muslims they have no chance except the Death Penalty even though they are purely innocent.
Forced to shut issue