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Bogus Cases Sending Students To Real Prisons

May 1st, always been a struggle in Turkey. People attending the gatherings, meetings or protests of any kind are always considered a problem in this country. May 1st, in its nature quite a humane celebration, has seen so tragic events... And in the recent years, would people be allowed to walk in May 1st has been discussed for weeks. People being sprayed pepper gas, being beaten by the police... Just for walking together... This year was a different one. Attendance was immense. Everyone was happy that a meeting of this scale  took place and people could make their cases and be heard. But some banks’ windows were broken by some protestors. This’s the story we all know. What happened afterwards... Well they were not a big media attraction and we are oblivious to them. How I found out was just a coincidence. Someone I know, a neighbour of mine, was a victim of the unbelievable events afterwards. So I started reading and asking.

This’s what happened:

People were taken into custody with the suspicion of causing damage. But around five in the morning by counter-terror units. Ten to twenty police rushing into their houses. Their belongings, books, computers, flash drives, phones were taken. Even the lawyers did not see this kind of custody in the case of causing damage. But what they were really accused of was even more shocking. People seeing each other for the first time at police station were being accused of forming a terrorist organization and damaging the banks fort he sake of that non-existing terrorist group. One of them was not even in the May 1st meetings, an eight months pregnant woman. They were just members of a legal organization called Freedom to Earth. People against violence of any kind. Defending human and animal rights. They were accused of being anarchists, which is the worst thing you can be in Turkey since 70’s. Anarchy is synonymous with violence, and anarchisht with terrorist. The frenzy of 70’s and early 80’s coming back to haunt us. So, anti-violence people were arrested for violence. Some of the people under custody was indeed identifying their political philosophy as anarchism. (Anarchism comes from the Grek word ἄναρχος, anarchos meaning “without rulers”.) Anarchist people were accused of forming an organization with a leader and were questioned about who their leader was. Spinoza books were taken as evidence. Should I say more? Vegetarian and vegan victims of this outrageous arrests were not able to eat anything except bread. Asked if being a vegan was an illness. Their pets were also victims in this. A blind cat being kicked, a cat with a broken leg being tossed to street, fish were not allowed to be dropped at a neighbour died starving.

And even more unbeliavable, nine of these people were arrested. It was written the number raised to 15. They still are in prison. In a cell for eight, staying together. Mostly students. Students can’t take their exams, maybe some of them will be expelled. In a case where the documents are classified restricted and even the lawyers don’t know more than we do, in a case where books that can be found in any bookstore are evidence, and being anti-violent human and animal rights defender or being an anarchist is considered being a terrorist; if they can find a way out their whole life would be burdened with this imprisonment. Police can’t even find a name for the so called terrorist group, all the statements are being made with different names. Stil they will be labelled as suspicious terrorists fort he rest of their lifes.

Deniz Fidan is one of these arrested people. Still in prison. Sophomore in Department of Philosophy in Galatasaray University. Arrested in the hall of his college. Taken away from his school, family and friends. Someone I happen to know. I wanted to do something for him. Sending him some books to pass time. But here I was thinking to send him a Boethius book. What on earth were I thinking sending a philosophy book? Who knows what trouble would I cause? A philosophy book, written by an ancient writer under imprisonment... That should really make an evidence... 

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