hope you’re well!
We want to write you for an urgent issue.
The revolutionary, progressive people in Turkey who fight for justice are faced with one attack after another.
And so, there are resistances as well one after another, which cost a very high price.
For 1 year revolutionary artists, political prisoners and people’s lawyers in Turkey continue to resist with their bodies to push back the greatest attack and attempts for annihilation of the whole progressive movements in the country.
We are well aware and try as good as possible to follow and to organize solidarity with the peoples in different countries, which are as well under very repressive conditions and face a special period of attacks.
However, we would like to ask you to raise your voice either by a video statement or a written message for the two people’s lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytac Ünsal who are on death fast in Turkey to defend independent jurisdiction and fair trials. They are arrested along with 8 of their colleagues and starve for – Ebru Timtik 227 days and Aytac Ünsal for 196 days – to gain justice for their case and in generally for their profession and justice in the country.
They are close to death and they’re kept in two different hospitals oin Istanbul against their will. This shows that the authorities aim to carry out forced medical intervention as soon as they’ve lost their consciousness.
The police had arrested 17 lawyers, including Ebru and Aytac, in 2017 when they defended a very important case of resisting public workers. The government wanted to leave the resisters without lawyers, just as all other people who need defense against the injustice of the regime.
A court ordered their release in the first hearing after 1 year imprisonment and the prosecution immediately intervened, the judge panel was deposed and replaced with another court which is still in place and continues to jeopardize their lives with its unjust decisions. When the 37th Assize court was given this case, it ordered the re-arrest of 12 of these lawyers within 12 hours. They were sentenced with a total of 159 year prison for doing their job as lawyers! One of them got over 18 years in prison.
The injustice continues from this moment. Another court confirmed the sentence, the lawyers brought the case to the Supreme Court and started hunger strikes. Ebru and Aytac, who started with hunger strike in January and February began a death fast on April 5 (it means they’ll starve to death if their demand for a new, correct trial won’t be accepted)
But the government of Turkey keep on with its injustice and wants them to die. Its supporting media tried to influence the courts from the beginning with lies and false news about them.
When the situation of the lawyers became very serious, a large number of jurists, bar associations international and in the country pushed the Supreme court to make a decision towards a fair trial.
But the Supreme court just kills the time for the lawyers to get closer and closer to death.
So their lawyers applied for a medical examination which would detect that they can’t stay in prison due to their serious health. Again it was the 37th Assize court which was in charge of this application. It accepted the examination and the Forensic Medicine Institute even sent a report saying that they are unfit for prison.
But the court ignored the report. It continued imprisonment and ordered their immediate transfer to two different hospitals, where they remain already for a month in an unventilated, 12m2 isolation room under supervision of dozens gendarms and the threat to be force feeded at any moment.
Their colleagues, families, clients, intellectuals, artists, journalists, deputies call for their release and their demands to be recognized right away. National wide, guards are kept in front of the courts and the hospitals on daily basis.
With their resistance the people’s lawyers have accepted their readiness to sacrifice their lives for the sake of justice for the people and a bright future in the country.
But the government act deaf and wants them to die.
Already 3 fighters were killed in their hunger resistance for justice, 2 of them musicians of the socialist folk band Grup Yorum -Helin Bölek and Ibrahim Gökcek- who struggled against repression, arbitrary arrests and bans on concerts.
Mustafa Kocak, a political prisoner starved 296 days for the sole demand to get a fair trial. He has been punished with life sentence without any proof, based on police informers and statements signed under torture.
Right now 2 other political prisoners beneath the two lawyers starve for 180 days to get a fair trial and for improval of their inhuman condition and isolation regime in prison.
It would be a great support, if you can send a short message in solidarity and in defense of the lives of the four hunger strikers Ebru Timtik and Aytac Ünsal (lawyers of People’s Law Office and Association of Progressive Jurists who demand fair trial and end of political attacks to jurisdiction) and Didem Akman and Özgür Karakaya (political prisoners who demand their very basic human rights)
We thank you a lot and know that the situation in many countries is serious. However in this concrete case you can help to keep our resisting lawyers and prisoners alive and directly defend justice for the people.
warmest greetings and solidarity!