Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’
Western blind spot: the Kurds’ forgotten war in Syria.
A victory for the Kurds and their allies in Syria is a victory for all who want a future that is dictated neither by fundamentalists nor imperialists.
The current narrative from Cameron and Obama is simple: the head-chopping Islamic State is a threat to all of humanity, so western forces need to return to the Middle East. Yet this narrative is far from supported by the empirical evidence. Non-existent weapons of mass destruction and non-existent Islamic fundamentalist jihadists were used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by George Bush and Tony Blair. Iraq was transformed from secular totalitarianism to chaos: in turn, chaos and opposition to occupation seeded a jihadist movement.
Western support for opponents of Assad in Syria gave the so-called ‘Islamic State’ an opportunity to take territory. ISIS was able to seize huge quantities of heavy weaponry supplied by the USA and its allies. Thus, if US intervention has created or at least massively accelerated the growth of a monster, critics argue that more intervention will no doubt provide the Islamic State with more weapons, more support and more chaos on which to thrive.
Another reason for doubting the narrative is the fact that the most successful opponents of ISIS are not only unsupported by the west but are effectively at war with a NATO ally. If the ‘war on terror’ was real, the words Kobane, Rojava and YPG would be on our TV screens more often than a marriage date with George Clooney. In fact, few of us have much knowledge of the forgotten war in the Middle East. This is a war that ISIS, up until a few days ago, was losing. But a NATO country has joined to help defeat not the jihadist beheaders, but their most feared opponents.
As I write, the city of Kobane in the mostly Kurdish city in northern Syria is under threat from ISIS, who have laid siege to the city for over a fortnight. ISIS forces from all over the region, equipped with tanks and missiles stolen from Iraqi forces supplied by Qatar and the USA, have sustained a huge attack on this city on the border of Turkey. You won’t hear about Kobane on much of the media and not so far in speeches from Obama and Cameron. These are the Kurds the west does not support, and mentioning their very existence is virtually an existential threat.
The Kurds, who are said to be the largest stateless nation and are spread across Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, have been fighting for autonomy for decades. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey saw their leader Ocalan captured in 1999. He remains in prison. In Syria, as a result of the civil war, the Kurds have created an autonomous self-governing republic, made up of three cantons, one of which is Kobane. The three cantons are known collectively as Rojava [western Kurdistan]. For several years the Rojavans have been fighting and beating ISIS and other jihadists like the Al Nusra front. When ISIS threatened thousands of Yazidi in Iraq, killing many and forcing others into apparently slavery, this triggered international outrage. It is largely forgotten that the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the community self-defence force from Rojava, crossed to Mount Sinjar and rescued many Yazidis.
While Rojava is known as a Kurdish territory, political and religious pluralism is strongly promoted. Syriac Christian militias are allied with the YPG, which also draws in Arab and Armenian fighters. Most Kurds are Sunni Muslims, although others are Yazidis. The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) is usually seen as a sister party of the PKK but there are many other Kurdish and non Kurdish political parties in Rojava. The PKK affiliated party advocates political diversity, feminism and self-governance. Originally a Marxist-Leninist organisation, remarkably the PKK sees itself as an anarchist political organisation inspired by the ideas of the American social ecologist and green anarchist, Murray Bookchin!
An anarchist from North London who visited Rojava noted that they are carrying out an almost unique democratic experiment: ‘We went to a meeting of one the communes based in the neighborhood of Cornish in the town of Qamishlo. There were 16 to 17 people in the meeting. The majority of them were young women. We engaged in a deep conversation about their activities and their tasks. They told us that in their neighborhood they have 10 Communes and the membership of each Commune is 16 people. They told us “We act in the same way as community workers including meeting people, attending the weekly meetings, checking any problems in the places we are based, protecting people in the community and sorting out their problems, collecting the rubbish in the area, protecting the environment and attending the biggest meeting to report back about what happened in the last week”. In response to one of my questions, they confirmed that nobody, including any of the political parties, intervenes in their decision making and that they make all the decisions collectively.’ Others have termed Rojava the Chiapas of the Middle East, in reference to the Zapatistas of Mexico.
The Rojava Charter, a kind of constitution, is a remarkable document. It states, “[w]e the peoples of the democratic self-administration areas; Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians (Assyrian Chaldeans, Arameans), Turkmen, Armenians, and Chechens, by our free will, announce this to ensure justice, freedom, democracy, and the rights of women and children in accordance with the principles of ecological balance, freedom of religions and beliefs, and equality without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, creed, doctrine or gender, to achieve the political and moral fabric of a democratic society in order to function with mutual understanding and coexistence within diversity and respect for the principle of self-determination and self-defense of the peoples….The autonomous areas of the democratic self-administration do not recognize the concept of the nation state and the state based on the grounds of military power, religion, and centralism”. The feminist part of their ideology reflects a strong commitment: in fact 30% of YPG members are women, all-woman fighting units (YPJ), are common, and women share the highest military rank with men.
Rojava offers the threat of a good example. A self-governing anarchist society with ecological aspirations may or may not be the utopia it sounds like, however the west has little time for alternatives to capitalism that might just work. The allies of the US and UK tell us all we need to know about their war on terror. These allies include Saudi Arabia, which beheads citizens on a regular basis, outlaws LGBT people, doesn’t allow women to drive and like ISIS, does not tolerate churches, Shia mosques or the advocacy of religions other than the most constrained form of Islam. Like Saudi Arabia, Qatar has funded jihadists, and then we come to Bahrain which has been heavily repressing their population.
The roll call of allies is a list of shame, which includes some of the most repressive states on our planet. It is an oil-soaked catalogue of monsters. The Kurds currently armed and supported by the US in Iraq belong to a rival political organisation to the PYD. The suspicion is that Islamic State attacks, which were moving in on the shopping malls and US centres in Iraqi Kurdistan, prompted the US intervention. For, however loud the calls are to oppose ISIS, the YPG who so far have been the most effective opponents of jihadism are largely ignored.
Turkey, another NATO ally, has been accused of supporting ISIS, as part of its longstanding conflict with the Kurds. Turkey has refused to fight ISIS, their border has been porous to jihadists wishing to join ISIS and the recent release of over 49 Turkish hostages by ISIS has been met with a suggestion of a deal between Turkey and the so-called Islamic State. Turkey has been strongly repressing the Kurds, and has argued for a buffer zone, which would essentially remove Rojava and replace it with Turkish troops. Turkey has also attempted to prevent thousands of Kurds from crossing the border to fight ISIS as they besiege Kobane. It has been alleged that $800 million of oil has been sold by ISIS in Turkey. There is also evidence that Turkish troops have been training ISIS.
ISIS are currently concentrating their forces against their most effective opponents, the YPG and its independent democratic cause. In Kobane, the forces of ISIS terror, against which the west is supposedly at war, are at the door and massively outgun the besieged Kurds, thanks to the help of the west and its allies. The dark ironies of geopolitics cannot be made clearer: ISIS is armed with weapons captured from the US, who flooded the region with weapons, while Turkey, a NATO member, is further strengthening the terrorism against which NATO has declared war, by repressing a democratic movement fighting indigeounously against ISIS.
There have been reports of US attacks on ISIS positions near Kobane, but there is some debate as to whether these have been effective. Meryem Kobanê, Commander of the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) in Kobane, noted on Saturday, September 27, that the strikes missed the ISIS forces.
The US and UK intervention has brought nothing but misery to the Middle East. The silence from Obama and Cameron regarding Turkey’s repression of the Kurds, shows that the ‘war on terror’ is more about the rhetoric than reality. All of us who want to see societies based on pluralism, self-governance, respect for minorities and empowerment of women, need to challenge our elected leaders over their failure to challenge Turkish opposition to Rojava. A victory for the Kurds and their allies in Rojava is a victory for all who want a future that is dictated neither by fundamentalists nor imperialists.
For more information on Rojava and the struggle against ISIS, see the following websites:
To this can be added this significant report,
Saturday, September 27, 2014 By I. Zekeriya Ayman
With the US and allied nations, including Arab countries, carrying out air strikes in Syria, the Turkish government is trying to convince the West it does not support the Islamic State (IS) forces the US is targetting.
Newly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (the former prime minster) linked the adjective “terrorist” with “IS” for the very first time on September 23 during a US TV interview while attending the United Nations climate summit.
“Turkey will do whatever needs to be done to stop this terrorist organisation, militarily, and politically,” he said.
But the truth is that IS has received vital support from the Turkish government. It is known that IS has received crucial support from Turkey, which includes:
* Turkey positioning itself as an easy bridge for IS foreign militants to reach Syria, and Iraq;
* Trapped IS militants in Syria and Iraq escaping to Turkey to regroup and train;
* IS casualties being treated in Turkish hospitals and even having an hospital exclusively for their use;
* Turkey providing basic needs to IS under the guise of “humanitarian aid”;
* The Turkish government providing weapons and ammunitions directly to IS and provided safe passage for arms deliveries from elsewhere; and
*Turkey opening and closing its borders to suit IS.
The main reason the Turkish regime has supported IS, besides its interest in the toppling the Syrian regime, is the growing Kurdish resistance in Syria and the creation of a revolutionary “liberated zone” in the Kurdish territory of Rojava.
Parliament has voted for the third Iraq War. The last two have brought almost unimaginable suffering to the people of Iraq and have helped to create the current chaos, driving the country to the brink of break up.
They claim this is a humanitarian operation to defeat Isis. In fact, Isis is backed by various middle east powers and a new aerial bombardment will not defeat it. It will however, kill innocents, further fragment the country and inflame violence.
The record of the west’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya show that as well as creating misery and mayhem, western military interventions make the world a more volatile, dangerous place.
Cameron’s new war has built-in mission creep. Discussions are already underway for Britain to join the bombing of Syria, and there are growing calls for boots on the ground.
The Stop the War Coalition is asking every one of its supporters to attend the demonstration against the insanity of another war on Iraq.
There is this by contrast,
Kurds began a hunger strike tonight London in solidarity with the city of #Kobane, under siege & attack from ISIS.
Ensemble Backs Kurdish Fighters Against Islamic State.
(Signed – Suren, but it seems clear that the main points have general agreement in Ensemble, as with most of the French left)
Ensemble (‘movement for a left/green solidarity, is the ‘Third’ largest component of the Front de gauche, launched in November 2013, it is made up of Les Alternatifs (Originally from the PSU/FGA, historic self-management tendency), Convergences et alternative (Ex-Nouveau parti anticapitaliste, NPA) , the FASE (democratic Communists, left socialists, Greens, associated with the magazine Politis) , la Gauche anticapitaliste (ex-NPA), and activists of the Gauche unitaire (ex-LCR, the first Trotskyist group to join the FdG but who have split from the ‘Picquet Tendency’ ) and people from no organised left party or faction.
What is at Stake in the autonomous Struggle of progressive Forces against the Islamic State. (Extracts – Adapted)
The announcement of an “international coalition” to fight the “Islamic state” is the latest act in a string of disasters caused by Western imperialist interventions in the Middle East. This – a reminder – is not part of any genuine anti imperialism, but allows us to understand the dynamics at work, which have been reshaped since the US intervention in 2003, in the current situation. As with 2003, Western imperialism produce disasters, then intervenes to “fix” the consequences of these catastrophes, and then creates further disasters of an even greater magnitude – a succession of links in an endless chain.
Thus, we cannot admit that there are “humanitarian” motives at work inside the US administration or support the coalition that they seek to put in place in order to maintain their hold. Nevertheless, it is impossible to denounce, simply, American imperialism, and remain indifferent to the devastation caused by the Islamic State, IS (mass killings, persecution of religious minorities, Sunni disagreements, the tens of thousands of Yazidis left to die in the Sinjar). This would equally be to ignore the actions of the reactionary and authoritarian and regional powers. We need not simply to react to the massacres and repression perpetrated by the IS but also to stem the wave of disasters engulfing the region. Indeed, imperialism finds its strongest basis in these religious confessional and national divisions..
Faced with these obstacles, it is necessary to defend movements of local self-defence rather than increasing the stranglehold of imperialism. This implies, therefore support (including weapons) for progressive forces in the region to combat the Islamic State. That is, for the Popular Committees in Syria who have been abandoned to their fate, and for the broad movement around the Kurdish PKK.
(There follows an analysis which lays the blame for ISIS’s rise in Syria on Assad’s willingness to foment divisions in his opposition, and on Turkey, which is charged with “complaisance” towards the rise of the Islamists.)
Kurdish forces and issues
The main armed resistance opposed to the Islamic State is represented by various Syrian opposition movements and the PKK, the main Kurdish political-military organization of Turkish forces.
The PKK was born in the social and political ferment of the 70s Turkey, created by Kurdish leftist students. Its historic leader, Abdullah Ocalan, is held in prison in Turkey but still leads the PKK and the movement that revolves around it.Following a tradition that can be termed “Stalinist” the PKK has managed to supplant other Kurdish organizations in Turkey and has a mass base in the bulk of Turkish Kurdistan. The PKK “mouvance” (broad movement) can often have a very opportunist line – but retains a military capacity, is the political representative of the large Kurdish minority in Turkey. Note also that the whole movement around the PKK is highly feminised (both in recruitment and in access to positions of fighting and political-military leadership).
..an essential part of fighting is taking place in Syria where this movement already existed. However, it is true that the PKK stepped onto Iraqi territory in the mountains of Sinjar to fight IS and to rescue tens of thousands of Yezidi (a Zoroastrian religious minority from Kurdish-speaking areas). In keeping with its normal practice, the PKK has sought to create a local sister organization, with the Yezidi, the Resistance Units Kirkuk-Mexmour. In northern Syria, the PYD unilaterally declared independence in the territories it controls (the Rojava, that is to say, the Western Kurdistan). It has been criticised by other Kurdish organizations in Syria gathered in the Kurdish National Council. This tension between the PYD and CNK is only a reflection of the broader opposition among the Kurds between the PKK and the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) of Massoud Barzani, the “feudal” political leader who heads the autonomous Kurdish regional government Kurdish in northern Iraq (and which is bound by the CNK in Syria).
Briefly, the PKK reproach, rightly, to Barzani and the Kurdish autonomous regional government in northern Iraq with having links with the Turkish government, leaving the Islamic State free to continue their progress progress in northern Iraq, and, as a result of this alliance, to be so directly responsible for the progress of EI and the fall of Mosul. Conversely, Barzani accused the PKK-PYD of having links with the Assad regime. …
(There follows detailed analysis of these ties, claims and counterclaims.)
The important points of the Ensemble analysis are these: they back “active local defence “, that they regard this as a “medium-term challenge ” to ” imperialist logic” and believe that will contribute towards the “healing” (assainissement) of the Kurdish national question” which is one of “the elements of division between the most important people of the region.”
The Stop the War Coalition (StWC) warns against US-led intervention in Iraq and Syria.
It has yet to offer any comment on demands for “support (including weapons) for progressive forces in the region.”
By contrast Socialist Worker said in August, Arming the Kurds won’t stop Iraq’s brutal civil war.
More recently (September 16th) they found nothing to say on the Kurdish struggle against the Islamist genociders.
Instead they warned US missiles will worsen Iraq crisis.
Apparently one of the main dangers is that, “This will be a green light for targeting Muslims and increasing Islamophobia as all Muslims are portrayed as a terrorist threat.”
Turkish protesters – “Çapulcu”.
The right-wing Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey has launched a “counter-offensive” against protesters.
Le Monde reports that violent incidents broke out over the weekend between opponents and supporters of the ruling Islamist party, the AKP.
The Associated Press continues,
Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the most inflammatory of his speeches as he arrived in the capital of Ankara. Erdogan belittled the protesters, again calling them “capulcu,” the Turkish word for looters or vandals. He made his speech in Ankara on an open-top bus, which then drove into the city in a motorcade.
“If you look in the dictionary, you will see how right a description this is,” Erdogan said, speaking to thousands of supporters who greeted him at the airport. “Those who burn and destroy are calledcapulcu. Those who back them are of the same family.”
Erdogan said his patience was running out with the protesters, who have occupied Istanbul’s main Taksim Square for more than a week and have held hundreds of demonstrations in at least 78 cities across the country. The increasingly fiery tone could inflame tensions. On two occasions, including one in the southern city of Adana on Saturday night, clashes have been reported between Erdogan supporters and protesters.
“All they do is to break and destroy, to attack public buildings. … They didn’t stop at that,” Erdogan said. “They attacked daughters who wear headscarves. They entered Dolmabahce mosque with their beer bottles and their shoes.”
Some of the injured in the initial clashes in Istanbul’s Besiktas area were treated in Dolmabahce mosque. The mosque’s imam has denied reports that people entered with beer. In the initial days of the protests, some women said they were verbally harassed. The majority of protesters, however, have denounced those who did it and have been welcoming toward them. Erdogan’s comment about shoes refers to the Muslim taboo against wearing shoes inside a mosque.
Anti-government protesters have turned Erdogan’s label of them as capulcu* into a humorous retort, printing stickers with the word, scrawling it on their tents and uploading music videos onto social network sites.
* Babylon translation: “raider, depredator, freebooter, looter, marauder, plunderer, swag man.”
This morning the French public radio station France-Inter ran a special programme direct from Turkey, FRANCE INTER À ISTANBUL.
Commentator Bernard Guetta expressed the view that the Islamist Party may split into two: a hard-right populist group which emphasises religion and Turkish identity, and another, more centre-right and liberal organisation.
He suggested that the AKP and Erdogan represented a section of Turkish society that was bound to lose in the long-term as the country develops. Guetta noted that the Turkish protectors had more in common with other European liberal and left wing movements than with the past Erdogan represents.
Yorum: Revolutionary and Socialist Music.
Four hundred protesters, according to organisers, demonstrated on Saturday evening at the Place du Luxembourg in Brussels to protest against police violence in Turkey.
Muharrem Cengiz Caner Bozkurt from the Turkish music group Yorum talked about the events at Taskim Square in Turkey, at Sazz n’Jazz.
Several musicians from Yorum have participated in demonstrations in Gezi Park, close to Taksim Square in Istanbul.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the withdrawal of police on Saturday afternoon, after two days of police repression. “This action to save the last green island in the ocean of what became concrete Istanbul has turned into a social movement against Erdogan’s policy.” explained Bahar Kimyongür, a Belgian activist of Turkish origin.
Members of Yorum the are regularly prosecuted for their alleged link with the Turkish extreme left group DHKP-C. Five members were arrested only this January.
The treatment of Yorum is is an important illustration of the limits of the Turkish Islamist government-state’s ‘liberalism’.
This is from Wikipedia:
Grup Yorum is a Turkish band known for their political song writing. Grup Yorum (Yorum means interpretation or comment in Turkish) has released twenty albums since 1987. Some of the group’s concerts and albums were banned over the years, and some of the group members were allegedly arrested or tortured] Yorum remains popular and their albums continue to sell well in Turkey and internationally. Yorum has also given concerts in Germany, Austria, Australia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom, and Greece.
Then we have this, “70 journalists in Turkey are currently being prosecuted and kept in jail all over the country.”
We could go on but recommend reading this from Human Rights Watch,
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party government maintained economic growth in 2012 despite a slowdown and has taken a strong focus on developing a leading regional role. However, the government failed to take convincing steps to address the country’s worsening domestic human rights record and democratic deficit. Prosecutors and courts continue to use terrorism laws to prosecute and prolong the incarceration of thousands of Kurdish political activists, human rights defenders, students, journalists, lawyers, and trade unionists. Free speech and media remain restricted, and there are ongoing serious violations of fair trial rights.
The BBC sets the scene,
Turkey has entered a second day of violent protests, with fresh clashes between police and demonstrators in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.
The unrest began as a sit-in over plans to redevelop Gezi Park in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, but escalated after police used tear gas.
Tear gas was again fired on Saturday in the square and police clashed with protesters crossing a Bosphorus bridge.
In Ankara, protesters tried to march on the parliament building.
Correspondents say that what began as a local issue has spiralled into more widespread anger at the government and ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
Alper Balli added
People are angry and frustrated at the government’s decision to build a shopping centre at the expense of one of Istanbul’s most famous parks. But what started as a protest against the uprooting of trees is turning into a wider platform for expressing anger against government policies.
Environmentalists have been joined by gay and lesbian groups, as well as socialists, union workers, members of opposition parties from across the political landscape and even so-called “anti-capitalist Muslims”. The excessive use of force by the riot police and the insistence of the government to pursue their plans for the park have escalated tensions.
Taksim Square has political significance for the anti-government protests. As part of the reconstruction plans, the square was banned as a venue for this year’s May Day rally and any kind of demonstrations in the future; but now the government’s heavy handed approach risks turning the square into a focal point for protests against its policies.
Al Jazeera also cites this political context,
Many of the protesters are angry at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government, which some Turks argue has been displaying increasingly authoritarian and uncompromising tendencies in its third successive term in office.
Last week, the government enacted a law restricting the sale and advertising of alcohol which has alarmed secular Turks who fear an encroachment on more liberal lifestyles.
Earlier this week, the government went ahead with a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a disputed third bridge across the Bosphorus Strait which some say will destroy the few remaining green areas of the city.
It also named the bridge after a controversial Ottoman sultan believed to have ordered a massacre of a minority Shia Muslim group, instead of choosing a more unifying figure.
Gezi Park protestors held a large poster with a caricature depicting Erdogan as an Ottoman sultan with a caption that read: “The people won’t yield to you.”
Erdogan dismissed the protesters’ demands for the park’s protection, saying the government would go ahead with renovation plans “no matter what they do”.
Turkey is said to be run by a model ‘moderate’ Islamist government of Erdoğan and his party, the Justice and Development Party ( Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi). They say they are democrats, and support democracy in Syria.
What exactly is this ‘moderation’ and ‘democracy’?
L’Humanité carries this story today.
Un tribunal turc de Bursa a confirmé lundi l’interdiction de quitter la Turquie imposée à l’étudiante franco-turque Sevil Sevimli, accusée d’avoir entretenu des liens avec un groupe d’extrême-gauche interdit, et fixé la prochaine audience de son procès au 16 janvier.
A Turkish Tribunal at Bursa confirmed on Monday that the Franco-Turk student Sevil Sevimli, accused of having links with a banned Turkish extreme-left group is forbidden to leave Turkey. The next court appearance will be on the 16th of January.
Les InRocks states that there are at present 2824 students imprisoned in Turkey. 95 journalists are also in gaol under the ‘anti-terrrorism’ law’ aimed principally at the Kurdish Workers’ Party, the PKK.
This is background to her case,
À 20 ans, Sevil Sevimli a été incarcérée en Turquie le 9 mai pour des liens supposés avec une organisation terroriste d’extrême gauche. En année d’Erasmus à Eskisehir, dans l’Anatolie, l’étudiante lyonnaise en journalisme est accusée d’avoir défilé avec des milliers de manifestants à Istanbul. D’avoir assisté à un concert de Yorum, un groupe de rock turc contestataire. Puis collé des affiches pour l’enseignement gratuit. Pour ces chefs d’accusation, elle encourt entre 15 et 32 ans de prison.
Sevil Sevimli is 20 years old,. She has been imprisoned in Turkey since the 9th of May on allegations that she has links with a terrorist organisation of the far left. On an Erasmus bursary at Eskisehir, in Anatolia, the student in journalism from Lyon is accused of having demonstrated with thousands of others in Istanbul and having attended a concert of the radical group Yorum. She then stuck up posters calling for free education. For these offences she risks from 15 to 32 years in Prison.
In the InRocks interview asked about the Turkish tradition of hospitality Sevimli states,
Dès qu’on rentre en Turquie, c’est une autre histoire. Dès qu’on exprime une volonté de laïcité, on n’est pas dans la norme. Si on n’est pas croyant, on est marginal. Dans un journal, il y avait une caricature faite sur moi. Au lieu du « bienvenue en Turquie », on pouvait lire « bienvenue dans une organisation armée terroriste ».
When you come to Turkey it’s another story. As soon as you express support for secularism you’re not normal. If you’re not a believer, you’re marginal. In a newspaper there was a caricature of me. Instead of saying ‘Welcome to Turkey’ you could read, ‘Welcome to an armed terrorist group’.
A support group states,
“Sevil is not alone in her case, far from it, hundreds of people, journalists, academicians, students and intellectuals are imprisoned in Turkey due to the exception laws that are supposed to fight against terrorism. The problem is that these laws became an instrument to gag any kind of contestation in the country. Sevil is a symbol because in her situation the injustice is obvious and there are hefty fines out of all proportion to the alleged offenses: she is accused to “belong to a terrorist group”.”