Tendance Coatesy

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Freedom for Sevil Sevimli ! Turkish Repression Grows.

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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”.”

Petition Here.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm