Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Writer Demirer on Trial for "Armenian Genocide"

Bıa news centre
I salute all Turks who have shown heroism both during the Armenian genocide and up to now and into the future. For these are the ones who deserve to be honoured. It surpasses human comprehension why the present government sticks to honouring the likes of Talat, Enver and Jemal as their ancestors and NOT those Turks who risked and even gave their lives to save Armenians. Because of this the offer of the government for a historical panel on the Genocide sounds hollow, so does the restoration of the Holy Cross church at Aghtamar island to a museum with no cross on top. The world has eyes to see and ears to hear.
In protest at Hrant Dink's murder, writer Demirer had called on others to commit the same "crime" as Dink had done, i.e. to recognise the factuality of an "Armenian genocide." He is now facing a trial under Articles 301 and 216.

A day after journalist Hrant Dink’s murder on 19 January 2007, writer Temel Demirer read a press statement in central Ankara, saying that the journalist had not only been killed for being Armenian, but also because he had spoken of an “Armenian genocide.”

Trial under Articles 301 and 216
Around a year later, Demirer has been taken to court under Article 301 and 216 for “denigrating the Turkish Republic” and “inciting to hatred and hostility.” The case will be heard at the Ankara 2nd Penal Court tomorrow (6 March).

Temel Demirer and the Solidarity Initiative had said, “We owe something to those being tried for their thoughts and actions, those being obstructed, tortured, imprisoned and killed.”

In a previous statement Demirer said that he believed that there was a genocide carried out against the Armenians in the Ottoman period, that the state was then the “customs of the the Committee of Union of Process”, and that these customs had been continued up to cases like the Susurluk scandal (which revealed connections between the state and contract killings).

Calling on others to commit "crimes" in protest
The indictment prepared by Chief Public Prosecutor Levent Savas on 24 December 2007 is based on police reports and police recordings. According to the indictment, Demirer said the following at the protest meeting:

“We live in a country where murders and silencing the truth are partners. Hrant was murdered not only because he was Armenian but because he said expressed the reality that a genocide took place in this country. If the Turkish intellectuals do not commit 301 crimes under Article 301, then they will be guilty of Hrant’s murder, too."

"There is a genocide in our history, it is called the Armenian genocide. At the cost of his life, Hrant told us all about this reality. Those who do not commit a crime against the murderous state are part of the murder. Those who killed the Armenians yesterday are today attacking our Kurdish brothers and sisters. Those who want the brotherhood of peoples need to face up to this history. We have to commit crimes to avoid that what happened to the Armenians happens to the Kurds. I call on all of you to commit crimes. Yes, there was an Armenian genocide in this country."

The statement was signed by the following:

Fikret Başkaya, İsmail Beşikçi, Yüksel Akkaya, Mehmet Özer, Necmettin Salaz, Ahmet Telli, Ruşen Sümbüloğlu, Tayfun İşçi, Mahmut Konuk, İbrahim Akyol, Abdullah Aydın, Oktay Etiman, Sait Çetinoğlu, Halil İbrahim Vargün, Özgen Seçkin, Zişan Kürüm, Mete Kaan Kaynar, Hakkı Atıl, Mustafa Kahya, Anıl Aslan, Hüseyin Ontaş, Erol Bıyıklı, Cennet Bilek, Serpil Köksal, Selçuk Kozağaçlı, H. İbrahim Vargün, Evrim Kılıç, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Pınar Dursun, Samet Erdemir, Özer Akkuş, Özgür Doğan, Mehmet Toğan, Ramazan Gezgin, Metin Uzunöz, Onur Işık, Hüseyin Gevher, Ülkü Çevik, Hüseyin Güngör, Muzaffer Çelikkol, Rıza Karaman, Metin Ayhan, İrfan Kaygısız, Çağdaş Küpeli, Devrim Kahraman, Tülay Koçak, Ali Ersin Gür, Muharrem Demirkıran, Haldun Açıksözlü, Adil Okay, Confederation of Europe Workers from Turkey (ATIK) (EÖ/GG)

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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