A short summary of Aslı Erdoğan’s defense

I observe that law has become a means for digestion [1]. I’m going to do my defense as if ‘law existed’. I’m not going to lecture this roomful of legal experts about law. It’s your duty to defend justice. Law can’t solely defend the state and the politicians. Free Agenda is a newspaper with permissions and yellow press cards, it’s distributed by Turkuvaz Distribution. We are members in a symbolic advisory board of a legal newspaper. The advisory board has not gathered once, has not taken a single decision in 5 years. Legal principles are being violated. A few words being tweezed out of eight books and hundreds of texts, manifest a medieval inquisition. The sentiments are bitter, the respect and conscience is literature. As justice cannot exist without a conscience…

A woman of letters actualizes herself in books. My notes, my texts are in the hands of the police as criminal material for months. An empty and incoherent bill of indictment… The only concrete evidence for ‘organization membership’ is that my name is in the masthead. I’ve always expressed that I’m against war, that I’m anti-militarist. Not one of my texts got a legal accusation for 18 years and I’ve never been a sloganist writer. I always wrote about torture and the prisons. If what I did there makes me a KCK member, then there is certainly no organization that has not been to my books.

I think that publications like Free Agenda are still needed. An alternative emerges to the main stream who doesn’t write the reality of Kurds. There’ve been numerous corner writers [2] like AKP’s Muhsin Kızılkaya and Mehmet Metiner. The interviews with KCK chairmen and their statements were featured in the main stream in 2013-2014. The advisory board has no authority to decide in any matter regarding the newspaper. I am not aware of the texts written under nicknames.

In this century, I became the historical record of the first woman of letters to be put on trial for an ‘aggravated life imprisonment’, regulated in place of a death sentence. Those who impute me this accusation are those who think they have found the black hole without even observing the solar system. It is irrational and impossible to remotely control a newspaper from a distance. I haven’t taken or given any commands or directions from or to anyone. I consider it an ethical state of affairs to be in solidarity with a newspaper that is being silenced.

Aslı Erdoğan

(Turkish)

English: Işık Barış Fidaner

[1] t.n. Turkish word for digestion indicates silencing and oppression in political contexts.

[2] t.n. Turkish expression for a columnist.

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