Any old day: Yesterday!

By Aydın Engin

Yayınlanma: 18.02.2018 - 16:11
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Yesterday was a yesterday to my taste. Friday 16 February 2018.

I knew as a citizen, as a citizen who wishes and wishes ardently for democracy (OK: bourgeois democracy) in this country to expand if nothing else a tiny bit, that a hard day was in the offing.

I knew as a journalist, especially as one in the kitchen of a daily paper, that a hard and arduous day was in the offing.

This must be why I had to drag myself to the paper with my feet pulling backwards.

The young woman at the reception smiled and added:

- You look tired, Aydın.

I wasn’t.

But this must be how I looked. It would seem my body and countenance were preparing for “yesterday”.

In fact, “yesterday” started with joyous tidings: Deniz Yücel’s release was ordered.

It was a tempered joy.

The end had come to the year-long captivity in prison of a young colleague without evidence or indictment. Of course, we were delighted.

However, the sudden proclamation of the indictment as if struck on the head by a brick on waking up “yesterday” by the prosecutor, who for a year had given the impression of being in hibernation; the subsequent abrupt reading and acceptance of that indictment in seconds by the appropriate serious crime court and the penal judgeship of the peace taking up the ball; after that the passing of a decision also in seconds in a scheduling order to release Deniz Yücel without trial, without questioning him over the charges in the indictment; and with all this going on the drivel still being spoken looking us in the eye that “the rule of law applies in Turkey” tainted our joy with shame.

On the German front, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pronouncement in words that betrayed a lack of belief in what she was saying, “Absolutely no deal or agreement was made over Deniz Yücel,” and the lack of compunction displayed by Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, endeavouring to derive personal political benefit from the order to release Deniz Yücel, over brushing aside his comments months ago about the Leopard tank reorganisation and arms sales and saying, “No agreement was made. This is how the Turkish judiciary decided” only compounded the shame.




While going through this “tempered joy”, the news came: Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak had been sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment.

I made an instant decision: I would not write a single line about this news.

I would not do so because every line I wrote, every word, would bring me up before the prosecutor and that prosecutor would this time have been right.




Yesterday” keeps going.

The second week under arrest of that industrious ant of the 78 generation, Celalettin Can, also came to an end.

His questioning at the police had ended. He finally needed to be brought before the prosecutor. But nothing doing. The prosecutor sent the message “Bring him before me on Tuesday.”

If we count from “yesterday” until Tuesday, that makes an extra five days under arrest.

Has anyone made consoling noises saying, “Dear chap, it’s come to end, don’t you see? He will appear before the prosecutor in four or five days?”

They say it is easy for a bachelor to get divorced! We are talking about somebody who had a serious heart operation a few years ago, who paced up and down in the junta’s prisons for nineteen years and seven months (Yes, a full nineteen years and seven months) after 12 September and whose body bears the corporeal damage of those horrific years being under arrest for another four or five days. “Four or five days more” in a stuffy, stifling, hot custody cell, is that all?




Yesterday” keeps going.

Having spent a week under arrest, the Green Left Party’s co-chairs, Naci Sönmez, who experienced the 12 September darkness in jail with his father Tailor Fikri, and Eylem Tuncaelli, a woman whose youth belies her tenacity, were released “yesterday”, while respected scientist, HDK co-spokesperson Onur Hamzaoğlu, was detained.




Yesterday” keeps going.

No sooner had one of Turkey’s most esteemed politicians, Selahattin Demirtaş, ceased to be co-chair than he was taken from Edirne and brought to Ankara to the hearings to which he had not been brought while he was a “detained co-chair” and put before the judges. He combined his identity as a politician and his identity as a jurist and made a defence over three days that will be taught as a lesson at law faculties.

The result: Extension of detention and adjournment of the hearing until 11 April.

That is: Do time, Demirtaş. Do your pacing up and down in Edirne Prison for another two months!

Long live the rule of law!




We’ve worked it out.

Every day is yesterday for us. 

Günlerden bir gün: Dün!..


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