The “We have a promise” action staged by Journalists on the Outside has begun in Kadıköy. The police have banned the action, which has seen journalists, lawyers and academics assemble for their detained colleagues, from forming into a march. The group, chanting the slogans, “Justice right now,” “Freedom right now” and “Shoulder to shoulder against the state of emergency,” read a press statement in Kadıköy. The statement included the pronouncement, “We have a promise to peace, the truth and justice. Fascism starts where speaking stops,” and demanded freedom for detained journalists.
On the action in which lawyers have participated in their robes, the press statement made by journalist Ertuğrul Mavioğlu ended with a call to attend the hearings slated to be held over December.
The action was attended by many personalities such as CHP Istanbul MP Barış Yarkadaş, cumhuriyet.com.tr Editor-in-Chief Oğuz Güven and Evrensel Editor-in-Chief Fatih Polat.
Here is Journalists on the Outside’s statement:
“WE HAVE A PROMISE! "SÖZÜMÜZ VAR!
We are passing through arduous times. We know the most therapeutic medicine in such times to be marching hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder and in unison. This is precisely why we are marching in resistance to the dozens of constraints we face and without permitting our passion for peace and freedom to abate, our sense of conscience and justice to become blunt or our devotion to the truth to diminish and without abandoning our promise.
We are marching. We are marching in the name of making the truth a public good and for our detained journalist colleagues who have succeeded in remaining staunchly on their feet in the face of all manner of prevailing threats, intimidation, mobbing and solitary confinement.
This is because we have a promise to the truth. We need to multiply the darkness-piercing output of press workers in the face of the endeavour to leave them to rot behind iron bars. It must be recalled that, in these days in which the wheels of bribery turn to the tune of billions of dollars and tax evasion and cronyism have assumed massive proportions, the imprisoned journalists have neither crimes to be hidden behind the flag nor sins to be concealed behind religion. This is precisely why we are marching because we are rebelling against this great injustice.
We are marching. We are marching to tell the academics who were first taken away from their jobs and students under decrees with the force of law purely and simply because they wished for peace and spoke out against children dying and now encounter a bid to press individual terrorism charges against each one of them that they are not in the wrong and alone. We are marching to show those who imagine that we will collapse on being directed towards the roots of trees for food how sound, strong and resistant both the roots and trunks of people are.
For, we have a promise to peace, freedom, the here and now and the future. For, it is common knowledge that however hard you try, the academic world cannot be branded terrorist. And let it not be forgotten that duress will not turn the academic world into its master’s voice. If it consents to having a lead placed round its neck, then at that moment it ceases to count as the academic world, because science has an everlasting need for disobedience! And we are marching for everyone to hear that the destruction of the academic world is the snuffing out of a country’s future.
We are marching. We are marching because lawyers, the champions of rights who are the friends in tough times of journalists, writers and academics and the usual suspects in all times, young people, face the attempt to crush them under extreme duress. We are marching for the lawyers who are physically ejected from courtrooms, whose demands for justice are met with truncheons and kicks and who are arrested in raids on their offices.
For, we have a promise to justice and democracy. We want those whose existence is constructed on the basis of bribery, violence and hatred, who are fed by lies alone and so have no compunction even over trampling on their own laws to immediately take their hands off our lawyers. We know that silencing defence amounts to destroying the sense of justice in society and we are marching to draw attention to the disaster that this may create. Wherever you are, hear our voice. Especially the helpless, those who have nothing left to say about the future. We, though, have hope, and remedies. For, we have a promise. However many more newspapers and TV stations and websites you close, however many more journalists you detain, do not forget that the truth has a habit of stubbornly coming out. So, realise that your endeavour to deny society, which you want to tend like a herd of sheep, access to the truth is in vain.
Also know that academics will continue to produce scientific output under all conditions. So, abandon your plans to dull society’s intelligence with superstition. Your ploy through the trials you have brought to discredit peace supporters by trying to turn them into terrorists will come to no avail. You can never succeed because science is like water; it will sooner or later find a crack to leak through and a valley it can flow along.
And, whether you arrest lawyers or detain them, neither will the defence benches in courts remain empty, nor will law offices remain unattended. Abandon your vain dreams of bringing society into line by tying up the stones and releasing the dogs. Do not think that by detaining lawyers, the Soma, Ankara, Suruç, Ermenek and Berkin trials will go unchampioned. We want the whole world to know that, hereafter just as before, there will continue to be defence everywhere where it needs to be.
Yes, we are stubborn. We do not give up.
For, we have a promise!
We have a promise to peace, the truth and justice. We have a promise to young people, children and women about yesterday, today and tomorrow.
We forever scream out at injustice but we do not abandon our promise.
Yes, our promise speaks volumes!
For, we know that fascism starts where speaking stops.
Journalists on the Outside, Peace Academics, Justice Watch.”