I will enter 2018 in a concrete cell, away from my friends and isolated from other people. I greeted 2017 in the same cell. I have a fault that has visited this suffering on me: Being the manager and member of a venerable and bold newspaper that fearlessly publishes the truths that it is not wanted for the people to know and find out about in a period in which tyranny and oppression reign.
I boast of this fault (!) of mine. Let my friends and associates, and most of all my family, not worry. Thanks to them, I have never felt alone, helpless, downtrodden, despondent or hopeless. We are in a lawless, authoritarian and oppressive period; we are in pitch darkness. The task that befalls me in this arduous period is to stand watch for justice and democracy in Silivri Prison. I continue the watch with honour and pride. Let there be no doubt that we will end it in the same way. I am delighted at our loved ones and friends remembering me as I embark on a new year. I want them to enter the new year – like me – with hope, optimism and joy. I have never lost my hope in the face of all the difficulties and deprivations I have experienced. I have never been in a wretched and pitiful state, nor am I today. On the contrary, I am well and in high spirits and in joyous mindlessness of tyrants and the ill-disposed. Imprisonment has not caused my entire existence to be placed in captivity, nor can it do so. I am still part of life. Just like in Nâzım’s lines, “But that’s nothing. The worst is when people – knowingly or not – carry prison inside themselves…” I wish that the new year brings justice, peace, equality and freedom. Happy new year to everyone.
Akın Atalay / 31 December 2017 Silivri Closed Penitentiary Institution A6 Block – Cell 47