Journalist KabaI reads ’manifesto’ on TV ahead of court appearance: I’m on trial

Journalist Sedef KabaI faces five years in prison for sending tweets about corruption and the government’s attempt to sweep the scandal under the rug. Speaking ahead of her court appearance, she read out a manifesto on Halk TV addressing the charges and stating that she stands by her tweets: I am facing the possibility of five years imprisonment on the basis of a tweet I posted.

And actually, because I made the police officers who came to my house wait for five

Journalist Sedef KabaI faces five years in prison for sending tweets about corruption and the governmentand#39s attempt to sweep the scandal under the rug. Speaking ahead of her court appearance, she read out a manifesto on Halk TV addressing the charges and stating that she stands by her tweets:

I am facing the possibility of five years imprisonment on the basis of a tweet I posted.

And actually, because I made the police officers who came to my house wait for five minutes before letting them in, Iand#39m also facing up to five years imprisonment for a separate case. In other words, prosecutors are pushing for me to receive a full 10 year prison sentence.

Yes, some 3,770 days behind bars, all for a tweet I wrote.

But letand#39s take a brief look at the country where I am being tried:

In the country where my trial is taking place, the former Transportation Minister said in regards to my case, andldquoI didnand#39t see Sedef KabaIand#39s tweet, but social media is not the place for swearing and insults.

andrdquo And while he acts as though my tweet was based on swear words and insults, a group many call the andldquoAK Trollsandrdquo — media andldquotrollsandrdquo working for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) — works morning to night hurling brazen insults and epithets at people from all factions of society.

I am being tried in a country where the same leaders who openly flout the laws, the flag and the founding leader of the Turkish Republic focus on those who would make the police wait five minutes.

All of this while groups who have formed their own police forces and even armies in the Southeast of the country are completely ignored.

I am being tried because I opposed the closure of the largest and deepest corruption case in the history of the Turkish Republic.

I am being tried because I said: andquotThievery, corruption and bribery are universal crimes. Shutting down investigations that have uncovered serious and strong evidence, documents and testimonies that support the validity of these corruption claims is of course a decision that will go down in history.

andrdquo

I am being tried because I warned people to never forget those who moved to shut down the corruption investigation.

I am being tried in a country where those who steal, take and give bribes, and look people straight in the eye while undermining them, are not only never tried, but are never even sent to court.

I am being tried in a country where books are called andldquobombs,andrdquo where Twitter is called a andldquodisaster for everyone,andrdquo where journalists who ask questions are called andldquoshameless,andrdquo where intellectuals are disparaged with the words andldquomon cher,andrdquo where those who exercise their constitutional right to protest are called andldquovandals,andrdquo where police who uncover serious incidents of thievery are called andldquocoup-supportersandrdquo and where prosecutors who initiate important investigations are called andldquotraitors to the country.andrdquo

I am being tried in a country where even those under heavy clouds of suspicion regarding serious charges of corruption and similar improprieties can climb to a balcony after elections to flash victory signs to their supporters below.

It is a country where these same people can yell from campaign platforms, andldquoEverything for our people, weand#39ve done nothing we wonand#39t account for!andrdquo

I am being tried because regarding those who likely used their own children to engage in bribery I asked, andldquoThey became government ministers, but were they ever able to be real fathers?andrdquo

I am being tried in a country where those who asked, andldquoDid you steal?andrdquo are labeled as coup-supporters, Zionists and traitors of the country by those who are somehow never quite able to claim, andldquoNo, we did not steal.andrdquo

I am being tried in a country where I can only wonder what value system and religion has brought forth all of those citizens of ours who cast their votes at the ballot boxes saying to themselves, andldquoWell, they do steal, but at least they work.

andrdquo

I am being tried in a country where the most enormous fonts are used in newspaper headlines in an effort to make news constructed of lies look more believable. When this doesnand#39t work, entire pages are given over to stories to help support them Itand#39s a country where in the past four years, more than 150 broadcastingublishing bans have been put into place, including for the Soma mining accident.

I am being tried in a country where the absolutely nauseating fantasy of the attack that took place in KabataI — a lie so stupid that only those of questionable intelligence would actually fall for it — was trumpeted from headlines, alongside claims that alcohol had been consumed in mosques and that the mosques themselves had been attacked by protesters — all in the wake of the Gezi protests. And not a single legal step has been taken against those who propelled and propagated these lies and slander against others.

I am being tried in a country where the doctors who helped treat wounded young protestors during Gezi had legal action taken against them, even though the killers responsible for the deaths of people like Ali Ismael Korkmaz and Berkin Elvan were either protected or simply never found.

I am being tried in a country where, while officials claim, andldquoNo other country has the sort of freedom we do,andrdquo raids unfold against homes, newspaper offices, labor syndicates, political party offices and banks.

Weand#39ve now even seen a 13-year-old taken out of his classroom by the police for insulting the president.

Both the president and the prime minister canand#39t stop talking about the oppression experienced by their own spouses, but the fact is, whether you are talking about headscarved or non-headscarved women in Turkey, violence against women has increased by 1,400 percent in the past decade.

It is a country where a 13-year-old girl was recently forced into marriage and then killed, and where those who rape women are let free and where words from a person of some authority who claims six-year-olds can marry are not followed up with any legal action.

We are being tried in a country where those who have shredded up and completely polarized our identities — secular or religious, Turkish or Kurdish, Sunnis or Alevis, AKP or Ganduumllen movement, or perhaps pro-Ganduumll or pro-Tayyip — have actually committed the greatest of all crimes in destroying Turkeyand#39s future.

And those same leaders who are incapable of protecting even one handful of land for our country try to win points by insulting Mustafa Kemal Atatanduumlrk, a wartime genius who fought for the country in Tripoli, Gallipoli, on the Palestinian front and during the War of Independence. And though these people will never be tried in a court of law for what they have said about Atatanduumlrk, I am now being tried, and we are all being tried.

Respect and esteem come down to the individual from democracy. Piousness comes not from prayer, but from your sense of humanity.

And power comes not from office, but from honesty.

I stand firmly behind my tweet, and will thus appear in court.

.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman