Turkey: Ferhat Tunc again to appear before court


20 October 2004

Turkey: Ferhat Tunç again to appear before court
Singer Ferhat Tunç, will be tried due to article 159 of the (former Turkish Penal Code) because of using the phrase “deep judiciary” in an article he wrote to daily GÜNDEM. The 1st hearing will be held on December 2nd, 2004, 09.30 at Istanbul, Beyoğlu First Instance Court.

Proposed sentence is imprisonment of 1 to 3 years. This article, which sentences “insulting the Republic, the President, Parliament, judiciary, security forces etc.” was already amended among the so called “harmonization laws”, highlighting that “critics could not be interpreted as insult”

In his statement, Ferhat Tunç was criticizing the State Security Court of Ankara, which had once again rejected Leyla Zana and her friends’ demand to be released. (Zana and the other DEP deputies were released later. At the moment they are in Brussels as guests of the European Parliament).
Tunc wrote, “I was not surprised about the decision of the court and from the beginning I knew that the case was totally political.”

This new case for Tunc is a pure “Crime of Thought”. The “Initiative for Freedom of Expression” will implement a civil disobedience action and participate his crime (!) by republishing his article in the yearly book “Freedom of Thought 2004” which will be published on 23rd January 2005, at the 10th anniversary of the initiative and its civil disobedience.

(News story by Sanar Yurdatapan, Initiative for Freedom of Expression)

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