SENZA CENSURA n.6
Italy, october 2001
TURKEY: ANOTHER PROVOCATION IS FAILED
The following letter is belonging to Sadi Naci Özbolat. He sent the letter to his lawyer through the prison attorney concerning his meeting with the EU delegation.
June 11, 2001
Dear Lawyer Behiç Asci
A delegation from the EU wanted to meet with me on Thursday, June 07, 2001. Daniel Cohn-Bendit issued a press release concerning the meeting including also some allegations targeting me. In order to defend my legal rights I found it necessary to inform you about the meeting. The delegation stated that their aim was to find out whether there had been any
changes to our demands and to see what my personal view is on how to cease the resistance. Also they said that they wanted to know what our demands were.
Briefly, my answers regarding these questions were as follows: I told them that it would be wrong to know my personal view, it would be better to meet with the council of representatives which represents all of the prisoners and only then can we reply to their questions through this way. Progress in finding a solution is dependant upon meetings between the council of representatives and the authorised officials of the state, and this depends on seeking solutions to the demands. The demands of the resistance have not changed. And they will not either. The demands are democratic and rightful. And if they do not think the same way, then they should explain which demands are not and why. A solution can not be sought with the intention of finding a mid-way. A solution can only be made possible by evaluating the democratic and rightful nature of our demands. I also said that our demands could be given in writing if I could meet with the other representative friends for an hour. This is a serious matter and it would be wrong to tell them the demands in any other way, without having a chance for preparation. But roughly, I told them that the demands concerning the F-type prisons were; changing their physical structure and management, Article 16 should be lifted, the DGMs (State Security Courts) should be abolished, the release of our friends whose health is not permitting them to stay in prison, abolish the tripartite protocol, those who are responsible for the operations in prisons are to stand trial etc.
They responded negatively to my wish of seeing the other representatives by saying that they have no such authorisation. They said they will try to obtain the permission from the ministry but the ministry might come out with the suggestion that "only if the demands become flexible". I said that this is not be a matter for negotiation and that we have no such demand and I explained that it would be necessary for us to produce our demands in writing. The EU delegation said "there is a dialogue problem between you and the ministry, would you accept it if we offered ourselves as the mediators?" My response was, "I can only answer this question if I can meet with the other representatives but my personal opinion is that the delegation should have the authority to decide on the ministry's behalf and our final answer could only be given after meeting with the other representatives". Because the general director of the prisons, A. Suat Ertosun claimed that during the talks before December 19, the delegation of mediators had given their own views and that these were not those of the ministry's and also that they had given promises which were not approved by the ministry.
The subject concerning the "thoughts of the Stone Age" claim of Daniel Cohn-Bendit are as follows: In the beginning I had stated that "The USA, the EU and the IMF are all responsible for the current F-Type prisons, the operation and massacre of December 19, for those who lost their lives during the death fast and for those who have become handicapped because of the forcible medical intervention. It is clear that the F-type application in Turkey had been planned mutually by the USA and the EU countries. They are experimenting with Turkey and if they succeed, they are planning to use the same policy in other colonies. The USA in it's the annual "terror report" in 1998 stated that, "In Turkey the prisons are terror centres". The entry programme for Turkey's membership to the EU, put "abandoning the dormitory system in prisons" as a high priority and under the title of "contemporary prisons". The current structure of the F-Type prisons was "proposed" and finally the existing F-Type prisons and Article 16 were approved. The policy of the F-Type prisons and their construction coincide with the mentioned report of the USA and the constraints of the EU. Also in response to the recent credits of the IMF to Turkey, new legislation was passed through the parliament. The IMF officials are stating that "Turkey is an experiment on this issue and if it is a success then this will be a general policy". All of this is showing the attitude of these countries towards Turkey.
Their attitude towards Turkey as a whole is no different than their attitude towards the prisoners in the F-Type prisons. During this discussion a European delegate was trying to prove the necessity of F-Type prisons by saying "we visited Bayrampasa prison, the mafia is in power there, the wardens cannot enter the dormitories". My response was "There was no such a problem in our dormitories, together with Article 16, the F-Type prisons are targeting us, in general they are not for non-political prisoners, therefore it is obvious that these prisons are not aiming to solve these problems they mentioned." The same person said "there was internal pressure by the organisations in the dormitory system and this is not only the ministry's opinion, we share it as well." I said "This claim is nonsense and comical. On the contrary, even the pressure of the F-Type prisons could not make them to quit their action, they are trying to stop the death fast resistance by leaving the prisoners handicapped because of forcible medical intervention in hospitals. No organisational pressure can make people march to death." I said "the women prisoners were burnt by gassing their dormitory in Bayrampasa prison. This is very obvious, there is almost not a single person who did not receive burns."
They said fax messages are sent from the DHKC information bureau in Brussels. I said "This resistance and the problem of the F-Type prisons are concerning the entire people. All these people have the right to take a stand but the decision on the resistance in the prisons can only be made by the prisoners and their representatives only, only they can take part in the meetings on their behalf. Daniel Cohn-Bendit asked "In the statements sent to newspapers from Edirne the demand of "lifting the isolation" was mentioned, what does this mean, what should be done to lift the isolation" I said, this is a precondition to begin the meetings rather than a demand. I said that I cannot answer the question of "what should be done to lift the isolation" without meeting with the other representatives.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, said "lets say the meetings had begun, could you not give a break of 3-5 days in the death fast" I said that this is not possible. He said we needed to make our demands amendable. I said the problem is not amending the demands the problems cannot be solved through this approach and we want a reply to our demands. In general, this is the outline of the meeting. The claim of Daniel Cohn-Bendit's that "if 6-9 prisoners could be brought together the death fast would cease" is not realistic and such a conclusion should not have arisen from the meeting.
Sadi Naci Özbolat
THE PROTOCOL OF THE VISIT OF THE DELEGATION FROM THE EU-PARLIAMENT
"A solution can only be drawn out of a meeting between the authorities from the ministry and the representatives of political prisoners"
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: How can the Death Fast finish? Has there been any changes to your demands? What are your demands? We want to know your opinion as a person.
SADI ÖZBOLAT: It is wrong to ask for my individual thoughts. This meeting should be conducted with the council of the representatives, which presents all of the captives. It is not possible for me to answer your question about our demands without coming together with the other representatives. You did not notify me about your visit before hand. This is not the way to do things. You should have notified me first. Besides I must have access to the other representatives so I can talk to them and then, as representatives, we can meet with you. Our demands cannot be discussed in a non-serious way like this. This is a serious matter. If the representatives can come together, within an hour we can give you the written demands.
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: If the representatives come together, will your demands become more flexible?
SADI ÖZBOLAT: How can a solution be found, if bringing the representatives together becomes a matter of negotiation? There is no flexibility in our demands and there cannot be. A solution can only be found if there is a meeting between the authorities from the ministry and the representatives of political prisoners.
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: Who are these representatives who need to come together?
SADI ÖZBOLAT: First bring us together, we will announce our representatives after talking to each other.
(Those who participated in the meeting stated that they have no authority to bring the representatives together.)
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: There is a dialogue blockage between you and the ministry. Do you accept us as mediators?
SADI ÖZBOLAT: We can only answer this question of yours if the other representatives are able to come together. But my personal opinion is that those who talk to us must have the authority to speak on the state's behalf. The problem is not you being a mediator. You should be able to meet with us and give your word on the behalf of the ministry. Also if you come here on the ministry's behalf, a bureaucrat from the ministry must be present as a witness. But we can only give our final decision if we are allowed to come together with the other representatives.
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: If the meetings begin and come to a feasible point, would you consider giving a break in the death fast. Even when states are at war they give similar gestures when the negotiations begin.
SADI ÖZBOLAT: Under no condition will we give a break in the death fast. If the state accepts that it is fighting us, that it is at war with us, then it should announce that that is the case and our legal status should be rearranged according to this. We will give no such gesture after the operation that massacred tens of our friends and made them martyrs. In Bayrampasa prison six of our woman friends were burnt alive.
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: There should be mutual flexibility in the demands.
"It is clear that the F-type application in Turkey was mutually planned between the USA and the EU countries."
SADI ÖZBOLAT: Our demands are right, legitimate and democratic and they must be discussed. If these demands are right and democratic, then asking for flexibility does not make
sense. It should stop making demagogy out of our demand of "abolition the DGMs (State Secutrity Courts). Many circles want the abolition of the DGMs. The USA the EU and the IMF are all responsible for the F-type prisons, the operation and the massacre on December 19, and for those who lost their lives during the death fast and for those who have became handicapped because of the forcible medical intervention. It is clear that the F-Type application in Turkey was planned mutually by the USA and the EU countries. The USA in it's the annual "terror report" in 1998 stated that, "In Turkey prisons are terror centres". The EU's entry programme for Turkey's membership, put the "abandoning of the dormitory system
in prisons" as a high priority and under the title of "contemporary prisons". The current structure of the F-type prisons was "proposed" and finally the existing F-type prisons and Article 16 were approved. The policy of the F-type prisons and their construction coincide with the mentioned report of the USA and the constraints of the EU.
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: We are not here to discuss imperialism. This resistance will not continue until the end of imperialism, will it?
ANOTHER DELEGATE: We visited Bayrampasa prison. The mafia is in charge of the dormitory system. The non-political prisoners are very much disturbed because of this situation..
SADI ÖZBOLAT: There was no such thing in our dormitories. If that was the case why have we been brought here? The mafia should have been be brought here instead.
ANOTHER DELEGATE: The state is claiming that you established an organisational pressure. This is also our opinion.
SADI ÖZBOLAT: This is nonsense and a comical question. The people were isolated, they were left handicapped with forcible medical intervention, they have fallen martyrs but the resistance is expanding and continuing. No such organisational pressure can make people march to death.
(Here Daniel Cohn-Bendit intervened and silenced the delegate who asked this
THE MINISTRY'S REPRESENTATIVE: Let's be honest, your demands are changing continuously. E-mail messages were received from Brussels concerning changes in the demands.
SADI ÖZBOLAT: When we started the death fast we had announced our written demands. None of the demands have been changed.
THE MINISTRY'S REPRESENTATIVE: We have been receiving statements from Brussels signed by DHKC. Are these statements not binding you? Who is directing the organisation?
SADI ÖZBOLAT: I am speaking here on the behalf of the resisting captives, not the organisation. I represent the resisting captives.
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: Is DHKC in Brussels not binding you?
SADI ÖZBOLAT: This resistance and the problem is concerning and affecting the entire people both inside and outside prisons. TAYAD and the other institutions also have a role in this resistance. All these people have the right to talk about the resistance. The DHKC in Brussels has never said "come and negotiate with us".
DANIEL COHN-BENDIT: Who is making the decisions? The prisoners?
SADI ÖZBOLAT: These are the mutual decisions of all the prisoners.
THE MINISTRY'S REPRESENTATIVE: I am a law practitioner. Your father is also a law practitioner.
SADI ÖZBOLAT: What is your name?
THE MINISTRY'S REPRESENTATIVE: I do not want to reveal my name.
SADI ÖZBOLAT: In that case Mr X, I am not speaking with you.
THE MINISTRY'S REPRESENTATIVE: We shall try to obtain permission from the ministry to bring you, and the other representatives, together.
SADI ÖZBOLAT: We have no such demand. This is only so we will be able to answer your questions. But if you come again, notify us beforehand. We should also have the ability to come together and discuss.
ANOTHER DELEGATE: Why do you stay on your own like this? Is this what you want? Or do your friends not want to be with you? Or did the state put you here on your own?
SADI ÖZBOLAT: What do you think we are resisting for?
(Here the meeting was terminated and the delegation left after 2 hours.)