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Fer­hat Öncü is one of the HDP mem­bers of Par­lia­ment impris­oned in Turkey… He rep­re­sents the town of Şır­nak and has been in deten­tion since Novem­ber 4 2016. He was arrest­ed along with nine oth­er mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, includ­ing HDP Co-Pres­i­dents Sela­hat­tin Demir­taş and Figen Yük­sek­dağ.

Today a life sen­tence to be served in full was request­ed against him.

READ ALSO “Fer­hat Encü, injustice’s expi­a­to­ry victim”

In fact, the tri­al against Fer­hat is about the sequels to the “Robos­ki Mas­sacre”. On Decem­ber 28 2011, Turk­ish mil­i­tary planes bombed and killed 34 peo­ple on the Ira­ki-Turkey bor­der, near the vil­lage of Ulud­ere (Robos­ki in Kur­dish). In this mas­sacre, Fer­hat Encü him­self lost his broth­er Ser­hat Encü, along with nine mem­bers of his family.

On Octo­ber 3 2017, the dai­ly Cumhuriyet pub­lished a col­umn writ­ten by Fer­hat Encü from jail. Here is the translation.

Our fight for Roboski will go on

Along with my friends, I have been in jail for over a year, fol­low­ing a polit­i­cal process devoid of any rela­tion what­so­ev­er with Jus­tice, a process in which Jus­tice was used as a tool to sti­fle the Opposition.

Nonethe­less, despite these prison con­di­tions, I can share my opin­ion, albeit with lim­it­ed means and usu­al­ly with some delay on cur­rent events. For a good while, we have been hear­ing of vio­lences tar­get­ing the peo­ple, of tor­tures and rights vio­la­tions. The news hasn’t changed and the top­ic is still current.

Sez­gin Tan­rıku­lu (to the Prime Min­is­ter) : “Will you inves­ti­gate about Abdi Aykut, tak­en into cus­tody and tor­tured in Kuruköy, Nusaybin?”

Arbitrary custodies

Recent­ly, three of our vil­lagers went out to gath­er mush­rooms in Gevas, dis­trict of Van. They were arrest­ed, on alle­ga­tions they had attacked “Secu­ri­ty” with rock­et launch­ers. They were tor­tured. Pho­tos of Cemal Aslan and of two oth­ers, tak­en under tor­ture were shared [on social net­works] by the power’s trolls and pro­pa­gan­dists, using the offi­cial line that they were the authors of the attacks ; yet they were lat­er set free.

Total­ly arbi­trary and ille­gal raids were car­ried out on homes in Şemdin­li, dis­trict of Hakkâri. Through­out the night, all the men in the vil­lage were tor­tured on the vil­lage square. Traces of the tor­tures, which con­tin­ued at the police sta­tion, were clear­ly vis­i­ble on the pho­tos of our vil­lagers, pub­lished by the press. Pri­or to this, in Koruköy [Xer­abê Bava in Kur­dish], one of our aging vil­lagers Abdi Aykut had been tor­tured. Instead of inves­ti­gat­ing this crime against human­i­ty, the Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or not only denied the tor­ture but attempt­ed to legit­imize it. Luck­i­ly, Abdi Aykut was also released.

The nineties, once again

Fol­low­ing the rep­e­ti­tion of these reports of tor­tures, news of the bomb­ings of vil­lagers by armed drones (SİHA) were relayed in the press, or at least, in some parts of the press… They showed the killed peas­ants, iden­ti­fy­ing them first as “ter­ror­ists”, then as “col­lab­o­ra­tors”. Things played out exact­ly the same way in the nineties. After the killing of a shep­herd, a Kalash­nikov would be put by his side, he would be brand­ed a “ter­ror­ist”, and the top­ic dropped. This time, things did not work out this way. Because of the per­sis­tence of our com­rades’ of the HDP’s and that of Sez­gin Tan­rıku­lu [CHP mem­ber of Par­lia­ment of Kur­dish ori­gin], the author­i­ties found them­selves unable to deny that the dead were civil­ians, and said “Mis­takes hap­pen”. What they call “mis­takes” should be obvi­ous to everyone…

The European Court of Rights has condemned

In 1994, the Turk­ish air force bombed the vil­lages of Kuşkonar and Koçağılı in Şır­nak, and killed 38 vil­lagers. The author­i­ties had hushed up the mat­ter and, fol­low­ing insuf­fi­cient inves­ti­ga­tions, this file joined the oth­ers on the dusty shelves of the Injustice’s archives. After nine­teen years, thanks to the pre­cious work and stub­bor­ness of jurists such as Tahir Elçi, who was one of the lawyers for Robos­ki, the Euro­pean Court of Human Rights (CEDH) con­demned Turkey for “bomb­ing villages”. *

[* One of the CEDH’s weight­i­est deci­sions con­cern­ing Turkey. As for the tri­al opened in Turkey for Kuşkonar and Koçağılı, the file was closed in 2014 due to the statute of limitation.]


Kuşkonar 1994 — 2014

For the past 300 weeks : Roboski

In 2011, in response to our call for jus­tice for the 34 peo­ple in Robos­ki, includ­ing the 19 chil­dren, killed by the bomb­ing by Turk­ish war­planes, Erdoğan respond­ed : “A group of 30–40 peo­ple, peo­ple and mules. From above, you can’t tell if it’s Ahmet or Mehmet. The Turk­ish army did its job in all sincerity.”

The Turk­ish army who killed 72 civil­ians in two oper­a­tions only, in 1994 and 2011, has the gall to now declare that it is “not in an approach that can harm inno­cent civil­ians”. Accord­ing to the State and the Turk­ish army, the 38 vil­lagers bombed in Kuşkonar and the 34 vil­lagers bombed in Robos­ki are not inno­cent civil­ians. Nor are the ones who were bombed in the vil­lage of Tale in Hakkâri while they were out on a picnic…


Robos­ki 2011

Hav­ing lost the Kuşkonar mas­sacre in its labyrinthine mean­der­ings, between the var­i­ous pros­e­cu­tors’ offices, the State attempt­ed to do the same with the Robos­ki mas­sacre, but to no avail. We are now at the 300th week after the Robos­ki mas­sacre. They can­not hide and cov­er up a mas­sacre that occurred in full view of every­one. Our case is now before the CEDH. But to this day, all the inves­tiga­tive pro­ce­dures and the tri­als con­cern­ing Robos­ki have been opened against the vic­tims’ rel­a­tives. No one has asked even once “who gave the order to bomb Robos­ki?” Six years lat­er, they only took down from the dusty shelves the file on the tri­al con­cern­ing the “aggres­sion” against the Gov­er­nor on the day of the funer­al in Robos­ki as evi­dence to imprison me. A man­ner in total keep­ing with pol­i­tics in Turkey and its under­stand­ing of Jus­tice… But even sur­pass­ing them­selves, in this instance! Dur­ing one of the hear­ings, the Gov­er­nor made it known that he had request­ed the title of Gazi [a title and medal giv­en to indi­vid­u­als wound­ed in war ]. Request­ing the title of Gazi means iden­ti­fy­ing the bombed vil­lagers, includ­ing the chil­dren, as “ter­ror­ists”, and once again, the Gov­er­nor revealed that he con­sid­ers Kurds sole­ly as “ter­ror­ists”.

Mother Hatun”’s remains

In the plane, I’m sit­ting behind Sez­gin Tan­rıku­lu. Those who say ‘stran­gle him, we’ll sup­port you while you’re in jail,’ Like this.”

It is not sur­pris­ing, nor is it acci­den­tal, if the remains of Hatun Tuğluk, the moth­er of Aysel Tuğluk [ HDP politi­cian], were removed from her grave because of threats “this isn’t an Armen­ian ceme­tery, even if you bury her, we’ll come and remove her!” or, again, that an indi­vid­ual open­ly asked [on Twit­ter] for pub­lic sup­port in stran­gling with a wire human rights advo­cate Sez­gin Tan­rıku­lu [sit­ting in front of him on a plane ], the one who revealed that the vil­lagers bombed in Tale were civil­ians. This horde of lynch­ing pro­po­nents dressed in the robes of uni­ver­si­ty jurists find their courage and strength in the dec­la­ra­tions of min­is­ters, pre­fects and the Turk­ish army.

The policy of non-condemnation

A State admin­is­tered by the Rule of Law does not bomb its cit­i­zens. The State does not polar­ize its cit­i­zens. The State inves­ti­gates rights vio­la­tions, brings crim­i­nals to jus­tice and takes pre­cau­tions to avoid rep­e­ti­tion of those crimes. But in these lands, the State bombed its cit­i­zens, exiled its cit­i­zens, polar­ized them and remained indif­fer­ent to the fact that a part of its cit­i­zens was always sin­gled out as a tar­get. It watched the mas­sacres, legal­ized tor­ture, and encour­aged it with a pol­i­cy of impuni­ty. The same State sin­gled out as a tar­get the Kurds’ fight for human rights and jus­tice, some­times arrang­ing their dis­ap­pear­ance through “assas­si­na­tions by unknown perpetrators”.

Final­ly, it sub­ject­ed Tahir Elçi to a lynch­ing by media which trig­gered his shoot­ing down in front of the Four-Legged Minaret [his­tor­i­cal build­ing in Diyarbakır], and claimed the trig­ger as its own by ensur­ing that the inves­ti­ga­tion did not progress by so much as an inch. Today, sim­ply because he estab­lished that the vic­tims were killed by an armed drone, Sez­gin Tan­rıku­lu is sub­ject­ed to the same kind of treat­ment with the State act­ing both as immo­bile spec­ta­tor and actu­al sup­port­er to this media lynching.

But the world cannot go on like this!

Palaces and reigns collapse/ a day comes when blood grows quiet/the per­se­cu­tion ends.” May those who hold us hostage take heed :
“It is not fin­ished, this strug­gle goes on/and it will go on/until the face of the Earth if the face of love!” *

Fer­hat Öncü

*Excerpt from a poem by Adnan Yücel.
The com­plete poem (in French):
Jusqu’à ce que la face de la Terre soit la face de l’amour !
For all arti­cles on Fer­hat Öncü (in French)

Fea­tured image :Turk­ish Par­lement, 2015 / Twit­ter Fer­hat Encü

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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.