After 13 days in cus­tody and in iso­la­tion, jour­nal­ist-pho­tog­ra­ph­er Çağ­daş Erdoğan, was placed in pre­ven­tive deten­tion in Istan­bul on Sep­tem­ber 13 under the now-tra­di­tion­al accu­sa­tion of belong­ing to a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion. He wrote an open let­ter to the media which was pub­lished in Turk­ish on P24 on Octo­ber 10 2017.

 Turquie • Çağdaş Erdoğan 172nd jailed journalist
 Çağdaş Erdoğan’s Night journey


My friends,

I send you nos­tal­gic salu­ta­tions… In the face of this insane peri­od, I hope you per­sist in being well. Do not wor­ry about me. Despite the neg­a­tive things I lived through last week, I’m well, and I hope I won’t be here for long…

My friends, most of all, I must tell you about an inci­dent wor­thy of a “hid­den cam­era gag”. As you know, on the sec­ond day of the feast of Kur­ban (Aïd), I was tak­en into cus­tody. As motive for this cus­tody, they claimed I had pho­tographed an “invis­i­ble” build­ing in Yoğurtçu park, a build­ing sup­pos­ed­ly belong­ing to the State. At first, I couldn’t make sense out of the sit­u­a­tion. I under­stood what was at the bot­tom of it when they took me to the commissariat.

It was, in fact, the con­tin­u­a­tion of the pro­ce­dure launched after I was tar­get­ed by A Haber a short while ago (media close to the regime). It would appear that the pho­tos I took for inter­na­tion­al agen­cies and news­pa­pers dur­ing the cur­fews in Cizre, Nusay­bin and Şır­nak, con­sti­tute crim­i­nal offens­es. The straw that broke the camel’s back would appear to be the fact The Guardian men­tioned a pho­to I had done in Nusay­bin on it’s list of pho­tos of the year. To state things briefly, my pho­tos pub­lished in dozens of inter­na­tion­al news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines, start­ing with The New York Times, the BBC, The Guardian, would fit in the frame­work of “activist manœu­vres for an armed ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion”! And the accus­ing author­i­ty which has lost all con­trol on its own gearshift, has even includ­ed pho­tos con­cern­ing the mafia and dog fights in my book titled “Con­trol”, pub­lished in Lon­don, as “crim­i­nal proof” of the indict­ment “mem­ber of the PKK”!

To be hon­est, in these times when art, sci­ence and law are tram­pled on because of polit­i­cal pho­bias, I didn’t find this sit­u­a­tion very sur­pris­ing… I even expe­ri­enced some pride over it. Espe­cial­ly when I thought of Hrant [Armen­ian human­ist jour­nal­ist assas­si­nat­ed in 2017 in Istan­bul], Berkin [mor­tal­ly wound­ed by the police dur­ing the Gezi protests in 2013 in Istan­bul], Nuh Kök­lü [Jour­nal­ist assas­si­nat­ed by a mer­chant in 2015 in Istanbul’s Kadıköy], Taybet’s moth­er [57 year old Kur­dish woman killed by police in Silopi dur­ing the cur­few in 2015). All these peo­ple, also vic­tims of polit­i­cal secu­ri­ty forces rep­re­sent­ed by accus­ing author­i­ties and the mad­ness they fos­ter around them. I am con­scious of the fact I am in prison for hav­ing defend­ed, as a jour­nal­ist, that the cliff of hatred cre­at­ed by the war is insane. The absence of a hear­ing dur­ing those 13 days of cus­tody in iso­la­tion, and my arrest despite the counter-evi­dence pro­duced, are proof enough. Accord­ing to the author­i­ties of the pros­e­cu­tion and jus­tice, I am hence­forth sus­pect­ed of being a “mem­ber of a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion”. There­fore, The New York Times, The Guardian, the BBC and the oth­ers are ter­ror­ist organizations!

My friends, we will come out some day. The only thing we need is to hold on to each oth­er. Draw, take pho­tos, write…We are going through his­tor­i­cal days and we are this period’s wit­ness­es. We must be aware of that. I salute all of you, with nostalgia

Çağ­daş Erdoğan
Penal Insti­tu­tion n°5 type L C‑9
Silivri – Istanbul

To know more about Çağdaş Erdoğan’s work

French : “Çağ­daş Erdoğan • Let­tre depuis la prison” Cliquez pour lire

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