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The release of Tev­fik Kalkan, who has been held in prison for thir­ty years, has been post­poned for one year.

Tev­fik Kalkan, 55 years old, incar­cer­at­ed for thir­ty years in the Type F high secu­ri­ty prison of Tekir­dağ has had his deten­tion pro­longed by one year, although he has served out his sen­tence in full.

Hav­ing reviewed the lib­er­a­tion of Kalkan, the pres­i­den­cy of the Sen­tences Coun­cil con­sid­ered that “the prop­er con­di­tions were not in place.”

Kalkan’s appeal to the judge respon­si­ble for sen­tenc­ing was rejected.

Whatever they write becomes a reason”

Incar­cer­at­ed for 30 years, Kalkan suf­fers more­over from type‑B hepati­tis, an ulcer, chron­ic itch­ing and var­i­ous bruises.

Faced with this sus­pen­sion to the exe­cu­tion of his lib­er­a­tion, Kalkan sent the fol­low­ing mes­sage to jour­nal­ist Hüseyin Akyol:

As of today, Sep­tem­ber 20 2021, I have served out in full my 30-year sen­tence and should be freed. This is a total­ly arbi­trary deci­sion, with­out judi­cial grounds, deny­ing my lib­er­a­tion by decree­ing: “We will not let him go’. For what rea­son? What­ev­er they write, that will be a rea­son! And yet, I pro­vid­ed all required doc­u­ments and infor­ma­tion. I recent­ly addressed an appeal to the judge respon­si­ble for sentencing.

The rules applic­a­ble to those who are in the estab­lish­ment since Jan­u­ary 1st 2021 should also apply in our case. We are in a sit­u­a­tion that is incom­pat­i­ble with fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of law. I am not the only one in this case. Includ­ing Şakir Bül­bül, Aydın Akdoğan and İsm­ail Yakın, there are 4 of us in this sit­u­a­tion Anoth­er aspect of our prob­lem is that those sen­tenced hav­ing less than one year of prison  to serve are trans­ferred to pris­ons in their sub-pre­fec­ture. But this dis­po­si­tion also is not applied to us. And yet, here as every­where we are sub­ject­ed to the same Min­istry of Jus­tice. I put the ques­tion but get no answer.”

Reason invoked for the transfer refusal: “he broke a radio” he had paid for himself…

React­ing to the refusal to lib­er­ate her broth­er, his old­er sis­ter, Cevriye Kalkan explained that her broth­er suf­fers many phys­i­cal con­se­quences to his long incar­cer­a­tion. “His main prob­lems are seri­ous stom­ach and mus­cu­lar disorders”. 

All the steps tak­en to obtain my brother’s lib­er­a­tion or trans­fer were turned down on phoney grounds. He is said to have bro­ken the radio he had paid for him­self… He did not obey the rule on sav­ings… This is the kind of crazy answers we get.

The direc­tors at the Tekir­dağ prison have refused the lib­er­a­tion requests of sev­er­al detainees under ridicu­lous excus­es and for triv­ial matters.

Among them, ‘he did not bor­row any books from the library’, ‘did not respect rules of hygiene’, ‘does not obey rules of the cell’ or ‘par­tic­i­pat­ed in a hunger strike’. For my broth­er, the argu­ment used was that he did not show suf­fi­cient evi­dence of repen­tance and thus would not man­age to rein­sert him­self in society.

There are no jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for the com­mis­sion to main­tain Kalkan in deten­tion. Nei­ther legal, nor human. We must fight at this time, he from his prison and us on the out­side. As with Tev­fik, there are hun­dreds of detainees sub­ject­ed to the same fate. Detainees hav­ing served their sen­tence must be freed as quick­ly as possible”.

Oth­er cas­es were brought to our atten­tion : also in Octo­ber, the lib­er­a­tion of the sick pris­on­er Menderes Ley­la was pushed back 6 years, because of dis­ci­pli­nary sanc­tions hand­ed out 10 years ago. In Sep­tem­ber, one year pri­or to hav­ing served his sen­tence, two files were re-opened against Resul Bal­tacı who has been in prison for 29 years. His sen­tence has just been increased from 36 to 45 years. And these are only those  known cas­es brought to our attention.

Polit­i­cal pris­on­ers con­demned by the mil­i­tary regime of the 90s, who had not been lib­er­at­ed fol­low­ing the prison reform of 2002 and their long strug­gles, are now reach­ing the end of their sen­tences, often in a weak­ened and sick con­di­tion. Many of the pris­on­ers lib­er­at­ed in the ear­ly years of 2000 often went home only to die there from the effects of the mis­treat­ment, tor­ture and depri­va­tions they had expe­ri­enced in prison.

Con­cern­ing this peri­od of lib­er­a­tions fol­low­ing long strug­gles, Kedis­tan can only rec­om­mend the fine movie by Turk­ish direc­tor Özcan Alper, “Son­ba­har”, “Autumn” (avail­able in Eng­lish on Vimeo). This movie could serve as intro­duc­tion to an event of sol­i­dar­i­ty and sup­port, for example.

The cur­rent pow­er shar­ing with the ultra-nation­al­ist MHP Par­ty has some­thing to do with this  relent­less­ness against the last pris­on­ers of that peri­od of which they were the active torturers.

And this oth­er arti­cle on Kedis­tan, to con­sid­er anoth­er action in sup­port of polit­i­cal hostages in Turkey.

Update of Novem­ber 13, 2021:

Tev­fik Kalkan, 55, who was impris­oned for 30 years, was released late at night from Tekir­dağ No.2 F Type F High Secu­ri­ty Closed Prison.


Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.