What's happening in Silivri? - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

What's happening in Silivri?

I came to my senses after reading the martyr's wife Ayşe Kantarcı and the martyr's son Alparslan Cambaz's reproachful social media messages. These two esteemed people had complained about there being nobody to watch the hearings that started in Silivri. They are correct.

Frankly, even though I have never watched a court hearing or have written a court article in my life, I feel very embarrassed.

I had to watch the case for the coup attempt in which my very close friends were martyred or wounded.

Other journalists like me, lawyers, and nongovernmental organization representatives were also deeply grieved by the reproach of martyr families. Everybody came together yesterday somehow and we came to Silivri. There were so many of us, we didn't fit in the hall.

The pitiful state of a FETÖ-member brigadier general

As this is the first time I was watching such a case, I was paying attention to everything. Everything from the prohibition of taking phones inside to the attitude of the judge and prosecutor, to lawyers' questions drew my attention.

However, when the defendants started testifying, my focus was fixed on them. Everybody instantly recalls that bloody night. The statement by the brigadier general, who is accused of personally managing the coup in Istanbul on the night of July 15, 2016, of being in the group which in death orders were given, devastated all in the courtroom including me.

All the evidence, his first court statements, what he wrote in the WhatsApp group, showed that this brigadier general was the Peace at Home Council member who coordinated the coup.

I wanted to go next to him and look at the face of this man who gave the order to kill civilians. What kind of a face does one who gives the order to drive tanks, airplanes, helicopters, armored vehicles on the people have? What are his eyes like? How do they look? That's what I wanted to see.

The court head must have been curious about the defendant's spiritual state – like myself – that he asked the burning question: "In a coup, you catch politicians, arrest them. Yet in your written correspondences you write messages saying 'crush them.' What kind of a motivation do you have to kill civilians? I don't understand, how can this happen? Are you a FETÖ member?"

That general who saw himself powerful enough to give the order to arrest even his commanders on the night of July 15, could not man up and say, "I hate the ruling government, that's why I did this. Do what is necessary."

Traitors are cowards

Saying, “I'm gullible, I was tricked, I didn't understand, I didn't see, I didn't do it, I didn't hear anything,” he made the entire courtroom and panel of judges crazy.

Like a coward traitor, he played dumb and denied all accusations. Even in his denial there was abhorrence in everything he said – he wasn't aware. Traitors are cowards.

The 24 people who were judged in the July 15 coup attempt masterminded the coup in Istanbul. Playing dumb, in cowardice, like this brigadier general, they are denying all accusations. Like the judge says, they are mocking our intelligence.

But the scene is interesting. It's worth seeing. As a matter of fact, it must be seen. On the one side there are the martyr families, veterans and in front of them are the defendants who gave their death orders. Extremely surprising dialogues, statements, questions, sighs, disbelief...

One of the biggest cases in the history of the country has turned in to one of the most dramatic scenes in Silivri. Tears, bursts of fury, uproars, shouting... All taking place in the same courtroom.

Is there an interesting plan?

There are extremely skilled and experienced names among the lawyers of the victims. Leaders in the profession like Yasin Şamlı, Cüneyt Toraman are complaining about the weakness of the bill of indictment. They are afraid some defendants will be released due to inadequate investigation on them.

I was a little disturbed by the tone used by the court head and prosecutor.

Including the defendants, a more corporate and formal language should be used toward everybody in court. This shows professionalism. For a moment I thought I was in a title deed dispute hearing.

Associations associated with martyrs and veterans like the July 15 victims, law, human rights organizations and of course the media need to be more actively involved in such cases. Our people's insensitivity toward such matters has reached interesting levels.

Every citizen can watch the hearing. Everyone who experienced this coup must attend these hearings at least once. They are seriously educational.

However, I have started to think that a perception and projection is being carried out in all coup cases and in the public. First, the relaxed state of the defendants is very surprising. It is as though they have an expectation.

The statements by the defendants and defendants' lawyers, their attitude, discourse, seemed to me like they were trying to drag the issue towards a certain direction. Is there an interesting plan out there?

I will write the details tomorrow.


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