European court says Turkey’s Ergenekon arrests legal

Tuncay Özkan (Photo: Today's Zaman)
Tuncay Özkan (Photo: Today's Zaman)


Date posted: February 16, 2012

EMRE DEMİR, STRASBOURG

Europe’s top court has said the arrest of chief Ergenekon defendant Tuncay Özkan is legal, rejecting the plaintiff’s complaint that he was deprived of his right to a fair trial.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) accepted Özkan v. Turkey despite the fact that Özkan had not exhausted all domestic judicial remedies, but rejected some of his core complaints, including his claim that he was denied the right to a fair trial and the legality of his arrest.

The ECtHR defined Ergenekon as a “terrorist organization attempting to topple the government by the use of force” and said it will wait until the judicial proceedings of Özkan’s case are finished. The European court also rejected Özkan’s claim that his right to freedom was violated. His complaint regarding the time he has spent in jail will be assessed later in an interim decision.

The European court also said there is “strong evidence” regarding the existence of the Ergenekon clandestine terrorist organization and rejected Özkan’s demand to be tried without arrest. The court said Özkan’s trial without arrest would make it difficult for security forces to fight organized crime.

ECtHR sources also told the Cihan news agency that Özkan v. Turkey might set a precedent for other Ergenekon-related complaints. The decision is also the first official assessment of the European court with respect to Ergenekon. Ergenekon is a clandestine network of individuals who appear to be nested within the state hierarchy and who are currently on trial for multiple counts of murder and causing public disorder that ultimately aimed to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.

The court said Özkan was deprived of his freedom for being a member of a terrorist organization aiming to topple a democratically elected government. It also added that Özkan seized many documents that belong to security forces, directed a TV channel that broadcast programs designed by Ergenekon and kept a bomb in his own home.

The European court judges also said there are telephone transcripts of conversations between Özkan and military members of Ergenekon that strengthen the evidence against him and underlined that his arrest is legal. The Strasbourg-based court added that the arrest of Özkan by Turkish judicial authorities is based on “tangible evidence” and “legitimate reasons.”

Özkan, the former owner of the Kanaltürk TV station, was detained in İstanbul in late September 2008 as part of an investigation into Ergenekon. The court said Özkan’s arrest is not in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The European court also rejected Özkan’s allegation that he is not aware of what he has been charged with, claiming that İstanbul police informed him that he was under arrest for being a part of a coup plot and that he had been sufficiently informed of the accusations against him so as to be able to defend himself.

Note: This news seems unrelated with Hizmet Movement (aka Gulen movement) but it is. Some people and groups, especially ultra secular media, has tried to convince that Hizmet movement is behind the Ergenekon arrests, which are claimed to be unfair. The decision below by European Court of Human Rights proves that prosecutors have acted legally, stayed within legal boundaries and were not directed by any person or groups and arrests were based on “strong evidence”. 

Source: Today's Zaman , 10 February 2012


Related News

HRW to Turkey: Investigate Ankara abductions, disappearances

There are credible grounds to believe that government agents forcibly disappeared the missing men. The Turkish authorities should promptly uphold their obligation to locate the missing men, who may be in grave danger, secure their release and if they are in custody give them immediate access to a lawyer, and let their families know where they are.

AKP turns medical university into its headquarters

Şifa University, which was seized by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government due to links to the Gülen movement, has been transformed into the AKP’s İzmir provincial headquarters.

Young environmentalists awarded at 22nd INEPO

Young environmentalists from different corners of the world who attended the 22nd International Environmental Project Olympiad (INEPO) to find solutions to environmental problems and thus make the world a better place to live have been awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.

Medialog Platform hosts digital media experts from Europe and Asia

Media representative and academics from some 20 European and Asian countries have come to Istanbul to discuss the status of the digital media in the new era in the conference, “Understanding Communications in the New Media Era.” Participants called for cooperation and dialogue in the process. During the conference, academics made interesting presentations and exchanged […]

My Nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize is Fethullah Gulen

Fehmi Koru, Houston, Texas 15 October 2005 I do not have a voting right for Nobel nominations, but if I did, my nomination for the peace prize is ready: Fethullah Gulen. Of course, I know he’s controversial even in Turkey, he doesn’t appear in public anymore, he seldom grants interviews, yet nevertheless many in Turkey […]

Circumcision party gifts will build dorm and water wells in Tanzania

Atilla Halit Ün, a businessman in Adana, Turkey, donated $30,000 value gifts, which were presented at his son’s circumcision party, to the construction of a dormitory and water wells in Tanzania. The philanthropist businessman who has 4 children organized a circumcision party for his youngest son. Guests presented at the party money and gold that […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

What is at stake is not prep schools [in Turkey]

Would Gülen want to return to Turkey?

Mozambican minister: I will mention success of Turkish schools on every occasion

‘A movement like the Hizmet Movement is very important for correcting misconceptions of Islam’

In controversial move Parliament votes to shut down prep schools

Hizmet in Context: Societal Islam Versus Political Islam

Suspicious deaths, suicides become common occurrence in post-coup Turkey

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News