Duvar English

The Van Governor’s Office has accused a citizen of having a “monistic” and “sadistic” approach over his demand that the three year-long ban on demonstrations be lifted in the province.

Lawyer Mahmut Kaçan has filed a lawsuit against the Van Governor’s Office for sustaining its ban on demonstrations in the province since Nov. 21, 2016, Mezapotamya news agency reported. Kaçan said that due to this three year-long ban, his rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly were being violated.

“The possibility that a peaceful demonstration would lead to counter initiatives based on violence, does not wipe away the right to assembly. The states are responsible from protecting the groups that use their rights to assembly against violence-based interventions of other people or groups,” Kaçan wrote in his criminal complaint, adding that the governor’s office was “committing a constitutional crime.”

The Van Governor’s Office said in its defense that the province accommodated many people from two polarized political views, which in return might result in clashes during such demonstrations. “Even though enhanced [security] measures are taken by the Van Governor’s Office during demonstrations/activities, in an adverse situation that might happen, the damage that the two groups with counter views will inflict on each other, the crimes that might be committed, in summary the damage that the society will suffer cannot be ruled out,” the governor’s office said.

“The aspects that have been declared by the complainant with regards to the groups with counter views are very deficient [to explain the province’s dynamics] and his approach [to the issue] overlooks the society’s health and peace, is monistic and at one point sadistic,” the governor’s office further said.

The court has rejected Kaçan’s objection to the three year-long demonstration ban, which led the lawyer to file an appeal at the Van 2nd Administrative Court. Kaçan’s new complaint letter said that the governorship’s statement of the province “accommodating many people who are on two polarized ends in terms of political groups and opinions” is not true.

“The existence of people having different kinds of opinions is normal in democratic societies and even the conflict of ideas in this sense is normal. In democratic societies, people’s basic rights should not be limited due to their counter views, on the contrary, a solution that will secure the rights of everyone having different opinions and make sure these rights are utilized should be provided,” he said.

Governor’s office argument ‘based on hypothetical events’

Kaçan also said that the governor’s office had based its argument on “hypothetical events.” “Court practices have indicated that limitations can be consulted only when there is the existence of a concrete and current threat,” he said.

“The governor’s office has, in its defense, shown examples of events that happened in Turkey’s other parts in previous years and that have no concrete connection whatsoever with Van. When we look at previous years in Turkey, many events ended with losses [of lives], but such a situation can never be a reason of a current limitation,” he further said.