Jailed journalist Barış Terkoğlu has said that the lack of the right to a fair trial is a common complaint in Turkey, as he voiced support to a jailed lawyer who has been on a death fast with the demand to be tried fairly.
Terkoğlu, who was arrested on March 5 over a report covering the funeral of a member of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) killed in Libya, said that Constitutional Court head Zühtü Arslan and lawyer Ebru Timtik are at the same point in terms of thinking that there is no justice in the country.
Saying that the right to a fair trial is a right for everyone and not a privilege, Terkoğlu voiced his belief that justice and freedom will be as accessible as “purchasing a lemon” one day.
“Timtik is heading towards death. Her demand is to be tried fairly,” Terkoğlu said in his column in daily Cumhuriyet on June 22.
Pointing to Arslan’s June 9 remarks on Turkey lacking the right to a fair trial, Terkoğlu said “In short, the lawyer heading towards death and the top judicial official agree on the lack of justice.”
“We should be against terror and all the acts that eliminate human life. However, we should know that what differentiates between terrorists and lawyers is the balance of law,” he said.
Death fasting lawyers Aytaç Ünsal and Timtik are branded members of the Revolution People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). Earlier this year, Helin Bölek and İbrahim Gökçek from the leftist folk group Grup Yorum both died after an extended death fast where the musicians, who have faced the same charges, were protesting the government’s ban of the group’s concerts.
Arslan on June 9 said that 52.1 percent of the violation rulings issued by the top court are caused by the right to a fair trial, laying out the grave situation that the country’s judiciary is in.
“This tells us that there’s a serious issue with fair trials and it needs to be solved,” Arslan said in a swearing ceremony for a new judge.
“The main duty of the Constitutional Court is to protect basic rights and freedoms,” he added.