Everybody else has spoken

Now it is our turn

35

Till now, everybody else has been speaking and we have been listening, but now it’s our turn!

Really, everybody has been speaking – whether with authority or not – about the DEVRIMCI SOL trial. The generals of September 12, for example, did not keep silent. They always spoke, when they were still wearing their uniforms and stars on their epaulettes, and they continued speaking when they became “civilians” again. The generals, internationally known as “Paul Hanze’s children”, attacked us from morning till evening, calling us “traitors to the fatherland”.

They were talking about a country they had sold, piece by piece.
Also, the torturers of the MIT, the political police with their electric shock treatment, their beatings and their “Palestinian hanging” have been speaking all the time.

Of course the state prosecutors, the henchmen of the corrupt smuggler Süleyman Takkeci, weren’t backward when it came to talking either.

The “English rope” (hangman’s noose) was always in their hands. They went to bed with it, and they woke up with it again. They were constantly writing, one indictment followed the other. And they always repeated: “They have betrayed their country!”

And you, the judges of September 12. You’re part of this chorus as well. Perhaps because of your status, you weren’t as outspoken as the others, but you have done everything to “prove” the demagogy about “traitors” uttered by the generals of September 12, the torturers and the army prosecutors.

From this pulpit, in the name of the law, you’ve broken every law to silence us, to cover up the crimes of the real traitors.

And now it’s our turn, now we will speak!

We will now speak out in our official “defence”. And what will we say, you think? This is the day you have been waiting for so impatiently!
You are the judges, what do you expect us to do, what do you want us to say? Should we repent, should we beg for an amnesty? Or do you want us to say we didn’t do it? That’s what you’ve expected, that’s what you thought our “defence” would be. Wasn’t it you who blocked everything else by saying it went “way beyond the boundaries of a defence”? Do you remember how often you didn’t allow defendants to read their interrogation protocols, do you remember how many petitions you’ve turned down? How many criminal investigations you’ve initiated against us because of this? Did you even count them? Surely you didn’t care how many years we would get.

According to you, defence means “begging for mercy from you”, that is to say, the mercy of September 12. We were beaten by you, and once beaten, there should be no alternative but to beg for mercy from you!

Is that a defence?

You judges, that would be a surrender! You didn’t look for a defence, you wanted submission. That’s what was behind all your yelling and your investigations. But you didn’t get it. No, you say? We will address this in the next chapters of the defence, and we’ll see.

Before we start with the defence, we want to say this. If you respect justice, albeit in a bourgeois sense, it shouldn’t be your task to look for submission from us. You should give up such a notion, which denotes backwardness and primitiveness. When you look at our defence with such an antagonistic notion in your heads, there can be no defence, no trial. This would mean you don’t want a defence. It would mean you don’t intend to listen to our defence, you only want to force us into submission.

Defence does not mean surrender, begging for mercy. Defence means explaining why you did something. It doesn’t interest you that we are standing by our views.

Our defence is the views we hold. We defended those yesterday, and we’ll defend them today. And we are being prosecuted because we defended them yesterday. To explain why we defended them yesterday and what we went on to do next is the basis of our defence.

If you interpret this as guilt, it means you don’t want to allow a defence.

By the way, why do you call yourselves “police”? When there’s an institution in this country like the “police” to prevent crimes being committed, it can’t be your function too to prevent “crimes”. Forget whether or not they – the police or soldiers of the state – deserved their wages. You’re an institution whose existence becomes justified after a “crime” has been committed, and during a “crime” you’re no different from a normal citizen. It’s not necessary at all to protect us from “committing a crime”!

But when you’re living in the spirit of September 12, the situation becomes different. Everybody who lives in such a frame of mind, looks at himself as a general of September 12, and assumes the powers of an emperor. According to them, a defence is a crime, just like testimony during interrogation… Still resisting the regime and trying to change it, is the biggest crime.

And the punishment is execution!

Is there any other country at all, another judicial system, where defence is a crime? Can you show us? In a judicial system like that of September 12, and in countries with the same kind of system, notions like defence and crime can be presented as being related.

How did these proceedings start?

How did these proceedings start, you judges?

What would you say, you prosecutors, how did these proceedings start?

You say September 12, order and security, don’t you? This “September 12” is a magic word. To some it brought a future, others blood and tears.

Look at the people who gave the order to occupy the country on September 12, at 4 o’clock in the morning. Evren, Sahinkaya, Türner, Ersin, Celasun, Ürug… What is it that follows those names? Torture, death, blood and tears. And what else? What else? Companies, houses, cars, a yacht, women…

What was it Evren said during the first days of the junta: “We have sacrificed ourselves!” How they sacrificed themselves, swimming in luxury and privilege. What was sacrificed was the people and the country, wasn’t it?

This soil, drenched in torture, death and pain, has been sold bit by bit to the Arabs, Americans, Germans, Japanese, Englishmen and international corporations. And the price was cheap, they almost gave it all away for free.

Yes, that’s why the country was occupied. That’s why they gave the order to 45 million people one morning to “surrender”. That’s why they occupied the streets with soldiers willing to shoot, with tanks and machine-guns. That’s why thousands of people were incarcerated in the army barracks and police stations and tortured. That’s why dozens of people were sentenced to death. That’s why these courts were established.

Is it worthwhile, looking at all this, to talk about the yachts, the houses, the cars and the companies?

Of course not, the country was saved, that’s the most important thing!

Do you know what that is, this September 12 you’re talking about?

Think a little about the torture centres.

Think for example about a torturer, drunk and yelling and cursing at someone who’s lying on the floor, naked, beating him up.

Or try to imagine another torturer, torturing a boy, hanging him from a hook in the ceiling, torturing him with electric shocks, yelling sadistically.

If that is not enough, then think about your “security forces” raping a young girl. Look at how your security is guaranteed.

Close your eyes and try to imagine it with your mind’s eye. We too were brought here sometimes with shattered eardrums, our bodies covered with wounds, in our underclothes. Think about the prison directors we charged and whose indictments were rejected by you, the prison directors you protected by saying their acts were within the “competence of the prison board”. One of them has started to confess. He doesn’t deny to the press that he carried out torture, and he is making statements. Think about how you’ve cooperated with these men. This is September 12 and its courts.

And you, gentlemen prosecutors, do we have to tell you about September 12?

Tell us here what you’ve told us in the state prosecution’s offices. Why you had to torture us, tell us the reasons here again. How you’ve threatened people that you will torture them again. Don’t forget to mention how you’ve threatened the witnesses as well. But you can’t. You’re not so sure anymore, not so sure as you were in those days. You thought it would always go on like this. You thought, “Well, they are in our hands now, and we will hang them anyway.” It was September 12 which made you think that way, which made you reckless. Those were beautiful days, weren’t they? But that’s what September 12 was like! Suddenly they abandon people, that is to say, people are used first and then pushed aside… You can only be understood by Evren and his accomplices. The poor, they suffer from the same problem…

Yes, you, the judges and the state prosecutors of September 12. That’s your September 12! And that’s the basis for this trial and all the other trials of September 12!

Well, what about the order and the security of September 12! Your giant September 12, it started to look for a place to hide, even before the trials it initiated have been finished. One confession is followed by the other. Those from September 12 have started to spit out what they’ve drunk! From their mouths flows the blood of the people and the blood of the revolutionaries! Was this their order and security?

And you want to continue September 12 in this room, although you cannot find people to clean it up.

Yes, September 12 has brought a future for some, for others it brought only blood and tears. And you, judges and state prosecutors, what do you expect from this trial, which you’ve identified with September 12? What do you expect from the executions and the sentences you are demanding?

What kind of a result do you expect from this trial which, from beginning to end, is based on torture, massacres and injustice?

Will you save September 12?

You cannot save it, you will not save it!

The reason why you cannot save it, you can see when you think about why and against who this trial was opened.

Why has this trial been opened?

Why has this trial been opened, have you thought about that at all?

Will you speak about anarchy and terror?

Think a little…

Think about the massacres. The massacres in Maras, in Sivas, Corum, Elazig, Malatya, in the cafés, the universities, the secondary schools, in the city squares. Think about the massacres of May Day in 1977, of March 16, 1978, of December 24, 1978. Who was murdered? Who were the murderers?

Think about the factories. Think about the workers who resisted for the sake of their bread, think about those who attacked them. Who attacked the workers, who shot and bombed the union buildings, who was murdered in ambushes, who caused injuries that would never be healed, who murdered with torture? Wasn’t it your security forces and their auxiliaries who did this?

Think about the peasants. The peasants without a square foot of land, who wept blood because of the usurers, the feudal lords and the gendarmes. Wasn’t it the state who paid the wages of officers, officers who ordered the crushing of those who fought for a piece of land, crushing them using sticks and bullets, drowning them in blood?
Think about the schools and the pupils they wanted to “convert to fascism”. Who occupied these schools, who shot the pupils? Who protected the fascist occupiers and murderers? Who guarded them? What colour was their uniform, where did their wages come from?
Don’t forget the city neighbourhoods! Don’t forget the gecekondular (slum areas) which are under occupation, bombed, shot at, raided at night. These neighbourhoods inhabited by the working people. Who shot at the cafés where their inhabitants meet? Who destroyed houses on the pretext of carrying out a search, who tortured dozens of people?

There were the Kurds, whose language and culture you’ve banned, whom you called “Mountain Turks”. Who were the people who tortured them, who threw them into jail for speaking Kurdish? Who were the ones who changed their names, who expelled them from their homes with violence, forcing them into exile?

Yes, there was the civilian and the uniformed terror, and there were the revolutionaries who fought it. They founded associations, they organised themselves, established “illegal” organisations, they fought. They broke through the fascist occupations, they tried to give their lives some security. They punished torturers and fascist murderers, together with the working people, they came out for economic, democratic and political rights. What terror are you talking about? In order to prevent what kind of terror was this trial started?
The terror continues. For eight years, it has involved the utmost brutality. The workers, peasants, pupils, civil servants, teachers, the Kurdish and the Turkish people, that is to say the working people, have been held down by relentless repression and exploitation since September 12.

What terror are you talking about? The terror continues, attacking the Turkish and the Kurdish people like a pack of vicious dogs turned loose.

You have to justify it, what and whom did you indict?
The struggle of the working people against oppression and exploitation, isn’t that right?

What you have attacked in the courtrooms in the past seven years, calling it anarchy and terror, is nothing but the struggle of the working people. That’s why this trial was started.

September 12 came to suffocate the struggle of the people. That’s what the massacres, the torture, the gallows and the concentration camps were for. All policy is founded on this. And the courts were an important part of this policy.

The courts were a means of intimidation. All the courts of September 12 were nothing but a “justified” form of annihilation of the revolutionary and patriotic militants. And you, consciously or unconsciously, have become a tool of this policy, because you have been used. You have been used for the oppressive policy of September 12. When this trial is ended, you will be discarded like a used object. You will disappear into oblivion and you’ll not be able to defend your judgement before the public.

You say you’re not a tool of the policy of the rulers against the people? Just think about you’ve done in the last seven years in the name of “justice”. Which of your deeds has anything to do with justice? Cooperating with the torturers, the chiefs of the concentration camps? Waiting for the orders of the commanders? Continuing the trials without the presence of the accused? Giving orders for police operations in court? Rejecting our demand to examine the words of your president of the military revision courts, “we will overrule the sentences of the courts which do not honour the treaty on torture” by saying “we are not interested”? Which law school did you go to?

But like all the other policies of September 12, the trial policy went bankrupt as well. Its aim was to create people who repented, who became renegades, were intimidated and begged for mercy. “Look”, they wanted to say to the people, “are they defending you, are these people leading you to liberation, do you trust such people?” But they couldn’t say so, every time they tried the words stuck in their throats.
The courts of September 12 entered history as one of the scandalous crimes of the oligarchy. The oligarchy wants to save itself as quickly as possible from this. That’s why the words “we are in a hurry” could be heard so much in the past year in that courtroom.
The working people in Turkey know the courts of September 12 very well today. They know very well that the courts are the voice of the oligarchy, they also know the revolutionaries made the voice of the people heard in this hall.

The oligarchy knows very well its voice is becoming weaker in this hall, therefore it is enraged, it is yelling and having difficulty defending itself. But the working people in Turkey were proud of the voice which became louder in this hall, and they’ll continue to be proud. We didn’t let them be put to shame, and we’ll not allow that in future!
And you, judges of the courts of September 12, you’re looking for terrorists?

Look through the pages of the indictment carefully and take note of the names of those who prepared it, that will provide you with a long list of terrorists.

You’re looking for terrorists? Cast your eyes on the institutions you’re connected or subordinated to, you’ll see them. You’ll find a long list of terrorists there.

You’re looking for terrorists? Look at the junta which created special courts for you at the time. You’ll see the five biggest terrorists!
And you, state prosecutors of September 12, are you looking for terrorists too?

You don’t have to go that far, it’s enough to look in the mirror.
Yes, you judges and state prosecutors.

You didn’t expect it would come this far, that your September 12, its courts, its torturers, concentration camp directors, generals, prime ministers, state presidents and council members would be accused, right? It’s only natural… The bureaucrats of the countries which are kept underdeveloped always think that way. Because they cannot see the state the country is in, what will become of it.

But look it up in our interrogation protocols, regarded by the state prosecutor as “confessions”, look at our petitions. We say there that the regime of September 12 will come to an end. We say Turkey is a petit-bourgeois country where nobody is on the side of the weak. It shouldn’t be funny to you that those who applauded September 12 yesterday now want to condemn it.

Surely you didn’t expect to be on your own today.

Look at our interrogation protocols, our petitions. We said you would be left on your own, that everybody would wash their hands and leave you to bear the responsibility.

Have you thought about why this happened?

We’ll tell you.

First, you’ve become involved in politics while wearing your gowns, and you did so under orders from the bloodiest dictatorship in the history of Turkey. In the political struggle, there are no laws, just power. There are conquerors and the conquered. When the victor can force his rules upon the loser, he is the winner. He has taken upon himself the mission to be a means to enforce these rules. To be a “victor” depended on these courts, and they didn’t succeed, you didn’t succeed!

Second, you have tried to condemn history. But you cannot condemn history, history is written. And it was always the ones who went forward who wrote history. You’ve tried to condemn history, together with those who wanted to turn back the clock.

Don’t ask where history is. It has always been present in this hall.

You cannot condemn history!

This trial was never limited to the 1,300 people here. The whole history of the human race was present in this trial, the whole world with its past and its future. And you didn’t even notice. You couldn’t have done so. Because you’ve always looked at the world through the prism of the sentences in your law books in their black bindings. Your horizon was limited by the narrow windows of Selimiye (an army barracks, and also the name of several mosques in Istanbul). That’s why you saw neither history, nor the world, nor Turkey.

You’ve always looked at this hall, but you never actually saw the hall itself. What you saw where the wooden benches. But, as we said, the hall was full up. The entire course of history was present. Who was there, and who was absent?

Socrates was sitting in a corner. With his cup of poison which he had drunk, and the pupils who were listening to him attentively.
Spartacus was present. Together with hundreds of his friends, slaves like himself.

Baba Ishak didn’t miss one session of this court.

Bedrettin in the corner called for a council session, listening to his followers with Torlak and Börklüce.

Tupac Amaru watched this trial, silently, with all the dignity of his personality. Next to him were thousands of Indians who cursed the white man.

Pir Sultan came, saz (Anatolian musical instrument) in hand, the words “greetings to the friends” on his lips.

You only saw these wooden benches with your empty eyes. But you weren’t able to see the heroic fighters of the Paris Commune who stood behind us.

The lights of science, the teachers of the world proletariat, Marx and Engels, were among us. With dignity they watched their pupils, with justice on their side in battle and in victory.

The worker, peasant and soldier deputies of the Petrograd Soviet, together with Lenin, participated in the discussions here.

Mustafa Suphi and his 14 friends were present. The cold sea water of Karadeniz (the Black Sea) didn’t make them wet. {Note: Mustafa Suphi and other founders of the Communist Party of Turkey were drowned by their enemies.}

Mao came to all the sessions with more than a million Chinese, who gathered on the Red Square.

The Viet Cong were here who made the American imperialists spit blood in the Vietnamese jungle. They formed a circle around Uncle Ho (Ho Chi Minh).

The “bearded ones” stood in the corner. They looked as if they had just come down from the Sierra Maestra. Che, as always, was yelling his “Battle Cry against Imperialism”.

Deniz, Yusuf and Hüseyin brought their gallows with them. They shouted slogans together with us all the time.

Mahir and his comrades came from Kizildere. Their clothes still smelled of gunpowder. In all our resistance battles we stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder with them.

Apo, Haydar, Hasan and Fatih were always next to us. They spoke. Selcuk, Ahmet, Bückün and Hatice were there also.

Then there were the Palestinian “child generals” who fell before they could put on a uniform. Their slings were ready in their hands, their pockets were full of stones.

Millions of nameless heroes were present, their eyes constantly on us.

But that wasn’t all, there were others in the hall as well!

The despots of Athens, the Roman tyrants, the knights, princes and kings, Admiral Cortes, Thiers, the Tsar, Kerensky, Chang Kai Shek, Diem, Batista, Salazar, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Somoza, the Shah, Begin, Sharon and Pinochet were there as well.

Kuyucu Murat Pasha, Hizir Pasha, Beyazit Pasha, Celebi Mehmet, Abdülhamit, Nihat Erim, they were always here too.

They were present in the indictments, in the files. In every page, in every sentence, they said: “Here I am”. They screamed: “Blood for blood, hang them!”, from the beginning to the end of the trial.
Yes, in this trial there weren’t just 1,300 people, or simply September 12 and its practices. The history of the human race was present in this trial.

We are asking the state prosecutors of September 12, what do you want?

Who do you want to accuse, and of what? With what courage did you write your indictments, even though you know the definite sentence of history against the herd of torturers and murderers? Or do you trust the generals of September 12? In vain, you state prosecutors, they have pushed everything aside and are busy protecting their money and their lives. They are not in the position to think about you.
You took courage from the laws they made? That’s of no use to you. These laws will turn into garbage, one by one.

The oligarchy has to renew itself, it has to save itself from the wounds which were inflicted by September 12. Confronted with the growing opposition of the working people, the oligarchy will not hesitate to sacrifice September 12, its laws, and those who base themselves on these laws. You’ll be sacrificed as well.

And you, judges of September 12, what did you trust in to make you take on this task? What forced you to do this?

Were you brought here with violence?

Are you worrying about your daily bread, your future?

These are simple reasons. Yes, these are the worries and the problems which bent the backs of the ordinary people. We understand that. But you shouldn’t fear that, you should fear history.
Did you come because of your great love for your profession?
Then be open about it. Leave the laws aside, show yourself openly and don’t hide behind your gowns. But if you came with such views, you’ll not achieve your goal. It has been tried so often and it always ended in defeat.

So why did you come? This should be cleared up. Because September 12 has used you as a tool, and now you are on your own. Alone and without protection. You are without protection, as a human and as a judge.

Don’t trust the present day. When you take off your gowns, you alone carry the responsibility.

Can you say: “I am the judge of the DEVRIMCI SOL trial”? Why can’t you say so? Did you never think about it?

The sentence of the trial will not be written by the laws. The sentence belongs to history.

To look at this trial through the prism of the laws would be carelessness. It’s the logic of careless people. This logic is determined by power, by the limitations of the rules.

The laws and brains created by the oppression, violence and demagogy of the September 12, cannot explain this trial. No event entered history because of what the law stipulated. All great events enter history through justice or injustice.

We are not saying that you shouldn’t pass sentences.

PASS YOUR SENTENCE!

Sentence us to be executed, give us your punishment, write down your reason, “they have betrayed their country”.
Yes, write it without hesitation, write, “they are traitors to the fatherland!”
Because we fought against imperialism and the oligarchy.
Because we were on the side of the working people, because we died together with them, because we stood up together with them.
Because we were present in the strikes, the occupations of factories, the occupations of land, the building of the gecekondular, the boycotts, the demonstrations.
Because we stood up to torture, oppression and massacres.
Because we signed the death sentence against the torturers, the murderers, the bloodsuckers and the exploiters with our own blood.
Yes, pass your sentence on us, add to it that we are traitors to the fatherland, and enter history.
But first you will listen to us.
We have listened patiently to your story of “terrorists”, “separatists” and “traitors to the fatherland” for years, day by day, hour after hour. Now it’s your turn to listen.
Listen to the history of our “betrayal of the fatherland”.