Turkish Journalist in Prison Moved by International Support

The Turkish journalist Bar?? Terko?lu,

in jail since Februari 2011, was adopted by the Belgian Union of Journalists (AGJPB). Today Bar?? Terko?lu sent a letter to AGJPB from Silivri prison and thanked them for their support :


Dear  Friends,

You gave me the courage and strength to end my

words in my court defense with the following:

If you ask “what is

law?”, we probably have to say that it is mostly about the “applications”.

No matter what the

written law is, if people thinking and writing in a certain way are continously

investigated and imprisoned then it means that thinking and writing that way is


 Unfortunately this

is what happened to us as well.

It is critical

journalism that is forbidden in these courts, and it is critical journalism

that is being destroyed with such cases.

I will say this

again and again.

I, and I

confidently can say that “we”, wrote what we believed to be right.

As the news

director, regardless of whether I agree or  disagree with the ideas or the writings of our authors, I take full

responsibility for what our authors have written.

 In my defense I

explained in detail and defended every one of the articles, news and analysis.

In the end my writings reflect my thoughts.

I also want you to

acknowledge this:

If you release me

today I will sit on the stairs of this very courthouse and write the same news

and articles. Even if I stay in prison for 100 years, the day I get released I

will insist on the same thoughts. If I lose my right arm I will write my

thoughts with my left arm. I do not need an organization, instructions or

orders to do these. As you can see for almost a year now I am separated from

all other suspects and I continue to write the same thoughts which are

considered as crime.

One is not defined

by his genes but by his actions.

And I am who stems

from the tips of my fingers.

I can not become

someone else with the fear of prison, police-threat, or prosecutors’

punishment. I can not exchange the freedom of my body with the slavery of my


 If what is expected

by these hearings is this, and this what I think is expected, I am turning the

exchange offer down.

Now not only for

myself but for all suspects and for my country, if it is in your hands, I

demand justice.”

Our words were not

enough to earn our freedom.

Our next hearing is

on the 12th of March.

I believe that, no

matter what it takes, freedom will rightfully be with us one day.

Yours Truly,


Bar?? Terko?lu

Silivri 1 Nolu

Cezaevi, F-1 Ko?u?u



Also available in French