By ADAM KAPLAN
Turkey’s Erdoğan’s thoughts on some matters are clichés known by everyone. Amnesty is one of them. The rhetoric he utters to exhibit his Islamic background goes like this: “I hold a different view on amnesty. For crimes committed against individuals, only those individuals ought to have authority to remit. And for crimes committed against the state, the state ought to have authority to remit. For crimes such as homicide, the state has no power to forgive…” It was 21 August 2013 when he said these.
Although this is the discourse he words out, in practice, however, we witness that it is completely the opposite. During his rule, Erdoğan released three times “hidden amnesty decrees”. With the two “Supervised Release (Probation) Decrees” issued one on 11 April 2012 and the other on 30 January 2013, 61,329 prisoners have been released. Most recently, on 31 August 2016, about 38,000 convicts have been released with the supervised release (probation) under the emergency decree law No. 671 (namely, another hidden amnesty). When we look at the crimes of those who benefitted from these three amnesty decrees, we see that most of them are related to homicide, intentional injury, robbery, hijacking, smuggling, fraud and deceit, crimes which are committed against individuals. Meanwhile, the crimes regarded as committed against the state such as political crimes have been left out of these amnesties. In complete contrast to what is said in his discourse, the criminals who had committed offences against persons have been released, while their victims are given no right to speak. Political convicts, however, have been selectively kept outside the scope of these release decrees.
With hidden amnesties issued during the rule of Erdoğan, the prisons have been emptied. However, according to the statistics, in only one year, half of those who had been released committed offence again and have been put back into jail.
Because of these issued hidden amnesties, it is nearly impossible for a person to complete his sentence in jail. Since the criminals who committed crimes such as robbery, intentional wounding, fraudulence, smuggling and kidnapping are released before they even stayed in the jail, we can now come across these criminals released under the disguise of probation in every walk of life at schools, mosques, court houses, tax offices, municipalities.
The cruellest example of this is Birol K. who raped and murdered the nine-month pregnant Syrian woman Mefta E. and her 10-month baby in Sakarya. It has been revealed that Birol K., married and father of a 15 months old baby, had sexually assaulted a disabled woman before he was married, had been jailed for 5-6 years and was released back into the society with the amnesty decrees issued after 15 July 2016. This Syrian family, who fled from the cruelty of a tyrant who brutally kills or silently watchs the killings of his citizens to protect his own reign and future, sought refuge in Turkey, a country which they considered as secure for their lives and chastity.
According to the information revealed, Birol K. who confessed his crimes debauchedly offered the husband of the woman to divorce his wife. “I want to marry her and I will give you some money for it,” he said. When he realised he will not get what he wanted, at a time when the Syrian man Al-Rahmun is at work, he went into the Syrian family’s house, put her out with the help of a friend of his and killed her 10 month-old baby boy because he was crying out loud. They rolled the baby and the woman in a blanket and took them to a woodland area. They raped Mefta E. and then killed her by crushing her head with a rock. They cast off the bodies in the forest and escaped from the place of incidence.
Nearly one year passed after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. The proclaimed State of Emergency has been continuing since that date. During this period, about 150 thousand people have been detained and 55 thousand of them have been arrested on claims of coup attempt or related to the coup attempt. A large number of those who were detained have been released after a while by just saying “sorry, it was a mistake!” Since July 15, the authorities neither revealed the coup plan nor defined the commanding officers or real committers of the coup. Among the detained, there are 15 thousand housewives, hundreds of terminally ill individuals, many elderlies who are over the age of 60-70.
To be able to open space for these people whom were captured and decreed guilty in only half an hour after the coup, the political government issued “amnesty” for over 30 thousand convicts, who were still serving their sentences for crimes such as homicide, rape and hijacking, and released them into the public.
The present scenery is very gruesome: Just to open space for 70-year old men and women who were brought to the court houses on wheelchairs and young mothers with babies, they did a deadly evil act against the whole of the society. This venomous, reprehensible, brutal homicide that threatens the safety and ruins the inner peace of the society is neither first nor will be last. These wicked, foul beasts are now walking among us and can any time hurt or even take away the life of another innocent one.
For some reason, no one has the courage to ask the account for the political decisions that are hastily taken by the “dominant will” of the governing power and presented the public as a fait accompli and bring to book the officials who are responsible for the acts of the wicked savages, who are given the opportunity to again commit crime by being released into the society with no precaution at all. The words of Al-Rahman, he expressed while he was returning to his country after he received the dead bodies of his loved ones will be engraved into the page of shame of the history and I think this would be more than enough for this country to feel ashamed of: “I came to this country to protect the lives and chastity of my family, now no reason left…”
Now let us ask this question: Who are the real killers of this Syrian woman, the baby in her womb and her 10-month old boy? We can also add the following lines from a poem of Mehmet Akif: “The savage is wandering about hale and hearty… The innocent is losing their life, the crime obviously belongs to someone, but why do they convict someone else?” Leaving you to decide…