FM Davutoğlu: “I Do Not Believe Ersanlı is a Terrorist”
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told journalists that he did not believe that eminent academic Prof. Büşra Ersanlı was a terrorist. Authorities had arrested Prof. Ersanlı on terrorism related charges on Nov. 1, 2011.
Ankara - BIA News Center
09 July 2012, Monday
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told journalists that he did not believe that eminent academic Prof. Büşra Ersanlı was a terrorist during his return from the "Friends of Syria" meeting in Paris. Authorities had arrested Prof. Ersanlı along with prominent publisher and Nobel Peace Prize candidate nominee Ragıp Zarakolu on Nov. 1, 2011 within the scope of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK.)
The arrests that have been taking place in connection with the ongoing KCK trials are not the government's decision, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said, adding that Turkey was forced to pay fines to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on a regular basis due to erroneous verdicts passed by the country's courts.
"Ms. Büşra is an academic who assumed a very democratic attitude with respect to the Feb. 28 [Postmodern coup of 1997.] I do not believe she is a terrorist. The fact that I do not endorse this situation as a minister, however, does not bestow upon me the right to intervene in the judiciary. Trial represents a separate process. Critics sometimes ask why we intervene [in certain cases,] and [then they ask] why we do not intervene in others," Minister Davutoğlu said.
"Some believe these arrests [are taking place] through the government's decision and that the government [issues orders] to 'round up these people.' The judiciary is independent after all. If that is the case, then why was Hakan Fidan (the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT)) called to testify? I propounded my stance regarding that matter from the very start," he said.
"When I first took over my post as a minister, they brought before me the suits [pending] in the ECHR pertaining to the freedom of expression. The issue concerns an article written by Mr. Mustafa Erdoğan. I could have written the same article as an academic. I issued orders against even making a plea in such cases," he added.
"We do not even plea on issues pertaining to the freedom of expression at the ECHR anymore. Unfortunately however, we are also paying millions of dollars in compensation due to erroneous court verdicts and processes regarding [the freedom of] expression," he said. (ÇT)