The Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court ruled to adjourn the case of sociologist and writer Pınar Selek during the sixth hearing of the trial that began at 10:00 on Wednesday. Selek has already gone through a grueling 14 year long trial process in connection with a blast in Istanbul's Spice Bazaar in 1998. The court also rejected a request by suspect Maşallah Yağan to issue his plea in Kurdish in a separate case.
The court scheduled the next hearing for Nov. 22 to allow for the completion of relevant procedures.
Pınar Selek herself did not attend the trial, although a number of academics, journalists, representatives from women's organizations, human rights advocates and members of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) associations also showed up in court to lend their support.
The court had already ruled to acquit Selek three times before, but the Ninth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals then overturned those verdicts, and the Assembly of Criminal Chambers of the Supreme Court of Appeals subsequently ratified that decision as well.
The Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court then finally resisted in its latest decision to acquit Selek, but the prosecutor's office presented yet another legal opinion demanding life imprisonment for the suspect.
Chief Justice Vedat Yılmaz Abdurrahmanoğlu and Prosecutor Nuri Ahmet Saraç did not appear on Wednesday's trial due to the summer recess, and Justice Mehmet Erdoğan and Prosecutor Mehmet Akif Ekinci oversaw the hearing on their behalf.
Prosecutor Ekinci demanded that the case file be handed over to them, as they were temporarily overseeing the trial. Defendant lawyer Akın Atalay then said they had already presented their plea and reminded the court of the decision on Feb. 2011 to acquit Selek.
The court then agreed to hand the case file over the the prosecutor to allow for him to decide whether he agreed with the legal opinion as to the accusations or not and to grant more time to the suspects for their plea. The case was thus adjourned for Nov. 22.
"Demanding justice for Selek is to demand justice for all"
Pınar Selek's sister and lawyer Seyda Selek told bianet that the 14 year long trial had turned into an ordeal both for Pınar Selek and for her loves ones and reiterated the fact that the court had repeatedly ruled for her acquittal anyway.
The We Are Still Witnesses Platform that long strove for Selek's acquittal also issued a written statement at the conclusion of Wednesday's hearing that highlighted their unyielding determination to achieve justice in the person of Pınar Selek.
Selek's case bears a symbolic significance for Turkey, Selek's friend Karin Karakaşlı further noted, adding that people from various sections of society were highly fond of Selek, as she had actively partaken in every battle for human rights.
To demand justice for Selek is to demand justice for all, she added.
No plea in Kurdish
Maşallah Yağan who also appeared in Wednesday's hearing requested a Kurdish translator and the right to plea in Kurdish, as he could not fully express himself in Turkish.
The court delegation, however, rejected his request, arguing that he already knew Turkish, as he had issued his former pleas in Turkish. (SA/AS)