“SALAM” IS A WORD OF PEACE AND LOVE, AND IS NEVER TO BE CONSIDERED A “MAJOR THREAT”
This is our statement related to our concerns about the effort to label every action related to love as criminal in regard to the most natural, normal and humane behaviors of Mr. Adnan Oktar and his friends, such as sending greetings or asking about how someone is doing, and to argue them as a reason for continued detention using an irrelevant and out-of-context severe legal terminology such as “major threat to the victims”.
Mr. Adnan Oktar and his friends have been detained for more than 2 years unfairly and unlawfully due to a plot implemented by some persons and circles hostile to our community. Within the scope of this conspiracy, all kinds of lies, schemes, and defamation are resorted to in order to incite public anger and hatefulness against our community and to put pressure upon the decision-makers in jurisdiction. Despite all these, we trust that the Turkish Justice will not be under any influence in its decisions.
The prejudiced, unlawful, and unconscientious, as well as biased and ideological approach of the conspirators, some extensions of the deep state nested within the police and judicial units, and a part of the media that act in collaboration with them, have multiplied the intensity and severity of our sufferings.
During the prosecution process, we keep facing frequent examples of the persistent and furious effort of those circles who wish to destroy the friendship and solidarity of the members of our community, who have been friends for decades, and even to turn them into enemies.
At the latest stage of the prosecution, as there were no legal grounds to prolong the detention, the greeting words that Mr. Adnan Oktar never sent, or a telephone conversation that a young woman never made to supposedly convey a loving note, were used as a reason for the continued detention of 77 defendants, and investigations were launched about our lawyers with the intention of preventing our right to defense. As will be explained in detail below, the pressure upon our lawyers since the first day of the police operation intends to deprive us of defense, while any act to express our love to one another is strainedly portrayed as criminal, and we are expected to regret to love and make friends with one another.
OUR COMMUNITY IS NOW BEING ATTACKED THROUGH “ACCUSATIONS THAT ARE NOT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF ANY CRIMINAL ACT”
The plotters are so full of rage because of the bonds of love, respect, and friendship between our community that they do anything they can to keep them in prison for even one more day. Due to their hostility against our group of friends, they produce false and artificial crimes, and use the most nonsensical rationales under so-called legal disguises. The plotters used to invent imaginary incidents, statements, and slanders that would be within the scope of the Turkish Criminal Law, but recently they outdo themselves and try to portray the most usual, daily and ordinary behaviors and acts that are not criminal at all as elements of the crime by going off the limits. In that regard, they attempt at manipulating and putting pressure over the court. But we trust that the Turkish jurisdiction is fair and is not influenced by such manipulations or pressures.
A Mindset That Goes for Devising Crime Out of a Greeting!
Last October, during one of the meetings of Mr. Adnan Oktar with Attorney Eşref Nuri Yakışan, he praised the professional skills of Attorney Eser Çömlekçioğlu, who is one of the lawyers of the complainants. He expressed that he found her very successful at the court hearings, even though she was on the adversarial party. These words of praise are in fact the manifestation of Mr. Oktar’s loving and compassionate soul. Later on, in an encounter of Att. Yakışan with Att. Çömlekçioğlu at the parking lot of the court, he expressed these positive remarks about her during the course of a completely natural and humane dialogue. Att. Çömlekçioğlu gave information about this perfectly well-intentioned, natural, courteous and kindly conversation to the Court to prevent any doubts, and said that she had a short chat with Att. Yakışan, greeted each other and asked how they were doing. Without filing any complaints, she stated that she only wanted to advise the penal of judges on this matter. She particularly made an emphasis saying, “I have no doubts about the good intentions of my colleague.”
However, this utterly legitimate and civilized behavior was portrayed as a terrible criminal act by some hostile complainants who wanted to take advantage of the incident. In reality, Mr. Oktar has not sent any greetings to Att. Çömlekçioğlu. (And even if he had done, as is obvious in the way that Att. Çömlekçioğlu did not file any complaints on the day of the incident, it would not constitute a crime). But based on an imaginary incident of sending greetings, he faced an accusation of “threat”. As for Att. Eşref Nuri Yakışan, who is claimed to have related this imaginary greeting, an investigation is launched with claims of “being a member of a criminal organization” and that “he had committed the crime of threat by taking advantage of the fearsome power”. Interpreting the “salam” greetings, that means peace, well-being, and goodness, (moreover, even though it was never sent) as a “threat taking advantage of the fearsome power” is beyond the limits of rationality and conscience. This is an unprecedented, incredibly perilous and horrid picture.
Arriving at such an unbelievable conclusion from an ordinary and innocent conversation that Mr. Oktar had with a lawyer is a clear demonstration of the unlawfulness our community has been facing. The plotters, who assume that they could fool around as they liked and influence any person or institution easily through a perception operation, do indeed get some results. To this end, they do not refrain from putting lawyers who are only performing their profession against one another, causing artificial enmity amongst them, casting suspicion on them, and turning well-intended, legal, ordinary, and daily conversations into criminal acts.
Looking closely, one can see a multilayered, intricate plot here:
First; Att. Çömlekçioğlu mentioned this dialogue she had with Att. Yakışan towards the end of the hearing in the form of an “information”, in an utterly calm manner, emphasizing her “trust in the good intention” of her colleague. If she had really considered it to be a threat and facing a “fearsome power”, she would have undoubtedly brought it to the agenda for dear life, drawn attention to this matter right at the onset of the hearings, and her frightfulness due to the incident would be obvious in her way of speaking, mimics, and tone of voice. It is obvious that Att. Çömlekçioğlu had no troubles with this dialogue but just felt the necessity to inform the Court on this occurrence. However, in her subsequent statement, somehow conflicting with her previous statement at the court which reflected her free will, she expressed that she had “feared”. It is obvious that Att. Çömlekçioğlu is in fear but not because of Mr. Oktar and his friends, but because of the hostile circles that made her alter her statement. If there is any threat and fearsome power, it is evidently from those circles who are hostile to our community and who made even an attorney alter her testimony. In fact, those are the ones to be investigated.
Secondly; it is actually our right to defense that is targeted in the person of Att. Yakışan. There have been numerous illegalities right from the first day of the police operation to make it impossible for us to defend ourselves. Ordinary duties of any law office such as pursuing legal cases of their clients, holding meetings related to their lawsuits, granting power of attorney, and following up cases have all been alleged as criminal acts of a criminal organization in the indictment. Some of our lawyers were arrested for such claims that are in fact their professional duties. Some others threatened with words such as “choose your side, or you’ll be pushed to the sidelines” were forced to be complainants.
Thirdly; even though the concept of “threatening by taking advantage of the fearsome power” is a legal term, associating this with Mr. Oktar and his friends is impossible. First of all, there is no fearsome power. The only power that Mr. Oktar, who has not even harmed a fly, has never embarrassed a single person, and whose words and conducts stem from his conscience, has and can have is “love”. As a matter of fact, it is the depth, sincerity, and power of his love that disturb some circles. Our community enjoys a friendship, sincerity, solidarity, and love that many people cannot have, and this disturbs some people who have never loved or been loved. These people imagine that they will be able to keep people away from Mr. Oktar if they give the impression that there is a supposed fearsome power.
If this incident is carefully looked at, it becomes clear how reckless the plotters are in their distortion of even the obvious truths. Referring to mafia leaders in movies who speak softly but carry a big stick, they are in an effort to portrait Mr. Oktar as a dangerous person despite the contrary. The most frequently used tactic by the plotters to influence and pressurize the court is this “portrayal of our community as dangerous”. As a result of this perception operation, a simple incident of greeting, one that has not even taken place, has been turned into a “criminal act of major threat”, and caused further unfair sufferings to the defendants.
However, it is not, and cannot be, a crime to send greetings or compliments to a person; it is a very well-intended, pleasant and appreciated form of behavior. The maturity and the virtuous moral quality in approaching an adversarial, and even hostile, party in a legal case with love, peace, compassion, friendship, and kindness should not be rewarded with additional accusations. Depicting such behaviors as crimes is nothing but the product of an extremely skeptical and loveless mindset. We believe that the court is beyond any such false way of thinking.
Turning a Telephone Conversation in Which a Person’s Health Is Inquired and a Loving Message Is Conveyed into a Reason for Arresting a Person, Who Is Not Even a Party of This Conversation, on Charges of “Threat” and “Membership in a Criminal Organization”
In our lawsuit, a young woman named Kübra Kartal has faced a similar example of the freakish attempt to fabricate a crime out of an ordinary incident of sending greetings– although it never happened.
Kübra Kartal doesn’t have a direct connection with our group of friends but has read Mr. Oktar’s books. She was arrested in January with the accusations of conveying a so-called threatening message to Bahar Kuştepe, a complainant in our case file, on the phone, and of being a member of a criminal organization. However, having a simple look at what has happened would reveal the fact that she has been unjustly arrested on account of a telephone conversation she has never made.
It is noteworthy also in this incident that she was arrested because of A LEGITIMATE AND ORDINARY CONVEYANCE OF KIND REGARDS during a phone conversation that does not contain any elements of a crime and which she did not make, as is established by reports. The details of the mentioned incident are briefly as follows:
Bahar Kuştepe, like many other young female complainants in our case, was intimidated through threats and pressure by hostile complainants and the circles that lead them, and was forced to file a complaint. On 03.12.2019 she wrote a petition to Istanbul Police Department for Combatting Financial Crimes about the mentioned telephone conversation. In this petition, she stated that she received a phone call from a landline on that day, that the caller was a lady but SHE COULD NOT FIGURE OUT WHO SHE WAS. She stated that the caller told her that she had visited the penal institution and 2 of her friends from the prison sent her greetings and love, expecting her to visit them as well.
Following this informative petition by Bahar Kuştepe, the landline the call was made from was investigated by the police, the camera recordings were examined and the images of the caller were placed in the case file. Examining these camera shots, Bahar Kuştepe claimed that the caller was Kübra Kartal, whom she was closely acquainted with.
Kübra Kartal was taken into custody, and she denied the accusation saying that she was not the person in the images and that the person in the camera shots did not even look like her. She explained that she had had a rhinoplasty operation shortly before the date of the telephone call and she had bandages on her nose on those dates, but the person on the images had no such bandages. She said that she was at home during the time the call took place and that if she were to call Bahar Kuştepe, who was a friend of hers for years, she would definitely recognize her from her voice. Despite these concrete pieces of evidence confirming her testimony, Istanbul Criminal Peace Judgeship No. 11 arrested her on charges of threat and membership in a criminal organization.
Mustafa Işık, who is accused of sending this so-called threatening message, stated in his interrogation that he doesn’t know Kübra Kartal at all, and that he did not have anyone call Bahar Kuştepe, a friend of his whom he was closely acquainted with and was in close touch with before the police operation. He also stated that the person who called Bahar Kuştepe told her that she had visited him in the penal institution, but Kübra Kartal had never come to visit him in prison, which is a clear fact that can easily be documented in the logs kept by the penal institution. All these demonstrate that neither Mustafa Işık nor Kübra Kartal had anything to do with the telephone conversation in question.
ALL THE CONCRETE EVIDENCE IN THE CASE FILE DEMONSTRATE THAT BAHAR KUŞTEPE WAS CERTAINLY NOT CALLED BY KÜBRA KARTAL. After Mustafa Işık had Bahar Kuştepe, his former close friend and a complainant in the case file, registered in the list of names who can come to visit him at the prison, Bahar Kuştepe was called suspiciously, and Kübra Kartal, who had nothing to do with it, was arrested. Furthermore, the incident was leaked to the media with a completely false and fabricated plot, accusing the defendants of forcing the complainants to withdraw their testimonies.
Even if for a moment we assume that Kübra Kartal had made that call, the element of crime in this imaginary conversation is again an incident of “sending regards and greetings”, which is a very ordinary part of daily life.
As a matter of fact, Bahar Kuştepe stated in the Police Department for Laundering Offenses on 25.12.2019 that the caller conveyed her the regards and love of Mehmet Atmaca and Mustafa Işık, that she replied saying she had accepted the regards of Mehmet Atmaca and that she had no complaints against Mehmet Atmaca. She stated that when she said all these, the caller said “OF COURSE IT’S YOUR DECISION TO MAKE / IT’S YOUR CALL”. She also stated that when she told the caller that she did not wish to visit Mustafa Işık, the caller said “SURELY IT’S YOUR CALL” and then hung up the phone. Perceiving this as a threat is utterly a legal singularity; making a threat by saying “IT’S YOUR CALL” and by “CONVEYING LOVE” has thus entered the legal system of our country.
As a result of all this, Kübra Kartal was arrested on charges of “threat”, based on a telephone conversation with the mere theme of love and friendship, and one that she hadn’t made. However, not even the complainant Bahar Kuştepe mentioned anything that could be perceived as a threat in her petition.
All these and similar incidents give us the highly worrisome impression that Mr. Oktar and his friends are wished to be left in solitude and isolation, not allowed to communicate with their acquaintances, the people they love, and their long-time friends, not allowed even to send their regards to them, and to end up forgotten in prison. Punishments, penal sanctions, and restrictions that are not implemented for even the most dangerous criminals are being implemented for Mr. Oktar and his friends, for whom there is no criminal sentence yet. They are innocent people, who have never been involved in any crime, and have been unjustly and unlawfully kept detained for more than 2 years solely based on abstract statements of complainants. There is an unprecedented and grave unjustness going on.
AN APPROACH THAT REGARDS GREETING OR SENDING REGARDS TO OTHERS AS A CRIME WOULD REQUIRE TO DENUNCIATE THE WHOLE TURKISH NATION
This weird approach would possibly ascribe inappropriate negative meanings and foolish threatening contents not only to “greetings” or “conveying good wishes” but also to hundreds of other expressions of social communication and courtesy including “good morning”, “hello,” “good day”, “good evening,” “how are you?”, “are you all right?”, etc., depending on the psychology and subjective approach of the interpreter.
It is obvious that such a mentality would do great harm to society. The spread of such a mentality would lead to an increasingly introverted, depressive, cold, skeptical, repressive, paranoid, and morbid social model. Causing people to be wary of making even the most natural statements, carrying out the most ordinary acts, socializing, or even practicing their personal rights would be very risky for our country and our people.
It is impossible to establish trust in justice if people are subjected to persecution through judicial bodies, from which they hope to find justice. That is why necessary legal regulations must be made immediately to relieve the judicial system from such pressure and external influence (especially of the media). Taking substantial measures regarding this open wound is indispensable to ensure the healthy operation of the judicial mechanism as well as the security, peace, and stability of our country and our people.
Respectfully submitted to the public attention.