Political Prisoner Mustafa Kocak’s struggle for justice

Mustafa Kocak is 28 years old political prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment on the basis of the false testimony of a police informant. Mustafa started an indefinite hunger strike on July 3th 2019, at the F type isolation prison Sakran, located near the city of Izmir in western Turkey.

On July 11th 2019, the court in Istanbul announced the convictions in the case of the armed attack on Prosecutor Mehmed Selim Kiraz, on which Mustafa was accused of providing the weapons used in the attack. The attack on Prosecutor Kiraz was carried out by two people on March 31, 2015 at the Istanbul Caglayan Courthouse. Safak Yayla and Bahtiyar Dogruyol take as hostage prosecutor Mehmed Kiraz, who investigated the murder of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who participated in the protests over Gezi Park in the summer of 2013. Elvan was shot with a tear gas cannister in his head on June 16, 2013, while going to buy bread, after 269 days in a coma Berkin Elvan died on March 11, 2014. Safak Yayla and Bahtiyar Dogruyol have demanded the authorities to reveal the names of the police officers involved in the murder of Berkin, and they also wanted the police officers to be brought before the improvised People’s Court in Istanbul. But instead of announcing the names of the police who killed Berkin, the fascist oligarchy chose to cover them up by ordering the police special operation teams to launch an assault on prosecutor Kiraz’s office, where the two men barricaded themselfs. After a shootout with police special forces, Safak Yayla and Bahtiyar Dogruyol were killed and prosecutor Kiraz lost his life as a result of the injuries sustained during the assault.

Following these events, the fascist oligarchy in Turkey began mass arrests, and arrested dozens of people who had nothing to do with taking the prosecutor hostage. Some of the arrested people have been accused of helping the prosecutor’s kidnappers, providing them weapons and enter to the courthouse where his office was located. A trial by the fascist oligarchy implicated in the murder of a prosecutor has led to five of them being given severe sentences.

A total of 14 people were indicted as defendants, 4 of whom were in permanent custody and the remaining 9 were wanted. During the trial, led by the 27th Chamber of the Istanbul District Court, in violation of all legal and moral standards, a judgment was announced on 11 July 2019. According to a court ruling, revolutionary prisoners Mustafa Kocak and lawyer Murat Canim were sentenced to life imprisonment under a strict regime, on charges of “Breach of constitutional order.”

The fascist oligarchy and its judges did not seek to obey the laws and legal norms, and fair trial was something unfamiliar to them, the only thing the judges in this case thought was to take “revenge” for the prosecutor from the people facing them as the accused.

This is how comrade Mustafa Kocak was sentenced to life in prison. But he did not surrender to injustice. He did not hesitate to sacrifice his life. On July 3, he started an indefinite hunger strike, which on the 90th day of the protest, on September 30, 2019, Mustafa turned into a Hunger Strike till Death.

The persons who are conducting Hunger strike or Hunger Strike till Death are not aiming to die. The hunger striker aims first and foremost to express his dissatisfaction with a position, attitude, attack, injustice which he / she is facing. It is also intended to attract the attention of the masses to receive support by denouncing the attack on him / her, and thus to exert pressure on private or public institutions, with the ultimate aim of urging the acceptance of his / her requests.

So for 6 months, Mustafa Kocak has been fighting against injustice. During this time, he was not alone in his struggle. His comrades from the People’s Front, as well as Mustafa’s family, hold protests in various cities in Turkey and Europe to make his fight public and to draw the public’s attention.

Mustafa’s demands are as follows:

-The courts are not a tool for political strife. Specialized courts to be closed!

-We don’t want a society of informants. Laws encouraging becoming a police Informant to be Abolished!

-Torture is a crime against humanity. Police officers in Istanbul Police Department, practicing various torture methods to be identified and tried!

-The testimony of a witness named Cavit Yilmaz, who, in his application to the court, stated that he had given them during the investigation and pre-trial proceedings, under pressure, threats, blackmail, psychological and physical torture against him, cannot be used as proof of conviction. Cavit Yilmaz must be heard from court again!

– My unlawful conviction to be quashed. A new fair court trial must begin!

-Put an end to my illegal and unjust captivity. I insist on being released!

-Put an end to the injustices that I and all the people are facing. I want justice!

For several weeks ago, our comrade Mustafa Koçak has been threatened by the administration of the Sakran F type isolation prison, in which he is still captive that a violent medical intervention will be taken against him in case he loses consciousness. Mustafa’s relatives and comrades are concerned about these threats and claim that there is a real threat to his life and health. In the meantime, the prison administration prevents our comrade from taking vitamin B1, sugar, salt, and water it should take during a hunger strike, thus aggravating the effects of prolonged hunger and making its condition worse.

Forced medical intervention is the infusion of nutrients and medicines, most often through a probe into the stomach, using force and violence to do so. As a result of these actions in 2000-2007, during the Hunger Strike till Death against isolation prisons in Turkey, many political prisoners lost their entire memory, became ill with Wernicke-Korsakov’s syndrome, and some were killed in such an intervention. This intervention has no health benefit for the political prisoners on hunger strike and aims only at crippling them.

, , ,