Lawyer on death fast told his wife: This can be our last meeting


İSTANBUL - Lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal, who have been on death fast with rapidly worsening health conditions, as lawyer Didem Ünsal, who is also the wife of death fasting Aytaç Ünsal informs. She demands the Supreme Court to rule a decision of release immediately as her husband Aytaç told her, "This can be our last meeting." 

Charged with "membership of an organization" and "leading an organization," 18 lawyers were sentenced to 159 years, 1 month, 30 days in prison in total. Two of them are Ebru Timtik ve Aytaç Ünsal, members of Peoples' Law Bureau (HHB), who have been on a death fast for their right to a fair trial. Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal has been on a death fast for 196 and 165 days respectively. We talked with Didem Ünsal, wife of Aytaç Ünsal and a member lawyer of HHB regarding the case files and conditions of death fasting colleagues of her.
lawyer Ünsal, who also gave information about the case that she has also stood on trial as a defendant, reminded that the case was filed against 17 lawyers with the statements of a witness. Stating that the witness has turned into an "anoynmous witness" in the ongoing trial process, Ünsal noted that this witness has perjured in 141 different case files. 
"The court board decided to release our imprisoned friends considering the ECHR and AYM (Constitutional Court) decisions. This release order was a precedent decision. But there was a political intervention in this decision. In fact, we know that the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice called the prison administrations and said, 'I will issue an arrest warrant for the lawyers again.' Our colleagues were arrested again after 10 hours of freedom," said Ünsal informing on the course of hearings. "It was a process that really shocked people with a juxtaposition of joy and anger," she added describing the feelings after the decision of release came after one year of imprisonment and the decision of arrest came after 10 days of release. 
Reminding that they were subjected to injustice during the hearings of the ongoing trial process after her colleagues were arrested again, Ünsal said, “The decision was ruled in 3 sessions without a final defense right through a trial on jet speed. Then, the 70-folder file was approved by the Court of Appeal."
"The fact that the lawyers launched a death fast with the demand of a fair trial reveals the level that injustice has reached in this country," said Ünsal and added, "Aytaç and Ebru said when they first launched the death fast, ‘This not an individual cause, they try to intimidate our colleagues with this injustice, it's an attack to our profession. We are like domino stones. They begin with us today, and these attacks will be directed to all our colleagues tomorrow. That's why we have to respond to this attack against our profession.' The 'multiple bar' law shows that Aytaç and Ebru are right."
Adding that she and her husband Aytaç are hopeful and find the power to fight with this hope, Ünsal shared her last dialogue when she went to prison to visit her husband. "When I visit him we generally talk about what has to be done and how his health condition is, but it it so hard to say goodbye. I feel a great anger to say goodbye to each other saying, 'This can be our last meeting'. My husband says, 'Justice or death'. I have to respect that. I am proud of him because he has become a barrier against injustice, on the other hand I don't want to lose him. This is the reality for us: this can be our last meeting. But we promise each other to continue the struggle. He tells me, 'If I die, if a lawyer dies for justice in this country, then you have to take this responsibility and to move forward. I know this is exhausting for you, but you just have to carry this flag further.' I don't know how to describe all these feelings..."
"Yes, it is like a storm right now in our country," said Ünsal describing the chaos in the justice system of Turkey and added, "But this storm shows us how strong our roots are. We see how strong our love and our anger with this storm as well. We gain our strength through our anger. Our love also strengthens through this injustice and unlawfulness."
Noting that Ebru and Aytaç gains great strength from solidarity Ünsal said, "Aytaç lost 30 kilograms and weighs 59 kilograms now. He has wounds in various parts of his body. He has many health problems such as exhaustion, insomnia, and muscle loss. Ebru’s situation has reached even a more critical level. Her wounds are more serious. She has difficulty swallowing. She can no longer drink liquids. She has serious problems such as respiratory failure and edema in various parts of her body."
Stating that both death fasting lawyers are under the thread of forced medical intervention, Ünsal stated that there have been recent attempts in this direction. Ünsal thinks that forced intervention is unacceptable and would lead her colleagues to lose their lives, giving the examples of the death fast and forced intervention processes of Mustafa Koçak, Helin Bölek and İbrahim Gökçek.
Stating that what should be done is not the forced medical intervention, but the Supreme Court to announce their decision as soon as possible, Ünsal said, "We expect a very urgent decision from the Supreme Court. They had to rule this decision already. If it was not for the government to interfere with this file, if this was not a political file, they would not have to be imprisoned for such a long time or even to be re-arrested. Therefore, the Supreme Court should decide before the judicial holiday begins. The president and the members of the Supreme Court are also well aware of the unlawfulness in this trial. What does the Supreme Court wait for, the people to die? How will they explain such a delay if our colleagues die? The chief responsible for these deaths would be the Ministry of Justice. Because the Ministry of Justice handles the injustice in this country. The Ministry of Justice's duty b is not to handle the injustice, but to operate responsible mechanisms to prevent injustice. We want the government to take their hands off of the Supreme Court and we expect an immediate release."
MA / Naci Kaya

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