Halil Savda Released

Conscientious objector Halil Savda was released after he gave his statement to the prosecutor.
He had been taken into custody at the airport in Istanbul when he was about to follow an invitation of Amnesty International to Paris.
Ekin KARACA
Conscientious objector Halil Savda was released on 7 December after he was taken into police custody one day earlier at the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul.
Savda was about to travel to Paris on an invitation of Amnesty International. He was taken into custody at the passport control because of an “arrest warrant” that had been issued about him. He was kept in custody for 24 hours because the fax of his case file from Eski?ehir was sent with delay.
Not informed about the trial

Savda said that he had no idea about the trial opened against him based on Article 315 of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) (“Alienating the public from military service”) until the first hearing. His lawyer Senem Do?ano?lu learned about the trial by chance at the day of the first hearing. Under these circumstances, Savda was not able to attend that session.

Lawyer Do?ano?lu went to the hearing and explained the situation. The hearing was then adjourned to 14 December. The arrest warrant was issued at an interim session in November, Savda explained. However, he only learned about the decision when he was taken into custody.

“The reality of the police station behind the luxury of the airport”

Savda was about to set off to a meeting in Paris to talk about the conscientious objection movement in Turkey and penalties related to charges of alienating the public from the military. Moreover, the conscientious objector was also going to deliver a speech at the European Parliament.

He described his experiences in custody as follows:

* I was taken into custody by the police at the passport control and taken to the police station of the airport.

* I was not treated rudely there but in any case detention centres in Turkey are in an utterly bad condition. The Police station at the airport was both overcrowded and very dirty.

* Other people were the subject of verbal abuse by the police officers but I did not experience that. Behind the luxurious appearance of the Atatürk Airport there is this police station which is the exact opposite of that image.

* At the same time, there is a serious state of arbitrariness; jobs are being done with reluctance. They could have had the fax sent from Eski?ehir the same night for example, but they did not.

Program in France delayed

Savda’s lawyer Davut Erkan confirmed that they had no information about the trial opened against his client related to Article 318 TCK until they learned about it by chance.

“Lawyer Senem Do?ano?lu attended a different hearing on behalf of her client Halil Savda at the day of the first hearing and only learned by coincidence that another trial was opened against Savda on Article 318”, Erkan said.

Do?ano?lu rushed to the hearing as soon as possible and explained the situation at court. The lawyer told the court board that Savda was going to attend the next hearing. The court accepted her request.

Erkan added, “The hearing was adjourned to 14 December without giving a decision for an arrest warrant about Savda. However, afterwards the same court decided for an arrest warrant at an interim hearing”.

“Everybody was waiting for the file from Eski?ehir subsequent to Savda’s custody. He gave his statement at the Bak?rköy (Istanbul) Courthouse when the file had been sent and was released thereupon”.

According to Erkan, Savda joined the program in France one day later (8 December). (EKN/VK)


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