Ismail Y?ld?z writes from prison

by editor | 25th January 2012 1:40 pm

Ismail Y?ld?z with writer Yasar Kemal

Having spent the first month since our detention on 20 December morning in Kocaeli F-Type Prison No 1 and 2, I firstly greet all honorable journalists on behalf of all journalists under arrest.
We, the journalists taken into custody once month ago and remanded in custody on the basis of false ‘evidences’, have been receiving letters which have the same senders and contents. These letters from Yasemin Yurtman-Candemir and Emine Akkuzu-Terim, who describe themselves as journalists, ask us what our ‘definition of freedom’ is. As a self-respecting journalist, I would like to remark that the content of these letters, which as a matter of fact try to describe our arrest as a score against us with an ironic and defiant language, is actually a shame for them, not for us, because detaining someone doesn’t have the strength to jail any conscious and strong willed person from freedom.
The general content of these letters which fail to obtain the aim the senders have set, is as follows; “Your hand and language are so strong that your pen speaks more than yourself. Therefore, could you tell us what you think the definition of ‘freedom’ is? What has changed in your definition of freedom? What does ‘freedom’ mean for you now? Loves…
PS: We are two young journalists who have changed their definition of freedom thanks to you.
Our Address: PK: 144 Göztepe /?stanbul”

The letters have been sent to each of us by the same sender and address and use the same sentences and content. They have in this way externalized the pleasure felt for our detention. However, we are clever enough and have enough good sense to understand the real message of letters which are sent by clearly made-up names and addresses. In this respect, we would like to see a piece of cleverness in these letters which aim to give us a message. We aren’t curious about the sender since the same ‘friendly’ questions were directed to us by police officers during our detention for four days at Security Directorate.

Apparently they like what we said in the testimonies, because they seem they cant get enough and keep asking for more. We can obviously see the schizophrenia of those who are afraid of the existence of our pens and languages and believe that our definition of freedom will change once in detention, i.e. in an environment where we will feel frightened and keen to abandon our beliefs.

The way I see it, freedom is regarded as an opportunity to free your conscience and to adopt an ethical way of living. In this respect, the real captives are those who think we are captives, not us.

My belief that freedom means being able to think, express and to be consistent with your conscience and beliefs, brings about the opportunity to experience freedom always, no matter where you are.

This is why, we, who mainly defend the freedom of thought and expression, prefer not to respond to these letters.

We think that the hopes of the senders of these letters will be buried under the fact that we continue to fulfil the duties our profession require without growing away from the truth, reality and human rights. Not even for a second. We journalists create life with our work, words, pens, poems, pictures and photographs and we destroy captivity. They are getting closer to collapse, dizzy by climbing the fear towers they built. We will be expressing our gratitude to those who will display the flag of freedom even further up, standing on earth convinced of bringing the reality from earth to the sky.

* Ismail Y?ld?z was arrested on 20 December together with over 40 journalists mainly working for Kurdish media. Thirty five have been reminded in custody within the scope of the so called KCK (Kurdish Communities Union) operation.

ISMAIL YILDIZ * / Kand?ra F-Type Prison No 1



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