Lawyer Ülgen: ‘Confessions and apologies are not enough; there must be legal actions’

04.08.2016 14:08 BİRGÜN DAİLY
Lawyer of significant conspiracy cases, Celal Ülgen has evaluated Prosecutor Sarıkaya’s recent confessions, commenting on it by saying: “Apologizing for it is not enough in itself; there must be legal action against this.”

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As Ankara Public Prosecutor Ferhat Sarıkaya has confessed that he had filed many lawsuits, including the case regarding Van Yüzüncü Yıl University’s rector Prof. Yücel Aşkın and deputy secretary general Enver Arpalı – who committed suicide while in prison -, under directives of the Gülen community, all attention has now been placed on the cases of Ergenekon, Balyoz, KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union case), Umut publishing house, and Şike (case on corruption in sports).

Speaking to BirGün about these new reports, a lawyer of Balyoz and Ergenekon cases Celal Ülgen asserted on the need for taking legal action towards those – especially Public Prosecutor Ferhat Sarıkaya - who have confessed on national TV and newspapers, following the coup attempt, about having led many people to suffer in the past.

‘They caused people to die’

Pressing that apologizing is not enough in itself, lawyer Ülgen reminded about the plots against many, including Türkan Saylan – a prominent doctor and social activist who passed away in 2009 – and Rector Yücel Aşkın; and, highlighted that the confessors’ actions had even caused deaths. Ülgen continued: “The operation against Van Yüzüncü Yıl University was the very first big operation of the Cemaat (Gülen community). In scope of these operations claimed to have been about ‘corruption’ and led by the prosecutor in Van at that time, Ferhat Sarıkaya, Rector Aşkın of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University and the school’s deputy secretary general Enver Arpalı were arrested. At that time, we had gone to Van for a visit as the İstanbul Bar Association. While we were talking to the detainees, Arpalı had caught my attention. He was holding something oval in his hands, looking like a rosary, which he kept twirling it non-stop; and, he had just sat in the corner without giving any reaction to our talks. That had caught my attention. I had tried to talk to him by looking at him in the eye, to make him join the meeting. He had just waited senselessly and dully for the talks to be over. When we got out of there, I had felt so disturbed. As legal experts, we call this kind of mood ‘the coma of detention’. And, it is difficult to come out of this. Then, we were informed later that Enver Arpalı, who had got arrested on 11 July 2005, committed suicide by hanging himself on 13 November 2005.”

‘New suffering must be avoided’

Pointing out that so many people have been detained under the current coup attempt operations, Ülgen explained there would again be detainees going through the ‘coma of detention’, unless necessary attention is not paid during the arrests and interrogations. Ülgen said, “Coma of detention is this: a suspect who is detained unfairly always thinks that the justice would be served and that he/she would be free. The first five or six days, they live with such hope and their resistance is high. Once their objections are rejected, they begin to feel down. By the end of the first month, they still have hope. However, the second and thirds months are times when this hope begins to fade away and the thought of never having the chance to get free starts to overtake. And, this is the period that we name as ‘coma of detention.’ Those overcoming this phase are very rare. People who are aware of their unfair detention trust in laws at first, believing that their innocence would eventually be proved. When this process is longed, feelings of being lonely and defenseless begin to override. So, at such phase, there should be great attention paid to these detainees.”

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Also talking about the current operations and the situation of the detainees, Ülgen also compared the conditions of previous cases and the current case: “If these people (current detainees) are able to make confessions about their acts, that means, they feel safe. Who could give such guarantee? The answer to this question also shows where they are leaning their backs to. The President said in his statement today (August 3): ‘Actually, I need to give an answer, too; I once made a mistake, too.’ This is a very significant statement. But there are great differences between the mistakes of President Erdoğan and Prosecutor Sarıkaya: Sarıkaya was the operator and the implementer of the act. And, I don’t think statue of limitation is valid for his case yet. So, necessary legal actions must be taken against this person.”