Searches in the name of the Tricolour lead to criminalising the Turkish/Kurdish opposition and, recently, to criminalising German journalists who criticise Turkey. 1996 - France is a country which has declared the maxims of "Freedom, Equality and Fraternity" as fundamental ideology of the state. It is a country in the centre of a "free" Europe, and still it reminds us of the mechanisms of persecution in fascist countries: Deprivation of freedom, limiting the freedom of expression and press, are elevated to a form of subtle state terror.
On September 9, 1994, the secretary-general of the DHKP (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party) Dursun Karatas, was arrested at the French/Italian border. After he was he arrested he was brought to Paris and the case was given into the hands of the Terrorism Department. When the threat emerged of his extradition - quasi as an act of goodwill by France to the torture regime in Ankara -, the French institutions are flooded by appeals from all over the world: "The extradition of Dursun Karatas to Turkey would practically be a death sentence", and a trial against him would be in violation with Article 6 of the European Human Rights Convention. A large part of the writings, manifests and documentation from Germany and France are signed by the Kurtulus (Liberation, Turkish opposition weekly) journalist Ursula Unlu as responsible as meant in the press laws. Because of the massive international pressure, Dursun Karatas is released on January 26, 1995, in Paris according to the "procedure Judiciaire), which means that he has to report to the police and that his freedom is limited. Dursun Karatas escapes this "monitoring", causing considerable aggravation between Ciller's regime and France. The French State Security claims Dursun Karatas was helped by, among others, a unidentified woman.
On September 11, 1995, the French police believes to have found this ominous woman. While on her way from Paris to Brussels where she wanted to prepare a delegation of lawyers and journalists for a trial in Istanbul against the Turkish contra-guerrilla, the German journalist Ursula Unlu is arrested, together with the asylum seekers Hasan Ber, Mahir Ider and the journalist Levent Yanlik. They are brought before the prosecuting judge Jean Francoise Ricard, the terrorism investigator of the Republic. He orders their detention on the grounds of "membership of a criminal organisation, with the intention to prepare terrorist acts". The journalist Unlu was released after 4 days under the condition that she reports to the police every two days, her passport is confiscated, she is not allowed to leave Paris, she is not allowed to have contacts with the Turkish cultural association, her Turkish friends, the BIA-DHKC Bureau, and - exceeding the borders - the Information Centre of Free Peoples in Cologne, and she is not allowed to work, in other words: a pseudo freedom. The three friends, who were arrested at the same time, are still in jail.
After the release of Dursun Karatas in January 1995, the French police, as accomplices of the regime in Ankara, conducts a large razzia in Paris. The Turkish association, "Association Culturelle" was searched, and two friends were arrested. The state security forces search the houses of Turkish/Kurdish workers as well: again interrogations and arrests. All those who are arrested are taken into the so-called "Karatas-Dossier".
The accused, some in jail for 1 ½ year and some released, are now awaiting their trial which will probably be held in November of this year before the Tribunal Correctionnel in Paris.
The charges against all the accused: membership of a criminal organisation and preparation of terrorist acts. Judicially and materially speaking, there is no evidence against the accused, the dossiers of the prosecution is so to speak "empty". Having a Marxist-Leninist conviction can not be a subject of criminal prosecution. None of the accused can be approached for the criminal offence of visiting a "officially registered association" or working for the BIA-DHKC Bureau, officially registered as well.
To the minister of the Interior of France To public prosecutor Jean-Francoise Ricard
Solidarity with the Turkish political prisoners!
Freedom for Sefik Sarikaya, Necati Gunes, Kemal Alev, Ali Mak, Muslum Sigic, Cihan Yildirim, Kemal Kayar, Hasan Ber, Levent Yanlik, Mahir Ider, Serif Gunaydinoglu and the German journalist Ursula Unlu.
In France the Kurdish/Turkish democratic opposition forces see themselves confronted today with a previously unseen wave of criminalisation. 12 people were arbitrarily arrested by the French justice department and some of them are already in jail for more than 1 ½ year, without any formal evidence. The lawyers of the prisoners have repeatedly stated in court that this is violates articles 5-5, 9-1, 10-1 and 11-1 of the European Convention of Human Rights. (...) Having a Marxist-Leninist conviction, or visiting a completely legal association can never be a criminal offence, worthy of prosecution.
We informed ourselves about the situation of the arrested friends and we support the call for their immediate release, we equally support the demands for the liberation of the Turkish and Kurdish peoples.
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