Kurdish political prisoner Mehmet Şahin has been released from prison after serving a sentence of 30 years and 4 months.
Şahin, who was arrested in Batman (Êlih) in 1993 on charges related to engaging in activities aimed at undermining the territorial integrity of the state and its administrative structure, received a life imprisonment sentence from the Diyarbakır (Amed) State Security Court (DGM), a special anti-terror court that was subsequently disbanded.
“I do not see being released as complete freedom. The real freedom is in one’s mind,” Şahin remarked upon his release at the age of 60. Standing on the Izmir shore, touching the sea, he expressed his feelings for the friends he left behind: “If the sea were ink and the trees here were paper, I would not be able to express my emotions towards them. We did not live an ordinary life in prison. Freedom is beautiful despite everything. Yes, I am excited, but my primary wish is for all my fellow prisoners to regain their freedom. We aspire to a world where not only Kurds, but all peoples can live freely.”
Following his release, Şahin returned to his hometown of Batman.