A red notice has been issued for the detention of exiled Turkish sociologist and writer Pınar Selek after the Turkish Supreme Court sentenced her in June to life in prison in relation to a 1998 explosion case, despite having been tried and acquitted of the case four times over the past 25 years.
Selek, in exile in France, is accused of organising an explosion at the Istanbul Spice Bazaar, a tragedy that led to the deaths of seven people and injured over 100 others. Investigations have showed the explosion was caused by an accidental gas leak rather than a bomb but repeated acquittals have been annulled. Human rights defenders suspect the never-ending legal saga Selek has found herself in is Turkey’s way of penalising her for working on Turkey’s Kurdish issue.
“The Spice Bazaar trial has been continuing for 25 years. Half of my life serves as a mirror to the mafia-gang system that has tried to strangle our legal struggle for 25 years,” Selek told Kısa Dalga on Monday after the supreme court published its justification for the June verdict.
“And this trial is the indication of organised malignity that has long-standing roots in our country. This fake verdict based on fake documents is only a paragraph of the scenarios that are put into play before elections. It is only a part of the dirty games played on those who support the co-existence of differences based on equality and freedom,” Selek told the news site.
The feminist writer added that she remains hopeful and believes she will one day return to her home country she was forced to leave 13 years ago.
Meanwhile, “We Are Still Witnesses Platform”, a group that has been following Selek’s case, published a statement on Monday, that said they read the court’s justification in horror.
“Pınar Selek has been acquitted from the same case four times. But even those four acquittals have not been enough,” the group said, adding that the courts took no action in relation to the case for eight years and then suddenly issued a detention warrant for Selek and scheduled her trial on March 31, as elections near in Turkey.