Ecevit Piroğlu has been involved in the socialist revolutionary struggle since 1992, served as a director of the Human Right Association (İHD), and stood against the state’s persecution of the Kurdish people and other national and religious/sectarian identities. He was arrested and indicted during the Gezi Protests.
The case regarding the request to extradite Ecevit Piroğlu, who has been held in Serbia for nearly a year, is being heard at the Belgrade Court of Appeal. Lawyers objected to the translation of the simultaneous interpreter in the latest hearing, upon which the hearing was postponed to 17 June.
Arzu Demir’s article, “Freedom for Ecevit Piroğlu!” appeared in Yeni Özgür Politika on 2 June.
Selected parts of the article are translated below:
After the Gezi uprising, Ecevit Piroğlu was arrested and indicted along with comrades from the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SDP). He has been involved in the revolutionary struggle since 1992, he served as a director of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (İHD), and he has stood against the state’s persecution of the Kurdish people and other national and religious/sectarian identities.
Piroğlu is one of many revolutionaries who proceeded from Gezi to Rojava. He devoted labour, thought and willpower to the defeat of ISIS gangs in Rojava. For this reason, he is a name that the regime of the fascist chief [Turkish president Erdoğan] wants to destroy. And also because he is one of the defenders of the Rojava revolution, which destroyed Erdoğan’s “falling Kobanê” dream. We have seen in the prosecutions of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) supporters in the Kobanê trial that the failure of Erdoğan’s plans for Kobanê engendered a need for revenge in him and his regime.
Ecevit Piroğlu survived the war against ISIS. But he is now being held captive in Serbia for extradition to Turkey.
On 3 June*, the final hearing in the extradition proceedings will be held in Belgrade. [*This hearing has been adjourned to 17 June].
If the court decides to extradite, there is no going back. He will be returned to Turkey. If this happens, he will be imprisoned, and of course there will be no guarantee of his safety.
The Freedom for Ecevit Piroğlu Initiative is working to bring this issue to the agenda. It is trying to prevent extradition by putting pressure on the Serbian state.
Participation in these efforts, helping to prevent the extradition of a revolutionary, could mean disrupting another of Erdoğan’s plans.
What can you do to help?
Information about the campaign can be accessed by following the @ForPiroglu Twitter handle. At this address, you can find the twitter handles of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Serbian Government and send messages to these institutions.
Let the last word of the article be a part of the initiative’s statement:
“The values and political struggle that Ecevit Piroğlu represents is the struggle of millions in Turkey. They are the struggle against the dictatorship for freedom of the oppressed and workers, whom the dictatorship wants to be try and imprison in the person of Piroğlu, they are the struggle for socialism. For this reason, the extradition decision of the Serbian government will be made against millions of Turkish and Kurdish workers, against peoples all over the world who are in solidarity with us, and against our struggle for freedom.”