Halil Savda - "I went all the way to jail and back"  Türkçe


30 April 2012



Hulya Tarman wrote in this column: "He went all the way to jail, but he will be back. If the doves can make it in time, he will be able to to read his own words out loud. Like it used to be. But it didn't work out, he didn't make it. Should he stay quiet and closed off? No, we will open this lock. If we don't show solidarity now, then when?"

This lock was opened by Amnesty International, the international antiwar organization, Payday, conscientious objectors, anti-war groups, anarchists, the human rights association, gays, and women. I went all the way to jail and back.

Serdar Degirmencioglu wrote in this column:   "Halil Savda quietly left the Diyadin prison on Friday April the 13th. He was released under the new parole law and he quietly got in the official vehicle that was waiting for him. Turkeys first minister of peace started his job with no formalities and without waiting. Of course this is made up! There is no ministry of peace. Halil Savda is out of jail but not free. I am ashamed of all of this. I am ashamed of the blood that has been spilled, the suffering, the guns and landmines, of the police state, the murdered children, and the regime of plunder and exploitation. I am deeply ashamed"  


Unfortunately, the Turkish justice system has still not reached the point of concerning itself with freedoms. It acts with militaristic and nationalistic concerns. For this reason there are tens of journalists and hundreds of people in prison for "thought crimes". There is still a war going on and people are dying. Violations of basic rights to life are very common. Basic rights of Kurds, Armenians and Alevi's are infringed on, and militarization is present in every aspect of life. Murders of trans-people, gays, and women are routine. The problem is not me being in jail.


Since February 24th 2012 I have been in prison under Turkish Law 318 for "turning people against military service". Because of this I haven't been able to write. On April 13th 2012 I was released on parole with the condition of going in to the Diyarbakir police station every day to sign a sheet of paper.


Every morning in Diyarbakir I go to the police station at the Seyrantepe Housing complex to sign in. If I miss a day they will arrest me again and I will have to spend my remaining 50 days in jail. There is still the threat of going back to jail. My parole in Diyarbakir lasts until June 3rd. During this period, if I don't sign in, or if I violate law 318 by making a statement that "turns the people against military service" I will be put back in prison. Because I defend justice, peace, and non-violence, my conditions of arrest are continuing.


People released from jail under the new parole laws are classified as being low, high, or medium risk. Because I was judged to be high-risk, I was required to sign in every day. The reason I was judged to be "high risk" was that I had been in jail before, and that I believed I had been arrested wrongfully. The psychologist asked me "do you believe that you have been imprisoned wrongfully?" I replied "yes, I have been punished and imprisoned wrongfully". This showed that I had not been reformed. If I had said "my imprisonment and punishment were right", I could now be going anywhere I want to and only have to sign in two days a week. As it is, I cannot leave Diyarbakir. It is as if I'm imprisoned in the castle of Diyarbakir.


The Justice and Development party made a new parole law for those imprisoned in the criminal system. People imprisoned under "TMK" (the struggle on terrorism law) cannot take advantage of this. This is obviously discriminatory and against the principle of equality in law. I am the only person charged with "thought crimes" who has been released from prison under this parole law. This is obviously very sad and unjust.


Many thanks Amnesty International, Payday, the international anti-war organization, Turkish conscientious objectors, Anarchists, women's rights organizations and Human rights organizations who showed solidarity with me and who have been campaigning for this for months. They carried out good examples of solidarity. Such campaigns and shows of solidarity are valuable for a free, just, and peaceful society.


Even if I am in jail, even if I am imprisoned in the castle of Diyarbakir, my struggle for freedom, non-violence, and justice will continue. As the writer Ayse Batumlu has said "Even though thousands of people who are the conscience of this country have been imprisoned or are in the claws of the criminal justice system through new techniques of oppression, their thought are on the loose. Any fear that those in power have is too little". Our thoughts are thoughts are on the loose. 


I would like to end by quoting Yildirim Turker:  "No one can break this resistance".


Circulated by: Payday men’s network – Working with the Global Women’s Strike

Tel : 00 44 (0) 20 7267 8698 payday@paydaynet.org