I cannot know whether Professor Büşra Ersanlı, a lecturer at Marmara University, is guilty of the charges against her or not; I do not have any exclusive information about her arrest.
This, my response, is to the media.
I am one of those who believe that the operations against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) are necessary. This octopus that has maintained guardianship over the Kurdish people should be eliminated. Unless this clandestine organization headed by Murat Karayılan is destroyed, this country will continue to suffer from bloodshed. Unlike commonly held views, the KCK is not the urban organization of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) but an umbrella institution. It is the source of the problem. It is an armed organization that does not hesitate to kill innocent civilians and manipulates the will and choice of the Kurdish people through intimidation and fear tactics.
It is the other name promoting the creation of an alternative state. It is a group that is “parallel” to the state. No state in the world would tolerate such an organization.
Now I can better explain my position after such an introduction.
I would like to note that I am extremely concerned about the dilution of this issue and an investigation into the most recent arrests in connection with an operation being carried out by Turkey against the KCK.
I would like to bring this discussion to Professor Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, who has recently been arrested in connection with the operations against the KCK. I cannot know whether Ersanlı is guilty or not; I do not have any exclusive information about her arrest. The source of my information is the media.
I believe that after what has happened in the recent past, the police would not proceed with an arrest without being extremely careful with respect to why and how they make detentions and arrests. Like I said, as an ordinary citizen, my only source of information is what has appeared in the media.
This is why my response is to the media.
Through the media, particularly in a certain portion of it, a lynching campaign is being carried out.
At the beginning of Nov., Ersanlı was taken from her summer residence to a police station in Datça, a town in the province of Muğla. The charge against her is membership in a terror organization. However, from what I understand, she was so charged because she gave lectures at an academy of politics belonging to the KCK. According to a media report: “It was detected that Professor Dr. Emine Büşra Ersanlı, who was arrested during an operation, gave lectures at this so-called academy. The office of prosecutor found out that Ersanlı had lectured on social sexism, which was included in the curriculum for training the executives of the KCK. Ersanlı gave these lectures at these academies of politics in İstanbul and Van.”
We do not know the actual dimensions of this matter yet. However, we can observe that some media outlets, including those that argue they uphold Islamic sensitivities, claim she actually did commit grave crimes. These crimes are so grave and she is involved in everything having to do with the KCK.
Let us take a look at her crime: Her sister is the ex-wife of Doğu Perinçek.
The Yeni Akit report says: “It is a known fact that Fatma Sığlı Evren, the elder sister of Büşra Ersanlı, is the ex-wife of Doğu Perinçek, who is currently in custody for acting as an administrator of Ergenekon [a clandestine organization that allegedly planned to overthrow the government].” Well, this is what is called real journalism, which investigates the true nature of the relationships. Gentlemen! Nobody could be accused because of her or his familial ties. But this is what the media in doing, and it seems that it will keep doing it.
And her ex-husband is a Jew. Boo to this as well. Yes, true; her ex-husband, Professor Dr. Cem Behar, is a Jew and a citizen of the Republic of Turkey who once taught at Bosporus University. He is an invaluable scholar. He is known for his expertise and competence in the fields of Ottoman and Turkish classical music. He is an intellectual who has written columns for the Zaman newspaper on cultural affairs. Take a look at this mindset that she is guilty because her ex-husband is a Jew.
She was also one of the co-founders of George Soros’ Helsinki Citizens Assembly. I do not like George Soros myself, but nobody can be charged for being a co-founder of a legal association created in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Turkey. The definition of a crime is spelled out in the relevant laws.
Büşra Ersanlı was also arrested in 1972 for inciting chaos. The prosecutor asked for a 15-years prison sentence. She was imprisoned for two years and released on parole thereafter.
True, Büşra Ersanlı has a Maoist past, just like Gülay Göktürk, Ferai Tınç and Oral Çalışlar. For some time they attempted to save the country through Maoist ideas. If you do not have sufficient evidence for her arrest but also want to lynch her, you should go back to 1972.
Another paper published a report based on a notebook in the possession of the police that was written by Ersanlı. And this is called agile journalism.
Let’s take a look at the content of the document that was composed of notes allegedly taken by Ersanlı. “Autonomy cannot be attained unilaterally, but statehood can. The fear of a partition is still alive; a national identity has been formed; 40,000 people ascended to the mountains. The pro-Kurdish movement has acquired legitimate grounds in Turkey. We are ahead of the state in tactical warfare. Asking the BDP to relinquish armed violence shows the weakness of the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party]. Not asking for a state does not mean that we do not want to govern.”
I do not see any element of crime in these statements. As a political scientist, she says autonomy cannot be achieved unilaterally and that the fear of a partition is still alive. All this is what a professor of political science would say.
In addition, in a statement made to the office of the prosecutor, Ersanlı said she took these notes at a conference. Such notes are taken at conferences for a later response to questions by the audience.
I have personally known Büşra Ersanlı for 15 years. She is an academic known for her opposition to violence and for her democratic stance. She has never hid her Maoist past, but she did draw precise lines between herself and that past. What she went through made her a defender of democracy and human rights.
When she said she had become a member of the BDP, I told her she did not do the right thing, that she would not be able to integrate that party with the democratic system and that the ropes of the party were being held by Kandil and İmralı. But she believed she could.
Honestly, the screams for a lynching in the media and the justifications that accompany these screams have not convinced me. We will all see why she was arrested when the indictment is publicized. For now, the present information in the media is insufficient.
We should be informed of any knowledge held by the media of which we are not yet aware. A lynching campaign is being carried out because of her ex-husband, her role as a co-founder of an assembly and her relatives. I cannot be a guarantor for anybody, but I hold that solid information on the alleged crime should be publicized.
*Erkam Tufan Aytav is secretary-general of the Medialog Platform of the Journalists and Writers Foundation.