Başkaya acquitted: There are those who are ready to pay for telling the truth

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  • 12:47 22 November 2019
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ANKARA - Writer Fikret Başkaya said "There is always a price for discourse of truth in class societies, there are always those who are ready to pay that price, they are called intellectuals" in his defense for the case he is being tried for his article called 'The real terror is the state terror'.

The final hearing of the case about Writer Fikret Başkaya is held today at Ankara 21st High Criminal Court.
Writer Fikret Başkaya was present in the courtroom together with İHD Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan, Levent Kanat and Yusuf Alataş. CHP Deputy Abdullatif Sener, HDP MPs Mensur Isik, Filiz Kerestecioglu, Kemal Bulbul and Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, Writer Temel Demirer, Poet Ahmet Telli, Writer Ismail Besikci, Academician Baskin Oran, Journalist-Writer Huseyin Aykol, HDP Ankara Provincial Co-Chair Huseyin Gever was also present at the court room.  
The prosecution demanded Başkaya to be punished with the accusation of 'propagandizing an illegal organization' and 'defamation of the state and its institutions'.
Başkaya made his defense after the prosecution expressed their opinion.
Başkaya said: "My aim was to clarify the concepts of terrorism and terror in general when I wrote the article 'The real terror is the state terror' 3 years ago. Because there is widespread confusion and misunderstanding in this area. The misuse of these words and concepts has very significant drawbacks and negative consequences.
In the era of neo-liberal globalization, the words and concepts like  terror, terrorist, terrorist organization, rhetoric of terrorism have become a tool of imposing imperial hegemony, securing oligarchic interests, prolonging the life of public enemy governments,  disintegrating the states, and disintegrating the fabric of societies, disintegrating limited rights and freedoms and neutralizing the opposition rather than repelling an evil.
Terror has a definition. It's almost clear as it is. But the concepts of 'terrorist' and 'terror organization' is a different story. The situation changes according to the intention of those who use these two concepts.  Nowadays, the concepts of terrorist and terrorist organization have been transformed into a means of demonizing, punishing and disarming the political opponents that the regime does not consider valid.
It came to a point that everything have gone completely off the rail. Last year, the onion and potato producers, traders and tradesmen were declared "terrorists" . This year we stepped it up and now those who critisize the politicies about economy are also on a razor's edge.
While one considers a group or a person a terrorist, another considers them a 'freedom fighter'. Someone being consider a freedom fighter today, will be considered a 'terrorist' in another time and will be condemned. Does the 'Syrian National Army' consisting of tens of jihadist organizations mean the same thing to Syrian regime and Turkey? Are they national libertarians or freedom fighters, or terrorists? And for whom?
People don't say 'Its not what you're looking at, its where you are looking from' for no reason. The 'Anti- terror law' in Turkey does not fight with terrorism but fighting against the freedom of expression, freedom of thought, it fights against critical thinking and opposition. If so, maybe we should change its name into Anti- freedom of expression'. That might be a good idea..
The mission of an intellectual, the reason for their existance is to clear things up, to reach the facts. I am a writer, an academician, the president of the Free University. Does it makes any sense to you that I am being referred to as a terrorist? Do you believe it?
There is always a price to tell the truth in this world, in these class societies, which are subject to a profound social inequality and scandalous injustice ... And there are always those who are ready to pay that price, which is called an intellectual.
That's all I have to say, respectfully."
After Başkaya's defense, the judge announced his decision and Başkaya was acquitted in the case he was being accused of 'spreading terrorist propaganda'.

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