Teachers Protesting Discharges Appeal to Council of Judges and Prosecutors

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  • May 14, 2019
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Having been arrested and released for four times before for “organizing illegal protest demonstrations” and detained for over 30 times while protesting in Bakırköy, teachers Nursel Tanrıverdi and Selvi Polat have appealed to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) and complained about the judges of peace and prosecutors on duty in Bakırköy Courthouse.

Since they were discharged from civil service by the Statutory Decree no. 686 on February 7, 2017 during the State of Emergency, teachers Tanrıverdi and Polat have been staging two-person protest demonstrations at Bakırköy Square and demanding their jobs back.

In his petition submitted to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors on behalf of their clients Tanrıverdi and Polat, lawyer Ferdi Yamar has stated that though the legality of their protest demonstrations has been confirmed by several verdicts of acquittal, “the judgeship has turned the issue into a personal matter and acted with the intention of teaching them a lesson.”

A disciplinary investigation has been requested for the following judges and prosecutors: Bakırköy Judges of Peace Coşkun Kurt, Harun Yüzüak and Hüseyin Alper Önal; Prosecutors Haluk Tekin, Ahmet Sezmiş, Bahadır Kopdağ and Muhammed Okan Arslantaş.

CLICK – Teachers File Complaint Against Police for Torture

‘Judges and prosecutors openly commit a crime’

In his petition, Lawyer Yamar has reminded that the teachers were once arrested for a week, then for a month, then for 15 days and, lastly, for 29 days. Underlining that these arrests “do not have any explanation, valid ground or legal basis”, Ferdi Yamar has asked, “Why were they released if they would be arrested again?”

Lawyer Yamar has also emphasized that Polat and Tanrıverdi have been acquitted in six different lawsuits filed against them for their protests and stated that the related judges and prosecutors are nurturing enmity towards the teacher and openly committing misconduct in office:

“The related judgeships that do not recognize the verdicts given in accordance with the law and justice and the prosecutor’s offices that refer them to court for arrest are openly committing a crime.”

What happened?

Teachers Nursel Tanrıverdi and Selvi Polat, who were discharged by a Statutory Decree, have been staging protests with the slogan “We want our job” at the Bakırköy Square in İstanbul on every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday since January 20, 2017. Since the day when they started their protests, they have been taken into custody for many times.

In the 74th week of their protests, the teachers were detained again. Though they were released on probation after being taken into custody, in the verdict of the court, there was a sentence, stating that Tanrıverdi and Polat were banned from approaching the square more than 200 meters.

The teachers stated that they would not recognize the ban and attempted to make a statement for the press at the Bakırköy Square on August 13, 2018. During the statement, the teachers were taken into custody again and an international travel ban was imposed on them.

After Tanrıverdi and Polat tried to make another statement for the press, they were arrested on August 21, 2018. Teachers were released on September 6 after being arrested for almost two weeks. The ban of not approaching the square more than 200 meters was also lifted by the court.

While the teachers were acquitted of the charge brought against them due to their protests on February 14, the Bakırköy 2nd Penal Judgeship of Peace has previously imposed a ban of not approaching Bakırköy Square more than 100 meters on February 5, 2019.

Having been arrested and released for four times since they started their protest, the teachers have been acquitted by all six different courts where they were tried on the same charge. (AS/SD)