Write for Right: We stend by Melek Cetinkaya
DATE: 24 August 2020
PLACE: Hyde Park, London
COMMITTEE: Write for Rights
As human rights defenders we believe no activism is as valuable as the activism of the very victims of human rights infringements. Ms Melek Çetinkaya is one such inspirational, trailblazing human rights activist. She is the mother of Furkan Çetinkaya, one of the military academy students sentenced to a life term in jail for a coup that never was, and a participation that never happened. Ms Melek Çetinkaya believes in her son’s innocence and tries to make her voice heard on social media and the streets of Turkey, so that her son, who is still in prison, can be retried.
Melek Çetinkaya’s struggle for her son is disliked by the political power, which does not want its own narrative of the July 15 Coup Attempt of Turkey be challenged. Ms Çetinkaya has been detained several times while trying to use her right to peaceful demonstration. In the last occasion, Ms Çetinkaya was detained detained for the alleged crime of “praising crime and criminal activity” due to her words in a program she attended on Akit TV, where she claimed that her son and other military cadets who didn’t join to coup attemt were innocent.
To decide whether Furkan Çetinkaya did or didn’t participate the coup attempt is not the duty of human rights defenders. Our duty is to stand by a mother who is trying to enjoy her most basic right to demonstrate and ask for a fair trial. Therefore, on 24 August 2020, with eight volunteers, we were at the entrance of Hyde Park. We collected signed letters from passerbyes urging their MPs to call Turkey to release Melek Cetinkaya and stop detention of protesters.