In 1664e On the day of his stay in Silivri, a sinister prison in the suburbs of Istanbul, Ahmet Altan received, Tuesday, April 13, a slight comfort from Strasbourg. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has issued a scathing judgment against the Turkey, for violation of his “Right to liberty and security”, so ” freedom of expression “ and his “Right to a rapid court decision on the legality of (his) detention”. Ankara will have to pay him € 16,000 for non-pecuniary damage.
Intrepid chronicler to the point of recklessness
Multi-award winning novelist, intrepid columnist to recklessness, Altan, 71, was arrested in September 2016, two months after the failed coup against the authoritarian President Erdogan. Invited to a TV debate the day before the putsch, he would have sent a « message subliminal » to the military felons.
However, Turkish justice, underlines the ECHR, never provided proof that the writer had wind of a conspiracy, even less of his participation. Nevertheless, she sentenced him to ten and a half years in prison, after the annulment in cassation of a life sentence.
Slayer of arbitrariness
Complicity seems unlikely between Altan, offspring of an anti-authoritarian left, and Imam Gülen’s brotherhood, accused of having hatched the failed coup. Except in the eyes of a regime which stuffs all its enemies in the same bag.
Altan pays for a career as a slayer of arbitrariness. Fired from the big newspaper Nationality in 1995 for having imagined a Kurdie where the Turks would be oppressed, hated nationalists for having dedicated under the title “Oh my brother”, in 2008, a chronicle to the genocidal Armenians, he sees arbitrariness taking revenge: the Constitutional Court released his younger brother Mehmet, arrested with him and sentenced for the same reasons. But she leaves him to rot.