Evrensel Writer, Yusuf Karataş arrested 

Evrensel Writer, Yusuf Karataş arrested 

Evrensel Writer Yusuf Karataş has been arrested as part of the investigation into the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) in Diyarbakır.

As part of the investigation into the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) in Diyarbakır, Evrensel writer Yusuf Karataş was arrested. In his message from prison, Karataş stated that “It doesn’t matter whether we are inside or outside, we will continue to speak the truth”. There has been an outcry in response to Karataş’s arrest. 

Our writer, Yusuf Karataş, gave a statement at the Diyarbakır Police Headquarters as part of the Chief Prosecutors investigation into the DTK. Karataş’s statement was taken in the presence of his solicitor, Tugay Bek and was then referred to the prosecution office. The prosecution filed for his arrest and as a result, the case was transferred to the preliminary courts. Karataş was eventually brought before the preliminary courts and arrested.  


As part of the investigation into DTK, a statement was taken from Karataş at the police station and it was discovered that between2009-2013 he was subject to surveillance, this included monitoring his whereabouts and being listened to through technical means by the authorities. At the police station, Karataş was asked why he had attended the Roboski Massacre protest and the protest on the Supreme Election Council’s decision to veto independent MP candidates. Karataş was also questioned on his participation at an event held in Viranşehir, a town of Urfa, titled “Mesopotamia Seasonal Agricultural Workers Assembly” between 6-7 April 2013 as part of the DTK’s Social Political Commission for Labour, Migration and Poverty. The assembly which was held for agricultural workers rights was considered as “terror” activity. 


Solicitor Tugay Bek provided an analysis to Evrensel: “As far as we understand this investigation began in 2009 and continued until 2013. The arrest of Yusuf Karataş and other DTK activists, despite the fact that there has been no change in the investigation since then, is the most important evidence that this investigation has been pursued with a political motivation. All of the public activities of the DTK during that time posed no problem but are now being portrayed as though they were illegal organisational activities. Moreover, some DTK meetings were attended by the AKP MP Yasin Aktay (who was even a spokesperson of AKP) along with Cemil Ertem, who at the time was the Chief Advisor to the Presidency. DTK co-president Ahmet Turk was also part of the protocol that included Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Diyarbakır Municipal Authority, while he was the Prime Minister. In addition, DTK provided a formal 6-page proposal to the Parliament Constitution Commission.  This all shows that DTK was recognised as a legal and legitimate organisation by the state at the time. Unfortunately, under the Emergency State, DTK’s activities can be questioned as illegal activities.


Our contributor Yusuf Karataş sent a letter to Evrensel from Diyarbakır Prison. He stated that those who stand for peace, democracy, freedom and pro-labour are trying to be silenced by putting pressure on them. He included the following in his message.  

"Dear friends,  The gloomy regime hanging over the country desires to take our future hostage.

To this end, it is seeking to repress and silence all the people that line up with labour, peace, democracy and freedom. That the reason of our arrest is based on the files which had been prepared between 2011 and 2013 by judicial and police officers who were purged during the FETÖ operations after the coup attempt clearly shows once more by whom and how the unfinished job is being done.

Yet, we will not keep quiet. No matter what we are behind the bars or outside; we will keep telling and writing the truth, and shouting out the justice demand.

Besides, we made a promise to Metin Göktepe. This heart will not keep silent! Greetings and love to all.

Yusuf Karataş
Diyarbakır D type Closed Prison


In relation to the arrest of its member, Yusuf Karataş, EMEP’s declaration states that “This lawlessness will be tried in the public conscience”. 

A statement by the EMEP President Selma Gürkan stated that: 

“In its endeavour to create a political regime defined by a one-man state characterised by oppression, violence and prohibition, the AKP Government has been responsible for all sorts of lawlessness. Including the arrest of politicians, elected officials, journalists and defenders of human rights; the closure of newspapers, magazines, television channels and radio channels; and the prohibition of strikes and protests… 
Our party member, media adviser and Evrensel Writer Yusuf Karataş has been arrested as part of the investigation into the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) in Diyarbakır. The allegations brought against Karataş are without basis. 

The DTK which was formed in 2007 was at the time invited to various government meetings and was consulted in relation to the resolution of the Kurdish issue. At times local AKP MPs also attended the meetings of the DTK but today – a decade later – as a result of the current political climate it has become defined as an illegal organisation. It is within the context of these activities that our member Yusuf Karataş has been arrested and accused. 

The prosecutor includes Yusuf Karataş’s participation in the Mesopotamia Seasonal Agricultural Workers Assembly (which was formed to protect the rights of agricultural workers) as illegal activity. The prosecutor also refers to his participation in the protest against the Roboski Massacre as well as the protest on the Supreme Election Council’s decision to veto independent MP candidates. 
The accusations brought against Yusuf Karataş are part of the farcical proceedings that have been taking place recently. It has become the norm for political cases to be brought which take no account of legal criteria. Yusuf Karataş and the many others who are being tried in the same proceedings have simply been caught in this net. 

However, the situation cannot continue like this. A system which is led by illegality and a judicial system that disregards all rules and proceedings cannot survive for long. Because tyranny cannot continue forever.
These proceedings too will be judged by history and are being tried in the conscience of the public. 
We will not accept this illegal process against our party member Yusuf Karataş. We will continue to struggle against all illegality, arbitrary arrests and attempts to criminalise innocent people.” (EVRENSEL DAILY)


Last update: 29 July 2017 15:36