I am a lawyer, at the moment mostly specified on human rights. Beside my cases at court I also do other laywer work, because you do not earn real money with human rights cases. My customers are mostly kurdish people and refugees, people from Syria and Nigeria for example.
When the coup happened I was in Van, in the south-east of turkey. We were not afraid because we didn’t believe the news. We heard about it on social media. After a while we called the 156 (military police number) and they said they didn’t hear anything about coup It was too far away for us, both Istanbul an Ankara. After the declaration on TV we realised that something is going on. We thought it was a real coup from the beginning, I still think so. But I suppose the government knew earlier about it than they told us. We were expecting something like that to happen. After all the coup became an instrument for them to do whatever they want.
Laywers and journalists are the most affected group in turkey these days. Actually we lawyers just passed the journalists, more than 600 of us are in prison now. I am not afraid of going to jail that much, as a kurdish person in turkey you get used to the fact, that most of your friends or relatives get arrested somewhen. But I hate prison – when I go there for a visit, I hate fluroscent lights.
German journalists like Meşale Tolu or Deniz Yücel are being treated different in jail, because they have the german country in their backs. You can’t imagine what the police does to ordinary political prisoners. So much torture, so much brutality. We have lots of clients who told us, how ordinary people are being treated there. If you go to prison it usually takes about 6 or 8 months until you get your first trial. Which does not mean, that it is your last trial before you get your final sentence.
I think the turkish government will not change the situation of the kurdish people, we have to find a solution ourselves. I am sure they want to keep us down, but now that the international community has an eye on the kurdish public, they can’t ignore the international community’s attitude.
I am speechless about so many people voted for Erdoğan in the referendum. I would like to believe that it was a trick, that they just stole the votes. But I know that it was not like this. The secular party of turkey (CHP) was so long on top of the state, that the religious people think that they are oppressed. Those are happy to be on power now I think. These two parts of society have always been in fight – and I think we are stucked between these two type of groups. And also most of the big bosses gave their vote to Erdogan, ot because of their religious or lifestyle – just because they can be sure that he will share the big economic pie among them. The poor people voted for him, because he made them feel like he was one of them, or because they are very religious. The AKP is unfortunately good at marketing.
I try not to think about my future. I smoke and drink alot more, and it’s getting more and more expensive. They made all of this stuff very expensive, because it does not fit in their religious lifestyle. Especially as a woman things got harder because of the conservative and patriarchal repression in society. We feel more save in areas like Beşiktaş or Kadiköy. Because we want to drink beer in public places and do not want to be disturbed, we are forced to pay higher rents to live in such places. That’s just another form of taxes.