An online petition has been launched to support a “March of Justice” that will be carried out by the mother of one of the military cadets who were jailed in the aftermath of a failed military coup in July 2016.
Melek Çetinkaya, the mother of Furkan Çetinkaya, one of the cadets at the Turkish Air Force Academy, will soon start a “March of Justice” from Turkey’s capital of Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the imprisonment of her son and other cadets on terror, coup charges. She said that she expects the march to last a month and end in front of the Silivri Prison in İstanbul, where the cadets have been held since the failed coup attempt in 2016.
A total of 259 military cadets were detained on coup charges on July 16, 2016 and were arrested four days later. The cadets were indicted one year after they were sent to jail, and their trial was concluded in May 2018. One hundred seventy-eight of the cadets were given life sentences on charges of attempting to overturn the constitutional order and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and parliament by use of force as well as membership in a terrorist organization.
The cadets say they had no information about a coup attempt unfolding and were acting on orders from their superiors, who told them there was a terrorist attack.
As of January 2020, at least 355 military cadets have been given life sentences on coup charges.
The military coup attempt killed 355 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the abortive putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen group. The group denies any involvement.
“Melek Cetinkaya, the mother of an innocent Turkish cadet (who received life imprisonment after a coup attempt – orchestrated by his superiors), will begin a peaceful protest on 19th January, 2020.
On the evening of 15 July 2016, innocent soldiers and cadets (who were not informed of the coup-attempt), were suddenly taken out from their barracks by orders of commanders, and, without explanation or reason were sent to regions with intense chaos. Merely for being present at the scene, under orders of superiors, 355 cadets, including the son of Melek Cetinkaya, received life imprisonment.
As a result the desperate mother has begun a series of peaceful protest attempts, all ending with custody. Her most recent protest attempt on the 14th of January, was met by police force within 15 minutes of setting up, and before even being granted the right to speak she was forced to stop, and yet again, she was taken into custody.
This clearly illustrate violations of *Articles 19 and 20 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights*, which grant the mother, Melek, freedom to join associations, meet with others in a peaceful way and uphold freedoms of expression and the right to spread information.
Let her voice be heard!”