Lack of justice in Turkey targets the sociologist, writer and anti-militarist feminist peace activist Pinar Selek one more time. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court’s decision to acquit Pinar Selek, who is alleged to have been involved in what is known as “Misir Bazaar case.” The Court, which is infamous for the unjust trial of the assassinated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, sentenced Selek to life imprisonment basing its decision on the former Penal Code article 125.
In the explosion in Unluoglu Bufé at the entrance of the Misir Bazaar (the “Egytpian Market”) on July 9, 1998, seven people died and 127 people were injured. After the investigation into the incident, 15 people, one of them being Selek, were arrested allegedly for planting the bomb. Selek was imprisoned for 2,5 years despite lack of evidence. After being released, the trial continued until 2006. Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court found Selek not guilty on the grounds of insufficient evidence and the uncertainty of the reason of the explosion. In 2007 The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled this verdict, holding that there had been a mistake in the procedure since the court had to give a final verdict. After this reversal, Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court gave a final verdict and acquitted Selek of the bombing.
The final examination of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was completed on March 10, 2009. The Court reversed Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court’s decision to acquit Pinar Selek as well as Kadriye Fikret Sevgi, Abdulmecit Ozturk, Masallah Yagan and Heval Ozturk, approving the decision to acquit Alaattin Oget and Isa Kaya.
Who is Pınar Selek?
Pinar Selek is an anti-militarist feminist peace activist and a sociologist who works in various fields such as gender, violence, militarism, ecology, media, stray children and excluded groups. With her transparent and egalitarian approach, she has carried out various studies on the Kurdish issue, stray children, transvestites, transgendered people and women rights. Selek is also an advocate for freedom who supports anti-militarists and conscientious objectors. She believes in combining sociology, politics and activism in all her studies.
Although mainstream institutions in Turkey target Selek, seeing her as a danger, and try to stigmatize her as a ‘violent criminal’, all the people she has encountered during her studies and in everyday life support her. Therefore, throughout her trials, which have been going on for the past 11 years, several groups of the society as diverse as academics, feminists, human rights activists, intellectuals, Kurds, lawyers, stray children and farmers have stood by Selek, launching various campaigns in favor of her.
Born in 1971, Pinar Selek graduated from Notre dame De Sion High School and Mimar Sinan University, Department of Sociology. She received her MA degree from the same university and department. Selek followed political economy lectures at Sophiantipolis UDEL University in France.
Selek has led “Street artists Atelier,” a joint atelier by excluded people and those who exclude each other. She is a member and activist of Amargi Women’s Solidarity Cooperative. She supports various NGOs and movements in the area of peace and human rights. She also edits Amargi Journal of Feminist Theory.
Pinar Selek's Publications
- Being a Man by Straining (2008, İletişim Publishing)
- Water Drop (2008, Özyürek Yayınları)
- Masks, Cavalries and “Gacı”s (1st press 2001 Aykırı Publishing, 2nd press 2007 Istiklal Publishing)
- We Could Not Reconciled (2004, Ithaki Publishing)
- Ya Basta (1996- Belge Publishing Transl