Today, Member of Parliament/Journalist K. Enis Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years heavy imprisonment by Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court.
This crime is regulated under Article 330/1 of the Turkish Criminal Code: Anyone who, in the course of political or military espionage, discloses information that should be held secret on grounds of the security of the state, internal or external political interests or its intrinsic nature, shall be sentenced to life imprisonment. As Berberoğlu was proven guilty of this offense, he was sentenced to “life imprisonment”, but considering mitigating causes, this was reduced to 25 years in prison.
However, it should be noted that this judgment lacks “legitimate ground” in terms of the accusation and the nature of the alleged crime. Evaluating this in terms of technical law, we should say that “elements of crime” are not present. Even if the action were committed by Enis Berberoğlu, the incrimination could not be based on Article 330/1 of the Turkish Criminal Code. It is evident that the elements of “espionage” are not present at all. Other than that, there is no act that is proven to have taken place.
As Istanbul Bar Association, we have long been aware that it is useless effort to enter into a study within the framework of law/doctrine/case law at the point where a “purely legal” evaluation is made. We are currently in a time in which this effort that is the core of our existence is totally meaningless.
We are in the most grievous phase of our legal history in terms of the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.
The courthouses do not ensure justice anymore.
This recent phase, which we were dragged by the ruling power under the pretense that judiciary would be rescued from FETÖ, is the indicator that we are where the words fail.
Enis Berberoğlu judgement is an example that legitimizes the points emphasized above. Regretfully, we do not carry any hope that this would be the last. Because there in no freedom of expression. Because there is no freedom of press. The most fatal of all is that Enis Berberoğlu is imprisoned. Because this imprisonment is an intimidation targeting the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
In short, “reliance” period is over.
PRESIDENCY OF ISTANBUL BAR ASSOCIATION