Prof. Dr. Fincanci: For the first time in 61 years, I spent a night without a book
Turkish Medical Association President Sebnem Korur Fincanci, who was targeted and arrested by the government for making assessments about the military's possible use of chemical weapons, answered Arti Gercek's questions at the Sincan Closed Women's Prison. Fincancı stated, "I am by myself in a large room, but I did not have soap until this afternoon. For the first time in 61 years, I spent a night without a book. Otherwise, I feel quite comfortable."
Sebnem Korur Fincanci's answers to our questions are as follows:
"THE AUTHORITIES SHOULD HAVE DEMANDED AN EFFECTIVE INVESTIGATION THEMSELVES"
First of all, how do you feel about what you are going through?
I could give pages and pages of answers to this question, but I suspected that events would unfold in this way. Nevertheless, as a forensic scientist working in the field of human rights, I felt obliged to answer such a question addressed to me; it was my responsibility as a human rights defender. Moreover, what I did was a preliminary assessment based on the footage. What the authorities should have done was to demand an effective investigation themselves. Instead, the fact that they opened an investigation against me only raised more suspicion. My arrest is a punishment for remaining silent, but this punishment is not directed against me, but against society. It is a warning to people to keep silent in the future if there is any doubt or dispute.
DETENTION OF JOURNALISTS: "THEIR IMAGES ARE ETCHED IN MY MEMORY"
Can you tell us what you experienced after your arrest, what the first evening of your detention was like?
I benefited from affirmative action in detention. Some journalists were arrested on the first day of my detention and images of that, including positional torture, are etched in my memory. As for me, I was just not handled with kid gloves. They were kind, respectful, and responsive to my needs. But the fact that they had to come to my home for the arrest, that they presented the bullets, the collection and the course materials that belonged to my father and the books they found at home to the media as if they were elements of a crime; that they chose 5: 45 a.m. to take me to court and that they forcibly prevented my friends who wanted to visit me in solidarity from doing so, were the points at which they moved away from affirmative action and I was treated in the same way as everyone else.
I am by myself in a large room, but I could not access soap until this afternoon. For the first time in 61 years, I spent a night without a book. Otherwise, I feel quite comfortable.
"INDICTMENT MAY HAVE BEEN FINALIZED ONLY AFTER I HAD BEEN ON AIR"
Following your arrest, the Ankara General Prosecutor's Office has prepared a lawsuit for the dismissal of the Turkish Medical Association's Board of Directors. What would you like to say about this?
On the morning of my arrest, it was already in the press that such an indictment was in preparation. Moreover, it must be considered that such an indictment was already in the bag and may have been finalized only after I had been on air. There have been similar attempts over the years. My hope is that we will overcome these days through solidarity.
" WITH HOPEFUL OPTIMISM..."
Is there a message you would like to convey to the public?
With hope, with hopeful optimism, with all my friendship and with all my heart, I want to convey to all the people who stand by me in solidarity, who support me and who make statements, that we have the power to change the world and that together we will do it.