Turkish court keeps Fincanci in custody, trial will resume in January

Turkish court keeps Fincanci in custody, trial will resume in January
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Sebnem Korur Fincanci, the head of Turkish Medical Association rejected all the charges against her and vowed to continue her struggle

An Istanbul court on Thursday ruled on the continuation of Sebnem Korur Fincanci’s detention who is tried of terrorism charges over remarks on Turkish military’s chemical warfare allegations.

On the second hearing of the trial, the court also rejected Fincanci’s lawyers’ request for the dismissal of the judges, Diken news website reported.

During her testimony behind the court, Fincanci said the trial process is proceeding with an “incredible perception operation”.

Recalling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s calling her a terrorist, “How can the members of the judiciary think different about me after Erdogan saying that?” Fincanci said.

Accused of being a member of a terrorist organization, Fincanci asked which organization the prosecution is referring to.

“If I am a terrorist, I wonder from which organization I am. I have no organizations other than the Turkish Medical Association and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey,” she said.

Fincanci, the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and a prominent human rights defender, was arrested in October on terrorism charges after commenting on allegations over Turkey’s using chemical weapons against Kurdish militants in Northern Iraq.

In an interview with Media Haber during a live broadcast on Oct.20, Fincanci shared her examinations on the basis of the coverages posted in social media, showing PKK militants who were allegedly suffered from chemical weapon attacks, saying that "Obviously, one of the toxic chemical gases was used that directly affects the nervous system." Fincanci also urged independent missions to investigate the incident within the scope of international treaties.

Following the interview, prosecutors in capital Ankara launched the probe into Fincanci on the grounds of “disseminating propaganda in favour of a terrorist organisation” and "insulting the Turkish nation, the state of the Republic of Turkey and its institutions.” On Tuesday, the prosecutors started a new investigation into Fincanci on the grounds of “being a member of a terrorist organization”.

“Turkish Defence Minister [Hulusi Akar] has described my remarks as 'slander' right after the broadcast. Blaming me of slander without any investigation over the chemical warfare allegations is to lie from the start,” Fincanci said.

Slamming the Turkish government of trying to use the physicians as a tool, “They are trying to get rid of the TBB, they are trying to get rid of me,” Fincanci said.

“Arresting me, putting me behind bars won’t change anything. We will continue our struggle,” she said.

“We are striving so that new lives can sprout and the living can continue their lives with dignity. I don't think it's a crime and I reject all accusations," Fincanci said at the end of her testimony.

The trial will resume on Jan.11, 2023.