Court keeps Gökhan Yıldırım in prison despite suspension of his sentence

Lawyer Seda Şaraldı said that the Tekirdağ 1st High Criminal Court decided to keep her client Gökhan Yıldırım in prison removing a previous decision to suspend his sentence.

Gökhan Yıldırım was released on September 5, 2022, on the 256th day of his death fast for a fair trial in Tekirdağ No. 1 F Type Prison after a court decided to postpone his execution for 6 months. However, Yıldırım has been rearrested before the 6-months period is over. Although the objection of the lawyers of the People's Law Office against his arbitrary detention was accepted by a court, his release was blocked by the Tekirdağ 1st High Criminal Court upon the prosecutor's objection. Speaking to ANF, Yıldırım's lawyer, Seda Şaraldı pointed out that the court prioritized the so-called "public security" based on a police report, instead of advocating the right to life. For Şaraldı, the court officially decided that Yıldırım can die in prison.


Şaraldı pointed out that the prosecutor in Tekirdağ applied an illegal procedure to Yıldırım. “When the decision to postpone the execution of Gökhan was issued, the prosecutor asked the Istanbul Police to monitor Gökhan constantly. Gökhan was already under the constant surveillance of the Istanbul police. He was even watched when he went to his mother's funeral. This being the case, Tekirdağ Police Department prepared a report that included Gökhan's social media posts and press statements, claiming that Gökhan posed a concrete threat to public security. Upon this report, the decision to postpone the execution was lifted. The main point here is whether Gökhan poses a threat to public safety should have been asked before the decision to postpone the execution, yet this was not done.”


Şaraldı pointed out that the objection made by his lawyers to this arrest was accepted by the court, but the decision to postpone his execution was lifted after the prosecutor objected to the Tekirdağ 1st High Criminal Court. Şaraldı emphasized that his client is jailed by constant interventions and illegal decisions, although there is no legal basis for his detention. “The Tekirdağ 1st High Criminal Court accepted that Gökhan's right to life was violated but prioritized public safety. The court says 'let him die,” Şaraldı said.


Şaraldı said that she is preparing to submit an individual application to the Constitutional Court. She pointed out that his client Yıldırım, who barely walks alone due to constant dizziness, has been kept in a solitary isolation cell in Silivri Prison No. 9 for a week and cannot meet his needs alone. Şaraldı warned that the cell where Gökhan was staying had two floors and a fall from stairs could be life-threatening for him. She added that the prisoner’s treatment remained unfinished in the meantime. “Gökhan did not want to use the neuropathic medication given to him and decided to try other treatments. Yet, it has become impossible to try these treatments in prison.”

Şaraldı insisted that the judicial institutions that arbitrarily revoked the decision to postpone his execution will be responsible for any negative outcome that may happen to her client.