Cihan Erdal’s defense (first hearing 6 months following his detention, April 2,2021, Ankara,Turkey)

“I have been deprived of my freedom in Sincan Prison [Ankara] for 6 months. There is no allegation or reason why I was arrested in an indictment which I am struggling to call ’an indictment’. Despite this, I am faced with an arrest, a spiritual violence. I was arrested just because I was a member of HDP’s [People's Democractic Party] Executive Committee.

I did not even attend the meeting (re to the Executive Committee Meeting in October 2014). Personally, I did not make any calls on October 6-8 [2014]. Moreover, it has been stated in the ECtHR's Demirtaş decision that these calls remain within the boundaries of political discourse and that there is no clear link between those violent events and the calls made and that; the arrests cannot be justified. It was also stated in the Bilgen decision [by Constitutional Court of Turkey | Turkish] that someone who did not attend the meeting could not be responsible for the call.

I demand nothing more than the implementation of the ECtHR and Constitutional Court rulings.

There are two Facebook new stories reposts. There is no hate speech or calls for violence in either of those. They are legal. They never called for violence. I had shared one from and the other one from Evrensel newspaper, both are still active. A father lost his son in the army, it is painful. I also reposted that news story on Facebook. The relevance of this to the Kobane events, its relation to me has not been explained. In what way does it constitute a crime? How does it affect the events of October 6-8? There is no explanation in the indictment.

I have never received instructions from any organization in my life, including the time during which I was a HDP Executive Committee Member. I have not witnessed anyone who is not a Committee member attend the meeting.

I never believed that anything would change through violence. I was never even taken into custody. I didn't even have the slightest investigation, let alone that.

How do I get better each day as a scholar? How can I contribute to Turkey’s and the world's favor? I had no other burning issues than these.

I started my doctorate studies in 2016, I got an Erasmus scholarship in 2017. Then I decided to continue my doctorate in Canada. I have been living in Canada since 2018. When I moved there, I informed Turkish authorities of my new address, I shared my family’s address with Turkish authorities. Every place I went was known. I come to visit my family every year. I came for academic cooperation. I came to see my nephew's birth.

Would I come if I had a slight belief that I have an action against someone? Am I a person with a suspicion of running away?

I still came to Turkey after Mr. Demirtas and Mrs. Yüksekdağ’s convictions. Although there is no legal difference between Mr. Altan Tan's situation [another former Executime Member who was released after the initial detention] and mine, why is the detention measure applied to him rightfully, why does not that apply to me?

It is not just a violation of my right to freedom. My presumption of innocence, my right not to be tarnished is being violated. My place is the library, my office at the university.”

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