My son Ekim Can Polat’s heart could stop at any moment.

By e-mail:

I’m Songül Ilker. I’m a mother and I’m waiting every moment for the news of my child’s death. I can’t sleep at night. I can’t open the phones. Tears fill my eyes when my doorbell rings. My son, Ekim Can Polat, has been imprisoned since 2016.

I want to tell to you about how he was arrested, his court process, his exiles, the systematic physical and psychological tortures against him and his current situation. My son, Ekim Can, was a child who saw people’s troubles as his own troubles and was always worried about their troubles. He was never indifferent to what happened in his country. He was detained during the Gezi Park protests at the age of 15. He was held in the detention room for 3 days. In the same period, he was provoked and exposed by some media organizations as “Baby-Faced Terrorist”. Those who shot Berkin at the age of 14 made my son look like a terrorist when he was 15. In 2016, when my son was only 19 years old, he was arrested and he has been in prison ever since.

He was exiled continuously and is now in Denizli T Type Prison, which is his fourth place of exile. He had been exiled to Silivri, Bandırma and Akhisar prisons before that. During his trials, false witnesses were heard. As a result of the trials, the person who committed the crime was sentenced to 9 years, but was released on the same day. As a result of the trials, a predetermined court decision was read and my son was sentenced to 24 years.

So why is my son a prisoner?

The truck belonging to a private company burned down. Eyewitnesses describe the person who burned the truck as follows; He is 1.60-1.70cm tall and weighs around 65-70 kg. Fingerprints belonging to one person were detected in the crime scene investigation. Fingerprints described by eyewitnesses and detected in the crime scene investigation showed a person named M. Sezen.

On the day of the trial, Sezen’s father held a dialogue with the driver of the burning truck at the courthouse. This dialogue took place in the field of view of the security cameras, with a specific date and time, in no way hidden. Likewise, I witnessed this dialogue. The content of this dialogue is as follows. The driver of the burning truck said, “I had a hard time coming here, I spent a lot of money.”  Sezen’s father said, “I will cover all your expenses, I will give you money, but you should say in court that it was the tall man who burned the truck.”

In addition, on the day of the trial M. Sezen’s uncle came to me at the the courthouse and he threatened me the following. “Mustafa is engaged and will get married. He can’t stay in prison. Ekim has no one to support him. You are his only supporter. ”

The court’s decision was as follows; my son, Ekim Can Polat, was sentenced to 24 years in prison, despite the fact that Mustafa Sezen’s fingerprints were found on the gas can and eyewitnesses described him. He was released that evening.

Ekim was with his father, who was a construction worker, the night he was taken into custody. The police officers who searched the house took his father’s work materials (hammer, nails and gloves) as evidence. As a result of the investigations, only his father and the fingerprints of the police who took the materials were found on these tools. The court thought that this “evidence” could be used in a terrorist act.

My son has been in prison for 5 years for these ridiculous reasons. As if that wasn’t enough, he is systematically tortured physically and psychologically. In every prison his “right to treatment” and “use of medicine” was denied.

He was subjected to forced nude searches in every prison. They exiled him, saying he would be taken to the hospital. From the first day in Silivri Prison No. 5, his treatment was prevented and he was not transferred to the hospital. He was left alone in a cell in Bandırma T-type prison. They moved him to Akhisar Prison, where he was threatened  with death  and tortured. For these reasons, he started a hunger strike and during this action suffered a heart attack. Head guard Kazım Demirtaş threatened him saying, “If you don’t cooperate with us, we will kill you”.

Ekim Can is currently in prison for an incident that he has nothing to do with. This time, pressures began to form because he did not fulfill their wishes.

He was forcibly removed from the place where he was left, saying that it would be renovated. Then he was placed opposite a convict who had attacked him earlier. When they look, they can see each other. Judicial detainees, seeing what was done to Ekim, reacted by writing a petition to the administration, saying that this will not happen. The guard says, “Are we going to feed him, not put him to death?” They are doing what Yazid did. When he asks for water from the canteen, they say no, but they give it to other detainees.

Hear my voice, be my voice, don’t let my son die. Everyone is acting like three monkeys. There are dozens of sick prisoners like Ekim. You are our voice. They do everything to kill sick prisoners.

What I wrote offended them. I said ‘naked searching is torture’. The director of the prison said, ‘Your mother says so, but it’s not a crime, it’s in our rules’. Upon Ekim’s objections to these words, a guard threatened “we will bury you here, we will kill you”, and the prison director did not interfere.

At the time Ekim had a heart attack while on hunger strike, he was also diagnosed with a heart rhythm disorder, COPD, osteoporosis, and pituitary hormone imbalance. He is seriously ill and needs hospital treatment as soon as possible, but is not even given his medication. The last time we spoke, he said to me, “Your would be ashamed of your humanity if your saw the tortures here.”

They have been dealing with hospital referrals for months. He is subjected to physical violence when he is taken to the hospital. In February, at Denizli State Hospital the gendarmerie came to the doctor and gave information about Ekim’s case. After that, the doctor did not examine him. Treatment for Ekim never started. He was taken to hospital, subjected to violence there, and brought back to prison.

He wants to be treated, he wants the torture and violations of prison rights to end. They broke his belongings. Somehow, his money is running out even though his canteen needs are not given to him. The money I sent to him is not delivered to him on time and it is said that this money I sent is over.

They say to him, “if you don’t do what we say you will have trouble here”, “if you don’t want to have problems here, do what we say”

As of today (27.06.2021), my son is on the 19th day of his hunger strike and his heart can stop at any moment.

International Solidarity for the political prisoner Ekim Can Polat – Turkey

Songul Ilker : 0534 978 1315

Twitter : @ekim_songul

Mail : ekimcanpolataozgurluk@gmail.com

World Report 2021 Turkey: Human Rights Watch

U.S. State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Turkey

Amnesty International Report Turkey 2020

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