The case of the German-Turkish journalist Mesale Tolu made in Germany for attention. The 35-Year-old had reported about the public funeral of two members of the in Turkey forbidden party “MLKP”. She was subsequently apprehended under terrorism suspicion, without the German authorities were first informed. From April until December 2017 Tolu was in Istanbul in custody, the largest part in common with her little son, Serkan, at the time, not much older than two years. After their dismissal, subject to conditions, from the prison she was not allowed to leave for eight months in the country. In August 2018, a court lifted the ban on Leaving against Tolu. Tolu returned to Germany and lives with her family in Neu-Ulm.
About your time in an Istanbul prison, she has written a book that appears now. “My son stays with me,” and Tolu documented the political Situation in Turkey, under President Erdogan. In may could fall in Istanbul, the judgment in the proceedings. Tolu hopes on an acquittal: “I still have that longing for Istanbul,” she says in an Interview with the star.
woman Tolu, how to start a new life in Germany after eight months in prison?
Mesale Tolu: Actually, my life goes on where there in front of the prison had stopped. It is not a new but a different way of life. I am no longer the Person I was before, because I have collected both good and bad experiences during these months. But I’m trying because to continue where I left off. It is not always easy, because you can’t do that, what you have experienced, simply brushed aside. It leaves a mark. But I’m fortunately very good here with my life and be able to work as a freelance journalist and lectures.
your Istanbul apartment was stormed and trashed. Cops went in with drawn gun, in the nursery of their small son, Serkan. They were taken in front of his eyes. What are the positive things you have experienced?
I have received enormous solidarity and support of all sorts of people. It is the most Beautiful, if people you don’t even know, stand behind you. When I was able to leave the country, I have always felt that there are people who are there for me.
I didn’t want my son thinking that we had something stopped done
As her then two and a half year old son, to ask after them, and brought it to her father to the prison. How to make a two and a half Years in a prison?
It was hard. The circumstances were limited.
It was reported at the time, it would have not even given disposable diapers for him.
You can’t shop for what you need. You can’t make it to any time of the day. You can not play spontaneously with a child, a run, or on a Playground. All of that is in prison is not possible. Everything has its Routine. But you can’t on this Routine. But thanks to the support of the other women in prison, we found Alternatives. We tried to make prison life so that a child can feel at least reasonably well.
they made Bowling pins out of old bottles for Serkan or spread a net to play volleyball. He has to understand, that he is in prison?
Also in the Turkish prison called “prison”. I’m not explaining it in this way. I didn’t want my son thinking that we had something wrong and needed to be punished because of it. But I tried to explain to him that it is a place where one is voluntary and that we be allowed to lead a different life. He probably has not understood only, that we can get out.
book My son stays with me
In the book “My son stays with me”, the 23. April appears, reported Mesale Tolu about the brutality of the police and the judiciary in Turkey, everyday life in the political captivity of their struggle for freedom and their commitment to freedom of the press.
The time you spend with your son in Bakırköy is also detailed in your book described. The release date falls on the 23. April in Turkey, both as a day of the child, as well as a holiday of national sovereignty. A Statement Like That?
no. I am only one of many, was detained. My case has become public, that is why people are interested in the background. I wanted to tell my story so people can get an idea of what the Turkish population, and the question of principle, when it is in order to the end.
your for January the scheduled process was on the 23. May be adjourned. If found guilty, up to 25 years in prison. You will appear to your court date in Turkey?
This is not sure yet. I must not appear, and I have already testified. I always a short time before with my lawyers, therefore, nothing is fixed today.
you ever Want to be back in Turkey, when this process is over and you should be acquitted?
I have not completed fully with Turkey. I still have colleagues who fight back against the Regime, and I want to support. Even if I think no spark at the justice of the Turkey, I want to spell a free. I don’t want to be detained, returned to Turkey enter the country. If I am not acquitted, will remain closed, the doors of the Turkey for me for a long time.
I am certainly not going to be silenced
do not be afraid to be imprisoned again?
You currently can not expect in Turkey anyway, so that critics of the regime go unpunished. Even Likes and entries in social media can lead to a detention. This is true not only for me but for everyone. Therefore limiting it, not can I find the right one. No one would fight back against the Regime. I don’t want to censor myself. Clearly I don’t want to experience it all again. But I am certainly not going to be silenced.
It is, as your plane took off in Istanbul in the direction of Germany, you would have looked out of the hatch of the aircraft, and in nostalgia indulged. “I love Istanbul” you should have said. How can you love a city, you have so much lost, yet?
and now I still longing for Istanbul. Ibinding my grief is not with the city. I connected with the local government, which deprived the people of their freedom. The government is to blame for it, that people are unjustly imprisoned – not the city, not Turkey and not the population. I separate very clearly. I had prior to my imprisonment, a fine life in Turkey. I’m not getting my positive experience. Otherwise, I would punish the country for what the government has done.
share, as a German with Turkish roots on Twitter vigorously against the Turkish President Erdogan. German-Turks who sympathize with Erdogan, by contrast, death threats against you. Why has Erdogan in the Turkish-German Community is still getting followers?
Because you have not experienced the repressions, and everyday life. You don’t know, the population that suffers from the System. You don’t have to make day-to-day Concerns about your Job. You can live in a country where there is freedom of press and speech, where a lot of runs. You feel Erdogan belongs, because he says again and again that the German-Turks are also part of the Turkey. He creates a sense of belonging and stabilized the national feeling of this people. This explains why people Erdogan’s party AKP or support him.
The human rights violations that happen in Turkey, also in Germany.
Yes, but Erdogan represents an Islam, which many feel a sense of belonging. For many people that’s enough to stand behind him. But I think no one of Erdogan supporters in Germany would want to live in Turkey.
of Course, the Federal government in the Integration has made a mistake
Mesut özil’s football shirt photo with Erdogan, has beaten last year’s high waves. Since then, is also discussed increasingly about the Integration of German-Turks. It has been a failure of policy?
of Course, the Federal government in the Integration has made mistakes, so that people have felt maybe excluded. All of this has led to a hole that was surely filled by the Turkish government. I can well imagine that our failed policy was replaced by the Turkish policy, Erdogan’s.
How do you rate the current Turkey-policy of the Federal government?
The Federal government has repeatedly tried to get out of this crisis with the Turkey to come out. Nevertheless, German journalists are reported, and only after public pressure back into the country have been left. This shows that the Federal government does not make any clear announcements, which is why the Turkish government dares to put such an undemocratic behavior on the day. You must take a clearer stance, and not only respond, if you yourself are affected by something.
All to look like the Turkey is wrong
done “violations of human rights to take strong in Turkey. The Europeans, too, see. Unfortunately, they do nothing about it”, you complained a year ago in an Interview. What should Europeans do about it?
There is agreement that all countries must abide by, and that has also been confirmed by court judgments. But Turkey does not comply with these judgments. Neither the European court of justice, the EU countries, Turkey, have held, contrary to something here. All to look, as in Turkey have been wronged. To look solely to such agreements, and to lay the Finger in the wound, would be desirable.
Economic sanctions don’t you consider useful?
The Turkey is already in economic distress. The people are already feeling the daily crisis in the country. The income is too low, the unemployment rate is too high, the food prices have skyrocketed. With economic sanctions, the EU would shoot himself in the leg, because there are very many European investors. Of course you can let a country into the abyss. But there are reciprocal agreements between EU countries and Turkey. Any sanction relates also to the population. You must consider what sanction, not only the population, but also a Signal to the government.