Beyoğlu Prosecutor has started an investigation concerning the remarks Nuray Bezirgan made about Atatürk in the television program titled “Teke Tek.” The other participant was Kevser Çakır. Prosecutor construed the remarks as insulting Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
According to the report by the newspaper “Milliyet”, Nuray Bezirgan told the news director of Hilal TV, the journalist Arzu Erdoğral, that she was not an enemy of Atatürk and her words were twisted.”
The prosecutor bases his investigation on the second article of Law 5816, concerning “crimes against Atatürk” and it will be conducted by the Office of Media Prosecutor.
Law no. 5816, concerning the crime of insulting Atatürk, states: “Anyone who publicly insults or curses the memory of Atatürk shall be imprisoned with a sentence of between one and three years. … If the crimes outlined in the first article are committed by a group of two or more individuals, or publicly, or in public districts or by means of the press, the penalty imposed will be increased by a proportion of one half.”
The dialog between Fatih Altaylı and Nuray Bezirgan was the following:
Fatih Altaylı: Do you have a facebook site? Your friend Kevser has the pictures of Humeyni from the 1979 revolution in Iran. Is that right?
Kevser Çakır: Yes, there is one. Yes, I like and respect him.
Fatih Altaylı: But he is a Shiite. What do you like about Humeyni?
Kevser Çakır: It does not matter if he is a Shiite. To me, he is a Muslim. I like Humeyni.
Fatih Altaylı: But a regime of oppression exists in Iran.
Kevser Çakır: But I do not support the regime in Iran.
Fatih Altaylı: But its founder is Humeyni.
Kevser Çakır: This does not mean that Humeyni has similar opinions. I like Humeyni as a person.
Fatih Altaylı: Do you like him?
Nuray Bezirgan: Yes, I do.
Fatih Altaylı: Do you like Atatürk?
Nuray Bezirgan: Does the right not to like Atatürk exist? If I will not get into trouble, then I do not like him. I do not think that when Atatürk received his authorization from the Sultan, he did not receive to establish a secular Republic. The people fought for Islamic values at that time. In fact, the War of Independence started when the French soldiers touched Nene Hatun’s headscarf.
Fatih Altaylı: I think you confused Maraş with Erzurum.
Nuray Bezirgan: Whatever. The French soldiers try to remove a woman’s headscarf in Maraş. Sütçü İmam fires the first shot against this and the War of Independence starts. The bottom line is that the women who carry ammunition to the war front are the people of that era and when you study the sociological structure of those times, these are all Muslim people.
Fatih Altaylı: Then, why do you not like the person who organized the War of Independence as much as Humeyni? I am curious. If Atatürk did not exist then perhaps there would be English and French here now.
Nuray Bezirgan: If the English were here, I would have more rights now. In fact, the issue is this. If people are persecuting me in the name of the ideology of Atatürk, then you cannot expect met o like Atatürk.
Kevser Çakır: That is, all these things are happening since some people are constructing an ideology around this individual. He was a good soldier. We know this.
Fatih Altaylı: He is the reason that this country was cleared off enemies. Don’t you at least feel gratitude?
Kevser Çakır: We know he was a good soldier.
Fatih Altaylı: Is it not Atatürk who established the liberal Republic that you defend, the regime that enabled the will you represent become the political power today?
Nuray Bezirgan: The kind of party that defends my ideas cannot be established in Turkey. In fact, this is forbidden. When a party defends my ideas, it is shut down. The Muslims struggle day and night to get their rights. When the Parliament defines a freedom even a little bit, some people take away this, our freedoms, in the name of Atatürk, the Republic, democracy, something, whatever that may be.
I want a regime where I will have complete freedom, my rights and freedoms will not be restricted. For example, I believe that the reason that you feel uncomfortable facing a woman judge with a headscarf is essentially because the Republic that was established by Atatürk has been presenting us as a threat.
Fatih Altaylı: No, that is not it. It is because you say “you and we”.
You see different those who do not live or perceive Islam like you do. I feel uncomfortable when you, Recep Tayip Erdoğan and others say “you – them, we – them”.
Nuray Bezirgan: I am not concerned with why your belief is. This is not my concern. A person can have any religion s/he wishes to have or s/he can have no religion. This does not mean that I will see you as a second-class citizen. But Mr. Fatih, you say you would be uncomfortable facing a judge with a headscarf.
Fatih Altaylı: I do, because I think she would be prejudices.
Nuray Bezirgan: Certainly! I believe at the root of you prejudice is the impositions of the 85 year old secular system. We have never been free. We have never expressed ourselves. A judge with a headscarf has never tried you. That is why you think like this.
Fatih Altaylı: What do you want from the regime? What do you want other than having you university education and having a job in public service [with your headscarf]?
Nuray Bezirgan: I want to exist in social life with my headscarf. (NZ/EZÖ/TB)