Murat Arslan, the President of YARSAV (the dissolved Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors) and awarded with the Václav-Havel Human Rights prize in 2017, has written this letter to the President of Judges for Judges. He has been detained since October 2016 and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. His case is now pending before the Constitutional Court in Turkey.
My very precious friend,
The dangers to peace, the protection and enjoying of human rights, the understanding and practice of the rule of law directly harm human and natural life not only in Turkey but also in many countries of the world, including some western countries.
The call for peace, the struggle for the protection of human rights and access to a fair trial have never been more sought.
Unfortunately, the viewpoints of state powers other than the judiciary are more interest-oriented. On the other hand, we witness and live with sadness how the judiciary is instrumentalized and put into the service of the governments in some countries.
It is seen that, more than anyone, people, non-governmental organizations and members of the judiciaries will fight for peace, rule of law and human rights. The obligation of members of the judiciary to share their knowledge with other segments of society has never been felt more.
At this point, the activities of international judicial organizations gain even more importance. Judicial organizations should be a light in the dark, a foresight in the madness.
It is not easy to fight this struggle in a world where insurmountable problems arise every day. The desired results may not be obtained. Efforts often may go in vain. However, no result can take away from us the obligation to fight for a more just world.
Today, what happens in any part of the world can be seen in every corner of the world in a short time. We have come to the point that the world is all of us, that it is not possible to escape from problems and that we must fight together.
As someone who has personally seen the terrible face of oppressive regimes and felt the pain of this, I try to follow your work as much as I can. The priceless support of my wife and friends has always been with me.
Your work sheds light on us in these dark days. You give us hope. You give us stamina. You bear our burden.
I want you to know that every activity you do and every step you take is much more important than it seems. You have brought practice to the concept of solidarity. You have set the concepts in motion.
Human beings want to see the results of every work they do. We are result oriented. However, it would be disappointing when our expected-results cannot be achieved. This makes it difficult to take further steps. Therefore, it should be known that the activity or thought itself is valuable and meaningful. Regardless of the outcome, the struggle should not be abandoned.
Never underestimate your role and influence.
The works you do for me and for the victims of lawlessness make me and my friends happy. You are our source of hope.
For that, I cannot thank you enough. I wish you continuation in your works. First of all, take care of your own health. This world needs you more than ever. I respectfully greet all colleagues who have given a hand in this struggle before you.