Update: Taner Kılıç was arrested and returned to prison hours after his release after an Istanbul prosecutor appealed the decision. “To have been granted release only to have the door to freedom so callously slammed in his face is devastating for Taner, his family and all who stand for justice in Turkey,” Amnesty International’s secretary general said.
I spent 12 days in jail, the last nine of which were in solitary confinement, before I learned that the lawyer who would represent me was a man named Taner Kılıç. At once, I felt relieved. I was relieved not only because Taner is a great lawyer and the president of Amnesty International in Turkey, but also because he had been my companion and had fought alongside me for many years.
I had been arrested by plainclothes police officers near the Syrian border. The police accused me of having entered a military area without permission near the town of Reyhanlı, in the Hatay province. I was afraid they would keep me in prison for months, maybe even years. However, just two days after Taner began to represent me, the doors of my cell swung open and I was released.
The next day, I was on a flight to Bologna, extremely relieved that my ordeal had been short-lived. But five weeks later, Taner, the man who had moved heaven and earth to obtain my release, was himself arrested. At 6:30 in the morning, on June 6, the police showed up at his house and took him into custody.