Since July 2017 our friend and colleague İdil Eser has been held in the highest security area of the highest security prison in Turkey.
İdil, the Director of Amnesty International Turkey, was detained along with nine others during a workshop in Istanbul. It came only a month after Amnesty International Turkey’s Chair, Taner Kılıç was detained. Currently eight imprisoned and two bailed defenders are facing an investigation on suspicion of aiding a terrorirst organisation, a ridiculous and baseless accusation. They have done nothing wrong.
İdil has written a letter from her prison cell after a massive global response demanding their release. It’s a message of thanks, hope and courage.
12 September 2017, Silivri Prison No. 9
I would like to thank the entire Amnesty International movement. I send my heartfelt thanks to the International Secretariat, the [Amnesty Turkey] board, campaigners, people who have supported us with their signatures, and especially my colleagues who continue their work with self-sacrifice.
I thank my friends, who are my family – although not biologically. I am glad to have you. I am sure that many people would covet having siblings and friends like you. I am sorry that I had to burden you with my own responsibilities.
I am also sorry for the trouble caused to my colleagues, who have to deal with my case in addition to all the others. Together with the human rights defenders, I hope to be with you very soon.
Amnesty members in London, UK protest the wrongful imprisonment of the Instanbul 10.
In this process, I believe that Amnesty International plays a very important role in the application of human rights at a global scale. I always believed in the working methods and principles of the organisation and the importance of human rights; and I will keep believing in them. I am proud to be the Director of Amnesty International Turkey. In particular, I believe that organisations such as Amnesty International are becoming more important in a world where division and xenophobia are on the rise.
I think that our cause has further strengthened the solidarity between rights organisations, and I rejoice. I really wish I could stay in the same ward as my friends who are also being investigated.
Idil Eser with the Amnesty Turkey office cat
I miss music, my cats, being with my friends and being at my work.
Yet I am well, do not worry about me.
Continue your righteous work…