22 April this year a group of armed people captured a prestigious Istambul hotel
“Swiss hotel” and held all its guests and the personnel as hostages
for more than 12 hours. They did
that to declare their protest against mass tyranny and outrages of Russian
occupants in Chechnya. Clients of
this hotel are mostly foreigners from Western countries including
representatives of mass media; thus, the action provoked resonance.
The details of this incident are not forgotten; however, we would remind
that the invaders gave up without any resistance after negotiations. They declared that their goal was achieved “thanks to
Western journalists, who were living in the hotel and who informed international
community about the terrible events of the Chechen war and humanitarian tragedy”.
one suffered and some newspapers wrote that “everything looked like a play, no
one fainted, no one screamed and no one called for help and no one asked for
mercy, there were no demands for any ransom”.
There were commentators who angrily denounced the “Chechen brothers”
who are “striking a blow to Turkish tourism in the days of season opening”.
people were arrested and conveyed to the Department of struggle against
terrorism of the Istambul police office. After preliminary interrogation and investigation in
accordance with the indictment of prosecutors, judge of the 4th Istambul Court
of the State Security decided to arrest 13 people accused of “forming a band
with criminal aims and threatening the freedom citizens”.
Court of state security instituted proceedings on the case of seizure of "Swiss
Hotel” in May 29. A long term of
imprisonment awaits the organizers and ringleaders of the action, Muhammad
Tokdjan and Emir Tashtan, from 14 to 26 years.
Others will be punished more mildly, 9 to 19 years' imprisonment. It is
written in the indictment about formation of a "band with criminal aims and
threatening the freedom of citizens as well as actions, which cause panic in an
inhabited building.” Law is law
and there is nothing one can do. However,
Turkish media of the so-called liberal and left persuasions are not satisfied
with statement of the issue. They
are convinced that influential circles of the country show indulgence to
"Chechen terrorists” and consider that defendants must be punished
“like terrorists because they are terrorists.”
citizen from the North Caucasus Muhammad Emir Tokdjan known to the Turkish
public with the fact that he led the capture of a ferry boat “Avrosia”
almost 7 days ago is among the prisoners. At that time the judge did not consider the actions of
Tokdjan as being terrorist act and he was released last year by amnesty, despite
the fact he was imprisoned for a long time.
problem is that large majority of prisoners, except those who participated in
terrorist acts, were discharged by amnesty.
Press critics directed at the Turkish Phemida was massive and the
coalition ruling at the time was accused of excessive mildness and even of open
sympathy to North Caucasians. Now
the situation repeats itself and again they talk and write about sympathizing
“Chechen terrorists”. However,
it should be remarked that the issue is about citizens of Turkey whose ancestors
appeared in this country in the second half of the 19th century
outcome of majority of indigenous population of the North Caucasus was not a
simple emigration. It was caused by
a merciless aggressive war carried out by Russian tsarism, which committed
genocide against the populations of the North Caucasus.
Russia forced the whole nations of Caucasus for massive emigration on
territories of (Osmanli) Turkey. Descendants
of those expatriated nations adapted in Turkey long ago, however, they never
forgot the thing their fathers went through, remembered native mountains and
missed Caucasian land for a long time. Disintegration
of USSR gave a hope and parting finished.
However, the history repeated itself , miserable and unbearable fate fell
on lot of Caucasians: bloodshed, tyranny, persecution, war.
It is natural that North Caucasians living in Turkey did not watch all
that indifferently and calmly. Some
from despair went on extreme measures. That’s why, when blaming this people
media must also remember about their moral duties, in our opinion.
Because the issue is about Turkish citizens. In addition, by demonstratively ignoring all thing happening
in Chechnya, some Turkish television channels and newspapers are showing
indulgence at the genocide of the Chechen nation. The whole Chechnya today is
converted to the enormous prison; to firing ground; to concentration camp. And
perpetrators of this are not called terrorist and not arrested by anyone.