Imprisoned Ilıcak: If I’m a terrorist, my party friends in Parliament must be as well

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Merve Kavakçı (R) seen in the Turkish Parliament in May 2, 1999 along with her fellow Virtue Party deputies, including now jailed journalist Nazlı Ilıcak (L).

 

Imprisoned veteran journalist Nazlı Ilıcak told a delegation of opposition deputies during a prison visit that if she is considered a terrorist by the government, the people she worked with in the same party are terrorists as well, in reference to her brief political career with the predecessor of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Ilıcak, who was jailed in a massive purge following a July 15 coup attempt, reminded her audience of her challenges as the first deputy to attend parliamentary sessions wearing a headscarf in 1999 despite the opposition of the establishment. Her long career as a journalist notwithstanding, Ilıcak entered politics from the ranks of the Virtue Party (FP) and served in Parliament for one term with politicians who established the AKP after the closure of the FP.

“My friends in politics are in Parliament while I am accused of being a terrorist. They are whatever I am,” Ilıcak said.

Ilıcak became critical of the government, particularly after the corruption investigations of December 2013, and has been vocal in her views despite all intimidation.

Main opposition deputies Şafak Pavey, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Mahmut Tanal and Utku Çakırözer paid a visit last week to three writers in prison, namely Necmiye Alpay, Aslı Erdoğan and Ilıcak.

Deputy Tanal told the online news portal Duvar that those detained in the investigation against the Gülen movement are not allowed to send or receive letters.

 

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