In fact, I thought about how I could start this article many times. I wrote it then deleted repeatedly, and I wrote it again; I have read what I wrote again and again and re-imagined what I lived in bewilderment. Every moment of what I went through is still in my memory.

While I was working as a scholar at a state university, without any interest and relevance with the known and damned coup attempt, I was detained on charges of coup 15 days after the coup attempt. Though it is so easy to say that; the reflections of what I lived to my life prove that I will never be like the old one. My entry process into prison is gradually as follows.

I was a civil servant for about 15 years. During this period I did not receive a single investigation or a single warning.
There was not even the slightest inquiry about me. There was not the slightest complaint about me. I only got into my lessons and focused on my academic work. I had a very good relation with my students and I always completed my entire learning life successfully. I had also good relation with the academics. In short, there was nobody I had a problem with and there was no issue to cause a problem. Although it is not related to me in fact, I wasn’t a party to any rector candidate on the rector elections, this was interpreted negatively by some. However, I did not have any intention to create any environment or to have any authority/a higher position within the university. In any academics, the purpose of having a higher position/authority should not be anyway. Because this authority love affects the academicians’ purpose of doing science.

I made annual leave 15-20 days before the coup attempt. I saw my family, attended the wedding ceremony of my relatives, and learned that a coup attempt happened overnight. I could even learn the coup attempt in the morning but not at night. It was a situation we would never see as acceptable and, fortunately, it did not reach its goal. As the heat of events had not yet been lost, the annual leave of all civil servants was canceled and I immediately returned to office. It was only 2 days since I started my duty that I was suspended from my job on having a tie with the FETÖ / PDY. No information was given me about how my association with this organization was established.

According to the normal procedure, an investigation must be opened and an investigator should be appointed before a civil servant is suspended from his job. If these investigators found it necessary then the civil servant had to be suspended. The personal rights of a civil servant who has been suspended from his job remain the same and continue to receive only 2/3 of the salary during the investigation. However, 3 days after I was suspended, I was telephoned by the faculty secretariat and they asked me to vacate my room. So my personal rights began to be taken away. Slowly they were restricting our rights as if they had been calculated beforehand. I was not allowed to enter any campus of the university immediately after that. Officials dismantled our cars’ university stickers. Our relationship with the university was being usurped.

On the 10th day of my suspension, while I was waiting the investigation to begin by the university, an evening my door was knocked by the police. I’ve never had a job with the police all my life, I did not even know where the judiciary was although I have been living in that city for years. 3 cops came to our house, they showed us the search and detention order. Getting into the house, they spent many hours for searching; They took my computers, my memory cards, my phones, and detained me. My computer, which is a sine qua non for an academician, went into records as an organizational document.

On the same day, a total of 34 academics were detained and they held all of us in a gym. Every day, they took 10 people to the police station (Anti-Terrorism Branch) and asked some previously prepared questions. In fact, there was no question. They wanted each of us to tell about our resume. We did, and they wrote it, because we have nothing to hide. We answered our questions such as our resume, the schools we went, the supplementary schools if we had attended, the relevance of us to this organization. However, some questions were specific for each person and the question that was specific to me was like this. One day before I was suspended, a teacher (!) from the faculty had gone to the police and told them what he knew. This instructor told the police 30-40 names, in which my name was also included. I have never communicated with him even once, I have not spoken at all, I have not been in the same environment, but he tells to the police “he can be “Fetöcü” ” for me.

I don’t know what kind of a statement it was, that on the same day the statement was given I was wanted to be suspended, but my suspension document was notified to me one day later. The day after we gave the police testimony, we were taken to the judiciary by the police to get to the prosecutor’s office. After sitting in front of the prosecutor’s door for about 2 hours, we were going to face the judge with a request for pending trial for 3 people and arrest of remaining 7 people. The prosecutor had demanded it, but we still did not have the slightest knowledge of what our offense was. We were taken immediately to the courtroom. We told the judge our situation and the judge listened to us quite beautifully. No lie, the judge had no reason to arrest us. I could not even make any sense of being in the courtroom anyway.

It would be a lie if I say “I did not feel that he would release me” while the judge was listening to me. In court the judge listened to all of us. Even the second time we asked to speak, he gave us this right. 2 minutes break was given to make decision. After the break we entered the courtroom. It was decided by the judge that all seven were arrested for whom the prosecutor requested arrest. Maybe it was the worst day of my life. Everyone in that courtroom cried without exception. We still did not even know what we were accused of, they made us sign some papers before we even got out of the courtroom. On those papers we had signed, there were accusations of “attempt to remove the constitutional order” and “to become a member of the armed terrorist organization”. Although I have never touched a gun except for military service throughout my life, I was accused of being a member of the armed terrorist organization.

We hugged our wives and children with tears when leaving the courthouse. It was such a hard and bad day. People were now looking at you as if you were guilty. We said goodbye to our parents and got in the car that would take us to prison. First they took us to the hospital for a health check. We got out of the car, the doctor checked us, and when we got back, a woman sitting in the hospital’s garden asked the police, “What is their guilt?” Police said “Coup”. Before the police officer said anything else, the woman began to yell, “Hang them on, execute them, kill them.” We were witnessing what was happening because the windows of the cars we were in were covered with film, but the outsiders could not see us. So if we had been executed that day, I would not be able to write these at the moment. My innocence would be understood, but I would be in grave. My rights would be refunded, but maybe I would not see these situations…

The prison process would come later. I will describe the prison process in my next article…

Alper KALA