Sinan Yavuz

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Yavuz, editor of the left-wing weekly Yoksul Halkin Gucu, was arrested during a police raid on an Istanbul fabric shop. Police reportedly had been told that the shop served as a front and arms-trafficking station for Devrimci Sol (also known as Dev Sol), an outlawed leftist organization responsible for numerous armed terrorist operations in Turkey. The charges against Yavuz show that he was alleged to be a member of Dev Sol, apparently on the basis of his affiliation with Yoksul Halkin Gucu, which the government asserts is Dev Sol’s publishing arm. The evidence against Yavuz consisted of unspecified “documents” relating to Dev Sol and two copies of the far-left magazine Kurtulus, which were allegedly discovered during a search of the fabric shop. Yavuz was alleged to have resisted arrest after attempting to flee during the raid.

Yavuz had been detained on previous occasions but released for lack of evidence. He confessed to nothing in police custody, but the prosecution claimed that other members of Dev Sol who were detained in the same roundup stated that Yavuz was a member of their group. According to court documents, Yavuz waved a Dev Sol banner in the courtroom during his trial, an act that led to his conviction. On December 29, 1994, he was sentenced to 12 years and six months in jail and sent to Canakkale Prison. He is currently in a prison in Sincan, a district just outside Ankara.