Erdal Süsem

EdirneEylül Sanat Edebiyat DergisimagazineeditorleftistFebruary 10 2010Süsem, editor of the leftist culture magazine Eylül Sanat Edebiyat Dergisi (September Arts Literature Magazine), was being held at Edirne F Type Prison on charges of helping lead the outlawed Maoist Communist Party, or MKP. Authorities alleged that Süsem’s magazine produced propaganda for the party. In a letter published in February 2012 by the independent news portal Bianet, Süsem said the evidence against him consisted of journalistic material such as books, postcards, and letters, along with accounts of his newsgathering activities such as phone interviews. Süsem made similar statements in a letter to the Justice Ministry that has been cited in news accounts. Süsem had started the magazine during an earlier imprisonment at Tekirdağ F Type Prison. The magazine featured poems, literature, and opinion pieces from imprisoned socialist intellectuals. After producing the initial four editions by photocopy from prison, Süsem transformed the journal into a standard print publication after his 2007 release from prison, circulating another 16 issues. Süsem’s earlier imprisonment stemmed from March 2000 allegations that he stole a police officer’s handgun that was later used in a murder. (He was not directly charged in the murder.) Süsem pleaded innocent to the gun theft charge during proceedings that were marked by a number of questions. No forensic evidence tied Süsem to the weapon, and witness descriptions of the suspect did not match the journalist. A criminal court convicted him on the theft charge and sentenced him to life imprisonment, a ruling that was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeals in 2007. In 2011, the Supreme Court reversed itself, reinstating the theft conviction.helping lead the outlawed Maoist Communist Partyhelping lead the banned Communist Party