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Fugen Gulertekin Meeting

Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 14:15:57 -0600

"I have asked Mrs. Gulertekin to apply for clemency, but I found her reluctant to do so. I eventually persuaded her to do it and I am still waiting to hear from her to this effect. According to Ohio regulations, the Governor has to get advice from the Ohio Adult Parole Authority before he can grant her clemency."

I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the organizers of this meeting, which will definitely help to raise awareness for the case of Mrs. Gulertekin, who has been wrongfully convicted.

Ever since I assumed my duties in Chicago, I have been in close contact with Mrs. Gulertekin, her family, and her legal representatives. I visited her twice in jail. The last time I visited her, I spent about three hours talking with her. We have telephone conversations from time to time, and I am writing her back.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, Baki Ilkin, who also is very keen to provide her relief, is trying hard to provide relief to her.

In this context, last year my Ambassador wrote a letter to the Governor of Ohio and the matter has been raised with the United States Department of

State by the Embassy. In view of all the representation with U.S. authorities, I have asked Mrs. Gulertekin to apply for clemency, but I found her reluctant to do so. I eventually persuaded her to do it and I am still waiting to hear from her to this effect. According to Ohio regulations, the Governor has to get advice from the Ohio Adult Parole Authority before he can grant her clemency.

I have also recently spoken with her attorney. The case is now before the Federal District Court in Columbus. Nobody can predict as to when the case will be taken up by this Court. It may take 1-2 years, or even more. If this court denies hearing the case, then it will be taken before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Cincinnati.

Unfortunately, this whole process may take a long time and there is a possibility that before any ruling is made, she may already be released. The chances that the Supreme Court of the United States (which is the last legal resort) to accept the case are very slim.

In the meantime, Dr. Leestma, a leading expert on shaken baby syndrome, has given an affidavit. He is expected to give another affidavit on an object called ìBigbirdî that fell on the childís head a few days before the incident happened. If he comes up with the conclusion that this was the ultimate cause of injury, then there may be some hope for a retrial.

I believe that the best way to secure relief for Mrs. Gulertekin is to work on the possibility for early release or clemency. Although her attorneys would handle the early release case request, the Turkish-American community, Assembly of Turkish American Associations and the Federation of Turkish American Associations should voice their strong support for her clemency by writing letters to the Governor of Ohio.

Mrs. Gulertekin is in dire need of money. Any amount of contribution will help to ease her financial burden in paying her attorneysí fees and to cover  court costs.

I wish you success in your humanitarian endeavors.

 

Yavuz AKTAS

TURKISH CONSULATE GENERAL IN CHICAGO
E-mail: chicago@trconsulate.org

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Buyuk Uzuntu Kaynagi

Tutuklu vatandasimiz Fugen Gulertekin'nin durumu bize buyuk bir uzuntu kaynagi olmakta devam etmektedir. Konuyla yakindan ilgilenmekte ve kendisiyle devamli temasi yurutmekteyiz. Bu cercevede iki kez kenidisini hapiste ziyaret ederek gorustum. Son gorusmemiz 3 saat kadar surdu ve her yonuyle durumu gozden gecirip, yapilabilecek girisimleri konustuk.

Davanin ilk asamalarindan itiberen Gulertekin ailesine devletimizce maddi manevi yardimlarda bulunuldugunu vurgulamak isterim. Bu baglamda Vasington Buyukelcimiz Sayin Baki Ilkin Ohio Eyaleti Valisi'ne metkup yazarak af yetkisini kullanmasini rica etmis. Ayrica ABD Disisleri Bakanligi katinda bu konuda giri?imde bulunulmustur.  Oteyandan Sayin Buyukelcimiz ayrica Turkiye ve ABD 'deki isadamlarina birer mektup  gondererek Gulertekin'nin durumunu dikkatlerine getirmistir.

Dava halen federal mahkeme asamasinda olup  'Federal District Court of Ohio' da bulunmaktadir.  Bunun ne zaman sonuclanacagi ise henuz bilinmemektedir. Sozkonusu mahkeme davayi reddederse temyiz mahkemesi olan 'Sixth Curciut Court of Apeals' a gidilecek buradan da  sonuc alinamazsa son hukuki merci olarak 'Supreme Court of United States' e basvurulacaktir. Hukuki surecin cok zaman almasi ve bu arada Fugen Gulertekin'in serbest birakilma olasiligi da bulunmaktadir.

Bugune kadar ilgili makamlar katinda yapilan girisim ve avukatlarla yurutulen gorusmelerden edinilen izlenim Sayin Gulertekin'nin biran  once hurriyetine kavusmasi icin erken serbest birakilma veya af gibi imkanlardan yararlandirilmasi yollarinin aranmasi ve bu konu uzerinde odaklanmanin uygun olacagi yolundadir. Af isin Sn. Gulertekin'nin Ohio Adult Parole Authority'e basvurmasi gerekmektedir. Sozkonusu girisimi yapmasi icin kendisine devamli telkinde bulunduk.

Umariz bu yola yakinda gidecektir.

Erken saliverme hususunun hukuki nitelig?i ve cercevesi bulundugundan konunun avukatlari tarafindan yurutulmesi gerekir. Ancak affin gerceklestirilmesinde Turk toplumunun buyuk rol¸ ve payi olabilecektir. Ohio Eyalet Valisine gonderilecek mektuplar buyuk etki yaratabilecektir.  Bu yonde yogun bir mektup kampanyasina giris?ilmesinin nem arzettigi degerlendirilmektedir.

Sn. Gulertekin'e verilecek maddi ve manevi destek ile yardimlar uzuntusunu hafifletecegi gibi hukuki konumunada yardimci olacaktir.

Sozkonusu yardimlarinizin artarak devam edecegine inaniyorum. En iyi dileklerimle,

Yavuz AKTAS
Sikago Turk Konsolosu

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