Anti-Imperialist Activist Arrested at Atatürk Airport

By Ed Dalton

Revolutionary-democratic and anti-imperialist activist Ekrem Deniz Osmanoğulları, a citizen of Holland who is of Turkish origin, was arrested on September 6th at the Atatürk Airport upon landing in Istanbul. Deniz was charged by the Turkish fascist state for posting on social media networks.

The arrest only exposes the level of fascism in the AKP government in Turkey as it desperately attempts to frame all of its dissidents as terrorists. In reality, the Turkish state seeks to criminalize all who are critical of the AKP government and its reactionary policies. Deniz had arrived to serve as a translator at the 9th annual Eyüp Baş International Symposium on imperialism.

Deniz has been accused of sharing “terrorist propaganda” on social media while living in Holland, but he is known by his friends and comrades as a passionate supporter of progressive causes around the world and a valuable member of the community. He is the owner and operator of a small restaurant in Holland which serves Turkish cuisine.

Many other Turkish people as well as expatriates have been arrested like Deniz, on the basis of nothing more than sharing educational material or criticizing Turkish fascist president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The decaying old Turkish state fears the many left-wing and revolutionary groups in and around Turkey. In this desperation the old state has lashed out at anyone who has spoken out against it as well as those peoples’ families.

Despite having committed no crimes, Deniz is now facing 1.5 years to 3.5 years in Turkish prisons, which are known around the world for their abhorrent and inhumane conditions.

According to a Facebook page which was set up to support Deniz, he has been transferred to Metris Prison and will be sent to Silivri prison, the largest prison in Europe, within the next few days. Revolutionaries, progressives and antifascist peoples around the world are calling for his immediate release.