Im Januar 2010 obsiegte der deutsche Staatsangehörige tscherkessischer Volkszugehörigkeit, Mehmet Sait Uluışık, gegen das Innenministerium der Republik Türkei vor dem 7. Verwaltungsgericht in Ankara. Damit endete für den Kläger eine vom Innenministerium 2007 verhängte Einreisesperre, die das Ministerium, gestützt auf eine Einschätzung des Direktoriums für Sicherheit, mit der Gefahr begründete, die sich angeblich aus den Forschungsinteressen des Klägers ergibt. M. Uluışık hatte in den Osmanischen Archiven über die Rolle der Tscherkessen im Völkermord an den Armeniern geforscht und dabei festgestellt, dass die osmanische Verwaltung die aus dem Kaukasus stammende Bevölkerung, namentlich die Tscherkessen, gegen die Armenier aufgehetzt hatte und auf diese Weise “einen Genozid sowohl an den Tscherkessen, als auch Armeniern” erzielt habe. Dass der Kläger Stipendiat der Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung sowie des Goethe-Instituts war, machte ihn in den Augen der türkischen Sicherheitsbehörden besonders verdächtig.
Die gerichtliche Aufhebung der Einreisesperre nahm M. Uluışık der Zeitung „Taraf“ zufolge mit gemischten Gefühlen auf. Denn das späte Gerichtsurteil verhinderte, dass der tscherkessische Wissenschaftler seine krebskranke Mutter besuchen konnte, die am 1. Januar 2010 verstarb. Auch eine Einreise zur Beisetzung war nicht möglich, ganz abgesehen davon, dass der verhinderte Zugang zu den Archiven den Abschluss der Forschungen unnötig verzögerte.
Siehe auch: http://www.taraf.com.tr/makale/10063.htm
I sense treachery in you
By Kurtuluş Tayiz
Taraf, February 16, 2010
That’s the headline under which the story of M. Sait Uluışık, a German citizen, was reported on the front page of Taraf on March 11, 2008. Uluışık, a Turkish national who had been conducting research in the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archives, was banned from entering Turkey in 2007. The justification concluded that Uluışık was “someone who wishes to impair the security of the T[urkish]R[epublic] and who arrives with the intent to become involved with those who are impairing it”, based on a law which remains on the books of the Passport Code. Finding it “dangerous” for Uluışık to conduct research in the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archives, the Ministry of the Interior found a shortcut solution by barring Uluışık’s travel into Turkey. The lawsuit which M. Sait Uluışık brought against the Ministry of the Interior, seeking to reverse its decision, concluded last month which was heard in the 7th Administrative Court of Ankara. The Ministry of the Interior lost the case, and that is a good thing. If the case hadn’t ended this way, few historians, if any, would have risked conducting research in the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archives. The reasons became apparent during the case. Uluışık, who had traveled to Turkey to work in the Archives, had been followed.
“I’m not paranoid,” he had insisted during our interview two years ago. I’m being followed just because of the work I’m doing in the archives.” He was right.
Here is the court’s evaluation of an intelligence information note prepared by the Ministry of the Interior’s General Directorship of Security and presented during the defense: “In the intelligence information note prepared by the General Directorship of Security on the plaintiff who had acquired German citizenship in 1997, it is apparent that based upon speculation that the plaintiff was conducting a study to find support from the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archives about the last period of the Ottoman Empire, that during the periods of the Union and Progress party and the National Struggle, ‘the last Ottoman administrations agitated the Caucasian peoples, in particular the Circassians, to foster enmity towards the Armenians, that it manipulated the Circassians and the Armenians against each other and that in this way it achieved a genocide against Circassians as well as Armenians; and that these studies were financially supported through the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Goethe Institute which are active in Germany; therefore the plaintiff was ruled to be prohibited from entering the country.”
After giving this summary of the matter, the court concluded: “Accordingly, in the matter at hand it is determined that the intelligence information—which was obtained about the plaintiff who had arrived in the country in order to conduct research in the archives which had been ruled opened to all researchers by the Republic of Turkey—did not provide an adequate basis for prohibiting his entry into the country. The matter does not exhibit the necessary adherence to the law. It is decided that the decision which was the subject of the matter be voided…”
The court’s decision draws attention to the need to base decisions on who can or cannot enter the country on real evidence that has a basis in the law, not mere “speculation” or “sense.” With this decision, researchers will find the doors to the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archives opened that much wider. It is clearly illogical to make the archives accessible to all but then assign a spy to follow those who find their way there.
Unfortunately, the person who is least satisfied by the court’s decision is Sait Uluışık. Just four days before the court lifted his travel restriction into the country, his mother in Turkey passed away. A distressed Uluışık stated, “I got the news that my mother had cancer while the lawsuit was in progress and on January 1, 2010, on a Friday, I lost my mother. I wasn’t able to be by her side either during her treatment or even at her funeral.” Understandably, he had this criticism:
“My entry into Turkey was unjustifiably prohibited for two years, three months. I wasn’t able to proceed with my research in the Ottoman Archives. Putting aside the time I lost and the way my reputation was maligned (which can be compensated), what of the loss of my mother? There’s no way that can ever be given back to me. Here’s my question. Who’s going to pay for the time I lost not being able to be at my mother’s side when she needed me the most? How’s that going to be given back to me? Which office is going to punish those who worked in the Ministry of Interior’s Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archives, individuals who try to identify traitors based upon some sixth sense? How are they going to be punished?”
Will there be any official from Ankara who can answer these questions from Uluışık?
Is there anyone who will offer consolation?