About Faili Belli (Perpetrator Not-unknown)
Faili Belli is a digital archive that documents the results revealed in the monitoring of criminal trials on gross human rights violations occurred in Turkey’s recent history. It is an outcome of the legal work conducted by Truth Justice Memory Center (Hafıza Merkezi). The website contains background information, news, articles, and monitoring reports regarding the trials as well as legal analysis, translations of articles, and other legal documents.
The main aim of the creation of this website is to examine the judicial practice where state agents are being accused of committing gross human rights violations and the issue of impunity by objectively documenting the trial proceedings and creating an archive that is open to the public.
Over time, the scope of the trial monitoring work conducted by Hafıza Merkezi regarding widespread and systematic extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances committed by state agents in the 1990s has widened. Step by step, the trials where lethal force was used by security forces more recently in daily life or demonstrations, such as the trials of deaths caused by tanks and other armored vehicles have been added to see the bigger picture. This resulted in an opportunity to make an up-to-date and concrete analysis of the judiciary’s conduct regarding different manifestations of state violence.
The trials that are being monitored are critically important, because while each of them provides a possibility for reconciliation with a violent past, they also demonstrate that the lack of accountability of the perpetrators causes the reoccurring of violations and the continuation of impunity. While the criminal trials merely are not enough to redress the injustices voiced by the victims of state violence, they pose a potential to break the cycle of impunity and provide a space where the truth can be uncovered.
The state is obliged to uncover the truth about the gross human rights violations, which concerns not only the victims but the society as a whole, and to conduct an effective investigation to identify and punish the perpetrators. All subjects of the judicial system have an obligation to the public to fulfill this obligation. It is the right of citizens and civil society to monitor and inspect how the judiciary fulfills its obligation. It is very important for the Hafıza Merkezi to contribute the growth of networks and platforms that will strengthen the cooperation between the organizations that do trial monitoring.
About Hafıza Merkezi
Hafıza Merkezi was founded in 2011 to contribute to the coming to terms with the human rights violations that took place during the times of conflict and authoritarian regimes in Turkey by adopting the perspective of transitional justice. The work of Hafıza Merkezi initially focused on enforced disappearances with an aim to reveal the elements and patterns of how this crime was committed and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
An important part of the Hafıza Merkezi’s work was the monitoring of the trials on enforced disappearances committed in the 1990s in a widespread and systematic manner. The monitoring of these trials, which were initially conducted in collaboration with TESEV, have continued by managing this website in coordination of Hafıza Merkezi.
It is our wish that Faili Belli provides support to the lawyers, activists, and organizations that have devotedly worked on this cause for years, and demonstrates the demand for the state, who holds the monopoly on legitimate use of force, to be held accountable for the human rights violations caused by its agents, and brings overall more awareness on the issue.
Although Hafıza Merkezi will be coordinating the efforts for Faili Belli, the whole endeavor will continue to develop with the work and solidarity of the constituents of the Coalition Against Impunity.
Hafıza Merkezi thanks to Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, Oak Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Chrest Foundation, Open Society Foundation ve Swedish Consulate for their support. The contents in the website are under the sole responsibility of the publishers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the supporting institutions.
We thank to Şener Özmen and Outlet İstanbul Sanat Galerisi for the photo of “Shut Up” used in the main banner of the website.
Please do not hesitate to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TESEV thanks to its High Advisory Board and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for their supports in 2012-2015.