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  • Yes.

  • Good evening, everybody.

  • I want to take you on a journey a journey that I never planned for Maybe I prepared for a bit.

  • But the journey I take you to is now into enlightening solidarity into deep valleys of repression, but also into inspiration or, in other words, how to become head stake.

  • Um, how to meet inspiring people you never thought you would meet?

  • Um, yeah, How to run 1/2 marathon on 15 meter rounds.

  • Um, a lot of different things in the end to stand on the red carpet.

  • So, yeah, let me invite you to how to become a hash take.

  • And it all started in a place which had as much light as here.

  • But it was sunlight in the backyard of a little hotel on the beauty other islands.

  • Very beautiful Princess Islands close to Istanbul.

  • And we were asked to do a training for human rights defenders by the Turkey Human Rights Platform on dealing with stress and trauma and digital integrity.

  • Now you can imagine some chairs standing around a human rights defenders who feel the pressure off repression in Turkey growing, especially since it 2015.

  • Cool on DDE we're sitting there planning for the day to come, especially talking about what kind of exercises they want to do on dealing with stress and trauma are getting rid of emotions trying bear with the burdens.

  • And suddenly the door gets slammed open and 30 armed officers stormed the room in the first moment.

  • We don't know their officers because they're playing clothes.

  • They're all armed.

  • And then they shouted at us in Turkish, which I don't understand at that time.

  • Immediately, one of the members translates and says, like thistles.

  • The rate we're going to be arrested, detained and we're not allowed to touch anything.

  • Not our phones, not our computers keep sitting.

  • So we're sitting there.

  • Then there's his usual procedure off collecting all phones or laptops, everything which is digital in the room.

  • Everything's filmed and there's a protest of identification.

  • All this and my brain just goes in like Uh huh, that's how it feels like, and later I get to know that one of the participants thought, well, they invested a lot off making this real role play.

  • It wasn't, um so some hours later of identification and checking our bags and all that one of the participants says, like, um, and we're sitting there in the circle.

  • And Peter, wasn't this a session on exercise of dealing with stress and trauma?

  • No.

  • Yes.

  • And she's like So what can we do right now?

  • Can you do an exercise with us?

  • And just like, Well, I've done a lot of different workshops in different settings, but in the moment off, a raid where I'm arrested as well, I never tried that one.

  • So So just maybe, too not to prepare you, but that it was a very simple exercise that came to me.

  • And maybe I just want to invite you to do it together with me.

  • And maybe you know it from your childhood.

  • You take your thumping your index finger together, maybe just do it and then thumb index finger on top, right?

  • I see some letters walking up, and then you walk the letters up.

  • So for people who feel like I know it since my childhood days, it's not a challenge at all.

  • You just walk through your fingers and suddenly your brain starts.

  • Ah, that's the other way.

  • It works.

  • It's Ah, that's the exercise I do with them.

  • Did anybody of you during the 5 10 seconds that we did the exercise.

  • Think about that.

  • We're sitting at a Ted X talk about terrorism.

  • No.

  • So that's actually what these exercise can do with us.

  • Um, that bring us to a different space and they bring our mind set to a different space.

  • And in this way or who body gets a different experience.

  • For the moment, we do these exercises despite being raided.

  • So what happens afterwards?

  • Short moments after we find ourselves in a police station.

  • Um, and a lot off to have a boo hoo, but 24 hours incommunicado.

  • That means we're not allowed to call lawyers, consulate or whatever.

  • In the same night.

  • The other eight off us or the other eight human rights defenders were in the training are taken to mainland Istanbul to different prisons and a legal Ravi, my colleague and friend and I, we spend the nights at book Other island in this little police station prison, and it's not a prison.

  • It's a police station that has two cells for people who are over drug, take too much alcohol or supposed terrorists.

  • So we're lucky because the policemen also are not trained on how to deal under the state of emergency was terrorist suspects.

  • So after 24 hours, when the ban is lifted, people are allowed to visit us.

  • And this was already the moment when we got to meet some of the most inspiring and supportive people for the whole period which took us 113 days into detention.

  • Which verse?

  • Illegal team?

  • Because sure enough, the civil Society, the U.

  • N right society in Turkey, the community, they knew where you are.

  • They knew that his workshop is running.

  • It was a public workshop.

  • So once they didn't get any connection anymore of our social media or so to the other participants.

  • And also our security check in didn't have him after 24 hours the same day.

  • So they got on alert.

  • They called the hotel.

  • They knew we were taken to the police station.

  • So they informed immediately the consulate.

  • All that happened and we got to meet lawyers.

  • We never met before and it just clicked.

  • And I knew these lawyers will go through all the shit which might happen.

  • And at that moment there was still this thought off, like how long is it actually to going to happen?

  • The thing.

  • So we had discussions and people one night.

  • This is just deterrence.

  • Ever release you?

  • Your German?

  • Your Swedish?

  • Don't worry.

  • You get out soon.

  • Um, after the second night there, I felt maybe we're not getting out so soon.

  • But we already had the exercise in the first day.

  • And as I'm training since more than a decade on dealing with stress and trauma, there were some routines which really helped me.

  • And, yeah, one of the thing or one of the inspiring people are to actually of the inspiring people we met.

  • We're the consulate people.

  • You know that consulates, um, in all countries have to support their citizens.

  • Okay, They toot.

  • Is this normally in a very diplomatic and political correct and so many?

  • I was lucky.

  • The two consulate staff who were responsible for taking care of me and other prisoners in the East Temple region.

  • We're really, really carrying.

  • And there was, I think, mutual inspiration.

  • So once they asked me in a visit and they managed to have it nearly l 34 weeks.

  • If you could imagine being an animal in prison, what would you be?

  • And we had this thing off like these air anyhow, Not normal prison visits for them.

  • So they felt free to ask weird questions.

  • And I thought, like, sure, Bert just to fly away when I felt like a horrible That's too easy.

  • So mind was the elephant having a thick skin to everything What happens but keeping the empathy with all fellow prisoners around me, which I didn't No, no before, but also, yeah, having the social approach to everybody, including the guards.

  • Although I didn't understand that most of the time and they didn't understand me.

  • So this was quite deep for me being in this contact already now from the island who went two, um, the underground police station.

  • Or it's not an underground police station.

  • It's a police president.

  • Diem in Istanbul called out on the Fatherland.

  • And it has an underground parking space which has turned into an anti terrorism prison.

  • And their life is completely different because, um, because 24 7 no sunlight, but 24 7 light in all the cells.

  • Video surveillance, all the time.

  • Camera, German brand.

  • Nice corporation.

  • Um, So there's this check in procedure and we get separated into the different cells and understand how these cells work somehow.

  • And I get into my role when they tell me F two is myself.

  • So the cells are made for two people you might know from your sports time at school.

  • These blue rubber dhe metris is that he used for high jumping or so that you don't injure yourself.

  • Exactly.

  • These kinds two of them, smaller, as bad.

  • And the 3rd 1 of the prayer mat a bit bigger myself already has three people, and I'm a bit hesitant to get in because I feel like, well, there are already three.

  • So they push me in and the other three immediately talk to each other and free one off the bed and two of them move to the prey.

  • Amit.

  • And then they grasp easily that I don't speak Turkish, so they start translating.

  • They talked to me and we start really getting into contact.

  • And this was the first big move of solidarity that have felt after the lawyers and the consulate, this solidarity between us prisoners and under the terrorism laws in Turkey and especially the state of emergency, there are a lot of people who are completely innocent in detention.

  • They're tens of thousands people detained who never thought how to spell the word terrorism properly.

  • But they all end up in these cells.

  • So what do you do there?

  • You have 24 7 You have no pens, no paper, no book except one Koran.

  • Purcell, Um, nothing else to do.

  • And you all waiting Mexican.

  • 14 days.

  • Then they're the court has to rule about you if you have to go into the attention or into arrest or if you're freed.

  • So the perspective of 14 days nothing to do is not so inspiring.

  • And I'm not a person to do nothing it just doesn't work with in the m.

  • I cannot even really get really, really bored.

  • So I thought about what to do.

  • So we get some food, which was horrible.

  • But we also get some, um, bottles with water, and there's a wrapping around.

  • So if you tear it in little bits and pieces and you take three of these little bits and pieces of little strings, then you can leave them, and you can use them for example, as a belt, because you had to give away your belt, you could hang yourself.

  • I made the jokes that food is not so bad to hang myself, but still they took my belt or his shoe laces and later one of the prisoners fellow inmates.

  • He asked me like, Can I take one of these bands with me when I leave?

  • If I go to detention or free?

  • He didn't know at that point because it some more resembles for me that we were so much to voting together by this repression.

  • So he takes them out, and later we managed to smuggle out many more of them.

  • And this creativity somehow really gave me a lot of energy, and it showed me like You don't have to be a victim in there.

  • You can actually do something of changing the atmosphere.

  • And that's what we then did.

  • We started juggling with the bottles, so one officer said, We're not here.

  • It's circus baton.

  • No, sure, we present Brendan a circus, but there was a lot of spotlight, too, so changing the atmosphere was also very important.

  • Actually, this is one of the bend that I were leaving and then from Baton we were brought after two weeks after horrible court session.

  • We were brought to another prison for two weeks, Ali and newer together there.

  • And then the officers came in one day after two weeks again said, You're leaving, You're leaving.

  • You're like Oh, great, perfect.

  • And then it took us another five minutes to understand yes to another prison.

  • So we were transferred to Silivri Prison, which is one of the spaces in Turkey with the highest level of education.

  • There was a sociological study because there's so many, um, academics detained there, and it's a huge prison to 15,000 inmates, and we got into Block number nine, which is a high security prison.

  • And they're things turned very challenging in the beginning, with complete one person solitary confinement.

  • But lucky enough after three days, who went into two person solitary confinement.

  • That means 24 hours a day together, sharing the same space, the same toilet, the same smelts, the same sounds, everything and small yard um, which is about five by seven meters.

  • And to start doing sports because you have a lot of time, right?

  • So what do you do?

  • Things you thought you never you always wanted to do before you never had the time.

  • Now is the time to have it.

  • And then also there comes this absurdity off off the stool situation.

  • And I thought, What would be the most absurd form of sports that you can do in there?

  • Maybe long distance running.

  • And I knew that the Berlin Marathon would approach and they decide.

  • Okay, on the Berlin Marathon, I'm going to run a marathon here in rounds of 15 meters, and we made it a public event in solidarity of all political prisoners in Turkey.

  • And it went roaming in Turkey and it went roaming in Germany as well.

  • And they're established a lot of solidarity.

  • And we had the solidarity with the lawyers, especially who became much more than just legal representatives.

  • They became friends, psychologists, social workers, asking do any fresh laundry, Um, asking How's your psyche?

  • And they had to read the letters from my loved ones to me, which was very funny because they were all written in German.

  • Look, but not all.

  • The local lawyer spoke German, so they're red letters they didn't understand, and then I had to translate them back to them, and we had a lot of laughter, and they also talked to me about the solidarity which is happening outside.

  • And we had one hour per day per week to meet and had 10 minutes to talk with my loved ones every two weeks.

  • So very confined situation off intense solidarity.

  • And I heard a lot of different ways of solidarity and one words.

  • For example, the postcard letter campaign and I had started off in the early early nineties, late eighties in my human rights work as a volunteer is Amnesty International writing these postcards against forgetting prisoners.

  • And in the late eighties there was one Turkish human rights defender, lawyer Aaron Calfskin, and we wrote letters for her because she was jailed at that time.

  • So I always felt hey, writing letters to political prisoner.

  • This must feel good inside.

  • I can tell you now.

  • It feels good to receive them, even if you don't receive them.

  • So I didn't get one off the post cards inside jail.

  • I got some of them afterwards, and this was really, really, really inspiring for me to read the solidarity messages, but it also carried me, and then I heard from my lawyers after everything was over after the 25th of October 2017 that Eren Keskin was actually an observer to our court trial on the 25th which made a circle very round to me.

  • But now, last year this picture was taken front of the Brandenburg Gate and she's in danger again.

  • So we have to ghetto gets together again and put up solidarity.

  • And this is really a thing which is really, really important for me to have this solidarity which touches me on very different levels.

  • And I think solidarity very often is a very heavy business writing postcards but speaking up a demonstration to whatever.

  • But for me, it's also very creative post process.

  • So I had the chance after the release.

  • To do some creative work is well, and this heh Mark is one of them.

  • The strings have the imprinted solidarity messages that I got.

  • I wrote them all down in the computer.

  • Then I printed them on 1.2 kilometres of string.

  • And then I noted them into this one.

  • So and it's actually one of my lawyers testing the hammock, and it's at the arts Vienna.

  • So there are many different ways we can deal with it.

  • And one of the most important factors for me was also solidarity inside the Turkish civil society.

  • So when it was released in the night, this lights were gone off.

  • Somehow the media was, some are leaving.

  • And then a woman approached me and said, like Peter, you're sure it's really nice, Like, What's the fact?

  • Sorry, we're just released its still in orbit situation.

  • What do you want to tell me?

  • And then you tell it.

  • Well, I only knew your photo and I knew your height and they bought all the T shirts, Richards, whatever.

  • You wanted his clothes.

  • I bought him for you and then we boost burst out into crying and hugging.

  • And for me, it's this symbol off.

  • If you want to share solidarity, there's no limitation that you have to be very courageous or whatever.

  • There's this face for any kind of solidarity for all capacities that we all have.

  • And that's something which I would really like to share with you.

  • This idea off cares resistance.

  • You can take care with your small means.

  • That you have is a small ideas that you have but don't stop from them.

  • So from our struggle cares resistance.

  • Well being is resilience.

  • And I'm really happy and very grateful for all of you that just been listening to me.

  • Sharing the solidarity and supporting the human rights defenders worldwide.

  • Thank you so much.

Yes.