|Name Medet Serhat|
|Died December 12, 1994, Istanbul, Turkey|
Similar People Omer Lutfu Topal, Kerem Yilmazer, Umit Kaftancioglu, Onat Kutlar, Osman II
Medet Serhat (1943, Iğdır – 12 December 1994, Istanbul) was a Turkish lawyer of Kurdish descent, from an aristocratic family of Igdir branch of widely spread Retkan tribe. He was a prominent member of the Istanbul Bar Association, and was known for having support of both Kurds and Turks from different political viewpoints. He represented many Kurdish and Turkish political and business figureheads, most notably Behçet Cantürk, who was also assassinated in 1994.
He was born in Iğdır (then part of Kars Province) to İsa (father) and Bahar (mother) Serhat.
He graduated from the Faculty of Law at Istanbul University.
He was kept in prison for 13 months in 1959 and he was released subsequently. When the Supreme Court quashed the verdict, he was sentenced in a re-trial to 10 months 20 days in prison. The case was about university students group having Kurdish identity, and having higher education with Kurdish identity, instead of assimilating to a Turkish identity. The court accused these students as "Kurdish Communist". It was a frequent tool of Turkish state to brand any opposition as socialist or communist, thus believing to justify the state was right in the Cold War era. The case, commonly known as 49lar (Eng. 49ers) for there were 49 suspects, is the first case of the new republic reflexes for Kurds will be harsh even if it is a totally civil, not an armed organization, and accepted as the first civil movement for Kurdish identity in the Turkish Republic. He was prosecuted without arrest in 1963 accused of having disseminated Kurdish propaganda in the journal Denge, which he published in Istanbul. In 1965, he was sentenced to 1 year 4 months in prison for establishing a Kurdish organization.
In 1975, he was elected Principal Member of Discipline Committee of Board of Directors of Istanbul Bar Association from Çağdaş Avukatlar Grubu (Modern Lawyers Group).
In 1977, he attended the International Lawyers Meeting in Zagreb, Yugoslavia.
In 1978, he was elected Istanbul Representative of "İttihad-i Vatani Kürdistan" (Union of the Kurdish Nation) which was active abroad parallel to Jalal Talabani.
He was a candidate for Kars from the list of the CHP in the local elections held in 1979.
In 1980, he joined the TKP (Communist Party of Turkey) as a provisional member.
He was detained on 27 January 1981 on charges of disseminating communist and Kurdish propaganda and was released on 29 January.
In 1982, he joined the defense in a PKK trial that was launched in Erzurum as well as trials in Istanbul and Diyarbakir. In the same year, he was arrested for membership of the Executive Board of the Peace Association. He was released in November 1983. In 1984, he was acted as the lawyer of Behçet Cantürk, who was involved in drug trafficking, for only one case, and although Behçet Cantürk had another lawyer officially, Medet Serhat always thought to be his lawyer.
He was among the founding members of the “Kurdish Rights and Freedoms Foundation,” which was established in İstanbul in 1990 with the aim of establishing the Kurdish National Union, and in this respect establishing a national assembly and a Kurdish political party on a legal platform.
In 1991, he was among the lawyers who had clients among the defendants of the “Peace Committee Association” trial.
He was among the persons who signed the declaration of “Call for the Democracy Assembly,” which was written during the General Assembly of the Democracy Party (DEP) held in Ankara on 18 and 19 December 1993.
He was among the lawyers who defended MPs from the defunct Democracy Party (DEP) in the trial launched against them at Ankara SSC in October 1994.
He was killed along with his driver outside his house in Erenköy, İstanbul, on 12.11.1994. His wife barely survived 14 bullet wounds, and in all her statements she could give up the details or her husband's murderer, and her attacker, but could not give up any facial details till she have seen Nurullah Tevfik Agansoy on television.
Medet Serhat's murder was instantly declared as an extrajudicial killing, and it is still unsolved. Extrajudicial killings were a tool used by Turkish Deep state between 1992 and 1994. Medet Serhat's murder had a huge impact, as approximately 5,000 people both Turkish and Kurdish, marched at his funeral. His colleagues from the Istanbul Bar Association attended with their courthouse robes.
His name was mentioned as an organized murder by the deep state in Susurluk Scandal, and in 2010 his family asked to be officially listed as victims of the Ergenekon (organization) due to the confessions made by the organization members.