Mutlu Öztürk is a 116/117 term graduate of Galatasaray High School. He is also a graduate of the Boğaziçi University Department of History. For more than twenty years, he has worked as a history teacher at the Terakki Foundation schools, Saint Benoit High School, Galatasaray High School and Notre Dame de Sion High School, all in Istanbul.
Mutlu has, through national and international institutions in Turkey and in various parts of the world, and with other teachers, developed methods on history education, discussing difficult issues in class, human rights education, human rights in course books, critical thinking and reading skills, and he has given example lessons in these fields.
He was a coordinator during the first stage of the project “Human Rights in Course Books” and a writer and advisory board member of its second stage. Mutlu was also an editorial board member of the journal Toplumsal Tarih [Social History]. He is an intellectual, a politician, a teacher and a person of culture who has continued to teach, and who has never given up on learning.
Mutlu Öztürk is a founder of both Halkların Demokratik Kongresi (HDK, Peoples’ Democratic Congress) and Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP, Peoples’ Democratic Party). He has served in the administration of both the congress and the party, and has been active in the party’s educational and culture & arts bodies. For more than a year, he has served as the HDP’s Istanbul-Şişli District Co-Chair.
On 13 October 2019, he went to the Beşiktaş District Headquarters of the HDP for the celebration of the 7th anniversary of his party’s foundation; however, his entry was prevented and he was detained. On 14 October, he was placed under pre-trial arrest. The grounds for his arrest were ‘violation of the law on meetings and demonstrations’ and ‘propaganda of a terrorist organization’. Since an arrest verdict could not be issued on a charge of violating the law on meetings and demonstrations, the latter charge was added. The court considered the words, “No to War, Peace Right Now” as “propaganda of a terrorist organization”.
For almost two months, Mutlu Öztürk has been held in pre-trial detention at the Silivri Closed Penitentiary Institution [F-5]. The bill of indictment has not been prepared as of yet, and therefore there is no date for a hearing.
Mutlu has never given up on living, dreaming, imagining and searching for the truth; and nor has he given up on the struggle for justice, law, equality, labour, freedom and peace. In whatever field he has worked, whether history, politics, literature or cinema, he has sought to bring these seemingly separate fields of knowledge together, to get them to talk to each other, so that they make each other stronger.
Now, Mutlu’s students, friends and comrades have found various ways to show their solidarity during his period of pre-trial detention.
You, too, can follow the twitter account https://twitter.com/freemutluhoca, and use the hashtags #freemutluhoca #mutluhocayaözgürlük to share your words of support and solidarity with Mutlu. A shortly upcoming blog address will also be announced from this twitter account.
With friendship and solidarity,
Address: Silivri 5 No’lu Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu/ F-5 / Silivri, Istanbul - TURKEY