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It took time to gather the necessary information about other charges. The trials started on 4 November 1928 and were over on 23 December in 1928.
The Ankara Criminal Court tried him starting nearly from the beginning. It took up again documents that had led to the 15-year sentence. Thus he was re-tried on a charge that had not only already received a sentence, but even pardoned by the recent Amnesty Act.
At the end, it became clear on the basis of the dates of arrest, that they were to be freed of all charges. Thus the court unanimously and openly declared them at liberty.
All of his friends and intellectuals in Ankara, mainly Şevket Süreyya Aydemir, believed in his poetry, wanted him to work at the People's Houses and to deal with folk poetry and visit Anatolia. But Nâzım Hikmet, not accepting the offer, took up work at the "Resimli Ay" periodical published in Istanbul by Zekeriya Sertel.
He was now publishing poetry and prolifically dealing heavy criticism against the older values in literature. His serial writings entitled "Putları Yıkıyoruz" (We are Iconoclasts) which were printed in the middle of 1929, critiqued poets such as Abdülhak Hamit, Mehmet Emin and met with repercussions and acclaim.
His new book, named 835 Satır was published in May of the same year and was received with great interest and was followed by Jokond ile SI-YA-U, published in the same year, and Varan 3 and 1+1=1 printed one year later.
In July 1930, the poems "Salkım Söğüt" and "Bahri Hazer" were recorded in the poet's voice by the Colombia Records. The record was sold out within twenty days. It was played in every public place, in coffee houses, restaurants and the like. The police felt alarmed and the record company gave up the project of re-issuing.
On 1 May 1931, an undercover policeman delivered a summons and the very next day he was being interrogated by the magistrate. He was brought to trial by order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with charges of "encouraging the public to advocate the superiority of a class over another class" in his five books so far published.
Nâzım Hikmet arrived at criminal court hearing wearing a dark suit, striped tie, and a felt hat. The session started at 15:00 hours on 6 May 1931, pendant on articles 311 and 312 of the Turkish Criminal Law. Some time after his entrance, his lawyer İrfan Emin (Kösemihaloğlu) approached him. The small court room was packed with young university students, young poets and ladies wearing hats.
During the hearing, Nâzım Hikmet said:
"I am accused of some five or six points according to the indictment. First of all, my open declaration of being a communist was taken as a crime. Yes, I am a communist, that is certain. I am a communist poet and I am trying to become an even more radical communist. According to the Constitution, I am not committing a crime by being a communist poet. Being communist is an intellectual conception. Just as other modes of economic and political commitment do not constitute crime, communist ideology too, does not constitute a crime. It is not valid to claim that I provoke one class against the others."
He proceeded to explain the aims of his books taking them up one by one. He also stated that in fact western imperialist countries should file charges against him. Then, depending on the statistics published in periodicals of Chamber of Commerce about Turkish economy which was in trouble, he said, if to talk about the situation was a crime, it was necessary to abolish the science of economy.
After closing the interrogation, the public prosecutor declared opinion on the legal matter and said that,
"According to his defence, we did not see any crime to investigate according to the law and the statutes and thus we demand his acquittal."
The lawyer İrfan Emin also made an emotional and long defence talking about the Turkish Independence War against imperialism, and concluded his defence stating that,
"We join the prosecution in demanding our acquittal."
The judges gave a ten-minute break to examine the files. Everyone was awaiting the decision to acquit but it did not happen that way; the trial was adjourned to meet again on 10 May 1931, a Sunday morning.
Because of this adjournment, which created suspicion in a number of people, interest increased in the trial. On that Sunday morning, the court room was rather overcrowded and did not have enough space for the people so that a number of them had to remain in the corridors. At the end, the decision was declared as acquittal so a torrent of applause went up.
Besides the publication of a new book entitled, Benerci Kendini Niçin Öldürdü? (Why Did Benerci Kill Himself?) in 1932, his plays were staged; for example, Kafatası (The Skull) in 1931-1932, and Bir Ölü Evi (House of Mourning) in 1932-1933 in Darülbedayi (which was later renamed the Istanbul City Theatre).
Benerci Kendini Niçin Öldürdü was published by Suhulet Publishing House which anounced that the next book Gece Gelen Telgraf (The Telegram that Came at Night) was soon to be published but while later the books was published by the Muallim Ahmet Halit Publishing House. On the cover and the third page, the date was given as 1932, but the last five poems were written in 1933. It was considered that some troubles were experienced during the period of preparation of manuscript for press.
Nâzım Hikmet was charged twice after publishing Gece Gelen Telgraf. The first summons to trial came from the Istanbul Republican Attorney General, who had confiscated the books. This indictment of 5 March 1933 was aimed at Nâzım Hikmet, Ahmet Halit the publisher, and Ali the owner of press, claimed they "provoked the public against the regime." The other summons was of 9 May 1933 and had been underwritten by Süreyya Pasha against Nâzım Hikmet alone and accused the poet of insulting both him and his father in the satire entitled "Hiciv Vadisinde Bir Tecrübe-i Kalemiye" (An Essay in the Mode of Satire) in his book.
Nearly two weeks later Gece Gelen Telgraf was collected and the poet was arrested on 22 March 1933, on grounds of launching a secret organisation and making communist propaganda by distributing booklets and sticking of bills on walls in Bursa, Istanbul and Adana. He was interrogated in Istanbul for a while and then he was sent to Bursa for final judgement on 1 June 1933.
The court hearing began in Bursa with the demand of execution, but it was concluded with a five-year prison sentence on 31 January 1934 . Afterwards, the Supreme Court of Appeals cancelled the sentence, but the Bursa Court resisted in its decision and only decreased the it to a four-year imprisonment.
Because of the General Amnesty which was declared due to the tenth year of the foundation of the Republic, Nâzım Hikmet's three year sentence had been decreased. The remainder was one year, whereas Nâzım Hikmet was in jail for a year and half. Thus, he left the prison and came to Istanbul having served six months extra.
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