• 1925, The Ankara State Independence Court Case
  • 1927-1928, The Istanbul Criminal Court Case
  • 1928, The Rize Criminal Court Case
  • 1928, The Ankara Criminal Court Case
  • 1931, The Case at the Istanbul Second Criminal Court of First Instance
  • 1933, The Istanbul Criminal Court Case
  • 1933, The Case at the Istanbul Third Criminal Court of First Instance
  • 1933-1934, The Bursa Criminal Court Case
  • 1936-1937, The Istanbul Criminal Court Case
  • 1938, The Case at the Military Court of the Military College Headquarters
  • 1938, The Case at the Military Court of the Naval Headquarters

    1928, The Rize Criminal Court Case

    In the mean time, there had been some changes in the regulations and an amnesty was proclaimed. Nâzým Hikmet wanted to return to Turkey in order to be acquitted of his 15-year sentence doled by the Ankara Independence Court and the 3-month sentence that was given in absentia by the Istanbul Criminal Court.
    He applied to the Turkish Consulate to obtain a passport to return to Turkey legally. He waited nearly a year and a half before he fully realised that he would never get the passport. He decided to cross the border illegally with his friend Laz Ismail.
    July 1928, they entered Turkey secretly. They were arrested in Hopa passing the border without legal permit and with fake passports. With this indictment they were taken to the public prosecutor. Before being shipped to Rize for court hearing, the two friends stayed in a sunless, airless, dark jail for nearly two months along with the villager prisoners in Hopa.
    At first, people in their ward stayed away from these two "city guys" who seemed to belong to another world because of their clothing and behaviour. But as soon as they learned from the warders that the two were accused of some activities in favour of the poor and that, Laz Ismail had powerful roots in the Black Sea region so that he could even speak the Laz tongue, the atmosphere relaxed.
    This was Nâzým Hikmet's first imprisonment. He was, for the first time, acquainted closely with the poor Anatolian people and thus both his life experience and poetry acquired further dimension.
    The shipment of the two friends from Hopa to Rize brought the end of their prison term. The penalty for passing the border without papers was three days in prison whereas they had already served more. So they should have been acquitted.
    But because the correspondence inquiring after other crime and accrued sentences and penalties would take long, it was decided that they be sent to Ankara.
    Laz Ismail believed that they would be released after an interrogation, no matter where they were sent. Nâzým Hikmet was uneasy with the situation. He feared deportation.
    The situation should be examined in terms of the laws:
    1. He was sentenced to 15 years in absentia by the Ankara State Independence Court on the basis of an indictment of undertaking communist propaganda, on 12 August 1925.
    2. As a result of the interrogation begun on 7 October 1927, it was understood that an illegal communist party had been established and he was sentenced to 3 months in absentia upon being charged with membership to this illegal party.
    3. His sentence came under coverage of the Amnesty proclaimed for the fifth anniversary of the Republic.
    4. The Rize Criminal Court gave him three days imprisonment because of passing the border illegally and he has already served more than that.
    However, when they were shipped from Rize to Istanbul, handcuffed and under the custody of armed gendarmes, this information had not been yet collated.
    After a difficult journey in which their handcuffs were removed only for meals and use of the water closet, on 4 October 1928 they arrived in Istanbul and found journalists waiting for them.
    When their photograph was printed in the "Cumhuriyet" Newspaper, handcuffed and with armed gendarmes behind them, taking Nâzým Hikmet and Laz Ismail to the Sultanahmet Prison, as if they were ferocious murderers, the media criticised and protested the situation.
    The court in Istanbul decided that it would be more appropriate to send them to Ankara where all claims against them would be merged in one trial.
    The press started to criticise clearly this unethical practice. The point of criticism was that while there was general amnesty proclaimed and all political prisoners were freed, they were being sent, handcuffed, from place to place.
    But the criticism had no effect. Nâzým Hikmet and Laz Ismail, handcuffed, were finally sent to Ankara on 14 October 1928 and immediately interrogated and arrested.