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
1938, The Case at the Military Court of the Military College Headquarters
Shortly thereafter, in August 1937, a military college student in official uniform came to the İpek Movie Theatre and tried to speak with him. The poet would tell of this event as follows:
"This young man saw me in the theatre hall and approached me. He said that he had been reading my writings since he had been a student in the Kuleli Military High School and he was one of my admirers. [...] He told me that his friends at school like me, too. At the time I had just been acquitted at the end of a hearing. He probably had read about it in the newspapers since he said, 'I'm sorry'. I thanked him and I said 'Goodbye, I have things to do inside,' in order to get rid of him. He did not leave and said to me that 'Nâzım Bey, I'm not a policeman'. He also added that, 'I like your ideas and I want to learn about them more in order to utilise them'. My suspicion increased after these words and I left the hall. Then I called the police department and told them not to send me policemen wearing military uniforms. I said, 'What I have been doing is explicit and everyone knows of it'."
Despite the fact that the police officer-in-chief Salih Tanyeri told him that they had not done such a thing, Nâzım did not believe them and hang up the phone in anger.
This student from the Military Academy, named Ömer Deniz, came to the apartment house named Selçuk, in Nişantaşı, about four months later, on 3 December 1937, right before the Ramadan Holiday.
Nâzım and Piraye were not at home. Nine, who was an old and faithful servant of the family staying with them around the time, opened the door. When Ömer Deniz wanted to enter and wait for Nâzım inside, Cavide heard the conversation and came out. They could not allow him to enter but if he wished he could leave a note for Nâzım. While Ömer Deniz was sitting on a chair in the hall in order to write a note, Nâzım and Piraye returned home.
Nâzım tells of the event as follows:
"I do not remember how long it had been since he first came. The Ramadan Holiday was approaching and we were out shopping for our kids and the elders of the family. I lost my temper when I saw that boy at the entrance of our house. I thought that the policemen entered even inside my house. I asked to myself: 'What did he think he would find?' The boy approached me and told me something about his and his friends' ideas and their devotion to me. I rebuked him saying that he had lied his way into my house and I did not bid him sit. 'What are you up to?' I asked. He asked, 'What should we teach to the privates when we become officers?' I told him that, 'You would teach the six articles in the constitution. Now, we have things to do'."
This, in brief, is what happened. Nâzım Hikmet obstructed Ömer Deniz from asking questions about Marx and Engels by saying that "You could find this information in any encyclopaedia; I am not a scholar." He said that what should be taught privates was written in the regulations booklets and they should not include anything except those said in the constitution and in Kemalist nationalism. He concluded his words by saying that, "Now, I'm going to ask you a question. How did you learn that I was living in the Selçuk Apartment House, number 3, in the Valikonağı Street in Nişantaşı? Hurry up, now leave us alone," and showed the boy the door.
He certainly believed that this boy was a provocateur.
He was charged two days after having been arrested on the night of 17 January 1938 while designing a magazine with Hilmi Ziya Ülken at Celaleddin Ezine's home in Beyoğlu.
According to the Law of Military Procedure, the lawyers of the defence should be approved by the Judicial Chief. İrfan Emin Kösemihaloğlu, who wanted to defend Nâzım Hikmet, was not accepted. They found two co-lawyers, Fuat Ömer Keskinoğlu and Saffet Nezihi, who they thought would be approved by the Judicial Chief.
On the other hand, it was enough to have one Law Faculty graduate among the five judges.
During the interrogation, Ömer Deniz said that his first testimony had been taken under pressure and explained that Nâzım Hikmet did not tell him anything like, "You would first teach the privates the republic and then communism." Thus Fuat Ömer Keskinoğlu and Saffet Nezihi informed the poet that he would be acquitted "one thousand five hundred per cent."
Nâzım Hikmet's defence was as follows:
"I am heard in your presence for the first time. I have been heard on account of founding illegal parties because of my poetry since 1925. One of those trials had even begun with the demand of execution. I should state that there was no further proof than my poetry, some fake declarations of a number of policemen, my meetings with a number of friends, and the bills about May 1st that were posted on walls here and there. Since I have been included to the accusations as a result of the fact that I had a bad reputation, I was acquitted at the end of the hearings.
"It is the first time that I am going to be heard in a military court in the last 13 years of my life. And it is the first time that there is neither witness, nor document, nor any papers or instruments of crime that could designate any proof, nor a denunciation or a testimony. There is no imputation of crime other than the claim deriving from the interrogation of the young lad whom I thought to be an undercover policeman, that I have allegedly said, 'Teach the villager privates the republic and then communism'. Ömer Deniz repeated time and again in the hearings that I had not said such a thing. In my declarations both in the interrogation and the hearing, there is no confession of such a thing, either. Because the truth is as we have said. I am suffering the anguish of being imprisoned unjustly and as a result of an accusation with no proof, for 67 days. I am aware that what the republic and Mustafa Kemal have conveyed to Turkey are great services. The fact that I am a communist does not impede me from respecting Mustafa Kemal Pasha and supporting the six articles in the constitution and my publications provide proof for this. It is deplorable that, since there are few publications on communism and since many people cannot obtain information on this social philosophy as a result of this fact, every opponent is marked as a communist. As a Marxist and communist poet, I am aware enough to know that it is not possible for this ideology to become dominant in a country only with organisations founded by a small number of people, or by saying 'Teach communism' to a military individual, or his teaching of communism by himself after he has himself learned of it. Communism is not an ideology geared toward the individual's success, as it is assumed to be. It is not a system that hits the target with the assurance of the same kind of developments in every society, too. That is why it is a false story in which one can hardly believe, that I, as a poet who was bred in Marxist culture and utilised his own national cultural roots, have recommended a student whom I suspected to be a policeman, to indoctrinate people with communism. Marxists compel masses, if necessary, to action that is suitable to the phase of the social and economic evolution and this is realised only when the decision has been taken by their parties. I am not a party by myself and there is no explicit explanation about such a party in the indictment. Thus, since a strategy that should necessarily be indicated and determined by a party that is not mentioned, cannot be the subject under discussion, it is impossible for me to assign to Ömer Deniz the task of undertaking communist propaganda in the army. Moreover, he himself has stated insistently that I did not make any declaration, recommendation or instruction of the kind. He himself has argued that the said declaration belonging to me was not written according to his statement and has repeated what I have said in your presence. I see him for the first time today, in this hearing that started today, since the eve of the Holiday. I did not talk with any suspects or their lawyers as I have been left alone in a room in the Military Prison since 17 January; I was not allowed to talk to anyone. In this respect, the identicalness of his and my declarations proves that the truth is as we have told it. I am innocent, I demand my acquittal, the end of the state of my arrest and my release."
On 29 March 1938, Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., Nâzım Hikmet was sentenced to 15 years in a case of which he believed he would be acquitted "one thousand five hundred per cent."
The Military Supreme Court certified Nâzım Hikmet's sentence on 28 May 1938.
Nâzım Hikmet was transmitted to the Ankara Prison from the Ankara Central Headquarters and was placed in the ward in the second tower on 13 June 1938.
Around the time, the Management of the Prison was informed by an order of the Ministry of Justice that the poet should be sent to Istanbul because of an on-going trial. The trial concerned the founding of a secret organisation. He had been acquitted on 21 June 1937. The acquittal was overturned by the Supreme Court and was re-commenced in the Istanbul Criminal Court.
Thus Nâzım Hikmet was brought to Sultanahmet Prison in Istanbul from the Ankara Prison.