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Turkey Rights Monitor - Issue 103

June 7: The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) released a report, which highlighted the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Turkey.


ARBITRARY DETENTION AND ARREST


Throughout the week, prosecutors ordered the detention of at least 190 people over alleged links to the Gülen movement. In October 2020, a UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) opinion said that widespread or systematic imprisonment of individuals with alleged links to the group may amount to crimes against humanity. Solidarity with OTHERS has compiled a detailed database to monitor the Gülen-linked mass detentions since a failed coup in July 2016.



ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES


No news has emerged of Yusuf Bilge Tunç, a former public sector worker who was sacked from his job by a decree-law during the 2016-2018 state of emergency and who was reported missing as of August 6, 2019 in what appears to be one of the latest cases in a string of suspected enforced disappearance of government critics since 2016.


FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION


June 6: Governors of Adana and Mersin banned the Kurdish-language staging of Tartuffe without a justification.


June 7: The rectorate of a university in Ankara announced that it will block an LGBT pride march.


June 8: The police in İstanbul briefly detained five people staging a protest in front of a courthouse to support prisoners on hunger strike.


June 9: The police in Ankara detained five labor union members who were staging a protest in front of the official statistical agency.


June 9: The police in İstanbul detained 16 people staging demonstrations in front of courthouses.


June 9: The Bursa Governor’s Office issued a ban on all outdoor gatherings for a period of seven days.


June 10: An Adana court handed down prison sentences to seven people over their participation in protests in 2013.


June 10: The police in Ankara detained 38 university students staging an LGBT pride march.


June 11: The police in Eskişehir detained two university students over a demonstration.


June 11: The police in Diyarbakır detained 12 pro-Kurdish politicians and activists who staged a demonstration.


June 11: The police in İstanbul detained 20 university students holding a march.


June 11: The Çanakkale Governor’s Office issued a ban on all outdoor gatherings for a period of four days.


June 12: The Van Governor’s Office issued a ban on all outdoor gatherings for a period of 15 days.


June 12: The İzmir Governor’s Office issued a ban on all outdoor gatherings for a period of two days.


FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA


June 6: A Şanlıurfa court ordered activist Emine Şenyaşar to pay damages for allegedly insulting government officials.


Emine Şenyaşar

June 6: The Dicle Fırat Journalists’ Association (DFG) reported that Turkish authorities detained 11 journalists and mistreated 11 others in May.


June 6: A Diyarbakır court ruled to block access to a web address used by the pro-Kurdish Etkin news agency (ETHA).


June 6: The authorities released journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu, who was detained last week.


June 7: An İstanbul court sentenced left-wing politician Hacer Ankut Efe to one year, two months and 17 days in prison on charges of insulting the president on social media.


June 8: The police in Diyarbakır conducted house raids to detain 21 Kurdish journalists. The police also raided offices of pro-Kurdish media outlets, confiscating computers, drives and printed material.



June 9: An İstanbul prosecutor demanded a prison sentence of up to three years for former army chief İlker Başbuğ over his public remarks about a military coup in 1960.


June 9: Journalist Barış Pehlivan announced that he received threats after publishing a column about the interior minister.


HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS


June 6: The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) reported that in the first four months of 2022 a total of 1,415 human rights activists faced harassment by the authorities.


JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE & RULE OF LAW


June 9: A new report by the Arrested Lawyers Initiative detailed the Turkish government’s policy of promoting high judiciary members based on their crackdown on government critics.


June 12: Şanlıurfa prosecutors decided for non-prosecution in the case of prison guards accused of torturing inmates.


KURDISH MINORITY


June 6: The Adana Governor’s Office banned the Kurdish-language staging of Tartuffe without a justification.


June 6: A Diyarbakır court ruled to block access to a web address used by the pro-Kurdish Etkin news agency (ETHA).


June 8: The police in Diyarbakır conducted house raids to detain 21 Kurdish journalists. The police also raided offices of pro-Kurdish media outlets, confiscating computers, drives and printed material.


June 8: The police in Tekirdağ detained eight Kurdish politicians on terrorism charges.


June 8: A Kurdish construction worker in Bursa was subjected to a racist attack by his coworkers and injured as a result. The worker was also fired after the incident.


June 11: The police in Diyarbakır detained 12 pro-Kurdish politicians and activists who staged a demonstration.


OTHER MINORITIES


June 6: A mob in Mardin attacked the house of an Assyrian family.


June 7: A trans woman announced that she was tortured by the İstanbul police in custody.


June 10: The police in Ankara detained 38 university students staging an LGBT pride march.


PRISON CONDITIONS


June 7: A Batman prison denied medical treatment to inmate Önder Poyraz.


June 7: A prison administration in Şanlıurfa denied hospitalization to inmates.


June 9: A Kayseri prison denied necessary dental care to an inmate.


REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS


June 6: Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis in an interview condemned the pushbacks of migrants at the Turkish-Greek border.


Yanis Varoufakis

June 7: Sherifi El Ahmed, a 22-year-old Syrian refugee, was shot dead in İstanbul in what appears to be a racist attack.


Sherifi El Ahmed

TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT


June 6: Mehmet Ali Aykal, an inmate held in a Diyarbakır prison, was physically assaulted by soldiers during a hospital visit.


June 7: A trans woman announced that she was tortured by the İstanbul police in custody.


June 7: The guards in a Şanlıurfa prison verbally threatened inmate Cesim Karataş.


June 7: The guards in a Hatay prison mistreated four inmates.


June 8: Plainclothes police officers in İstanbul physically mistreated a person who refused to show them identification.


June 10: The guards in a Düzce prison verbally assaulted inmates during a ward search.


June 12: The guards in a Batman prison physically assaulted two inmates who resisted a head count.


June 12: Şanlıurfa prosecutors decided for non-prosecution in the case of prison guards accused of torturing inmates.


TRANSNATIONAL REPRESSION


June 7: Freedom House reported that Turkey saw 56 incidents of transnational repression between 2014 and 2021.


June 8: A German intelligence report named Turkey as one of four main countries engaged in espionage in Germany in 2021, including spying on government critics.


WOMEN’S RIGHTS


June 8: A Council of State prosecutor once again demanded the annulment of a presidential decree that withdrew Turkey from the İstanbul Convention.