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Turkey Rights Monitor - Issue 178

ARBITRARY DETENTION AND ARREST

Throughout the week, prosecutors ordered the detention of at least 77 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.



November 13: A Turkish endocrinology and metabolism expert, Professor Cihangir Erem, who was included on Stanford University’s World’s Top 2% Scientists’ List in 2020, 2021 and 2022 serves a sentence on conviction of links to the faith-based Gülen movement.


November 16: Nagihan Yavuz, a former cadet serving a life sentence in İstanbul, was hospitalized on Wednesday after fainting in her ward.


Nagihan Yavuz

November 17: Imprisoned for 18 years, Sadık Aslan, whose release was postponed last May "because he mentioned the Constitution", will remain in prison for another 3 months with a new decision of the Administration and Monitoring Board.


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

November 18: The Diyarbakır leg of the march to Gemlik against the isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan started under police blockade. Citing the governorate's ban, the police detained at least 30 people.


FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA

November 14: At least 3 news articles mentioning Supreme Court of Appeals member Ömer Faruk Aydıner were blocked from access and ordered to be deleted by Bakırköy 2nd Criminal Judgeship of Peace on the grounds of violation of personal rights.


November 14: At least 3 news articles related to the allegation that three members of the Prophet Lovers Platform (PSP), known to be close to Hezbollah, were working as teachers in schools affiliated to the Ministry of National Education were blocked from access by the Diyarbakır 2nd Criminal Judge of Peace.


November 14: At least 3 news articles about the explosion at the Tosyalı Iron and Steel Plant of Tosyalı Holding in İskenderun on November 8, 2023, in which 13 workers were injured and 1 worker lost his life, were banned from access and ordered to be deleted by the İskenderun 2nd Criminal Judgeship of Peace on the grounds of violation of personal rights.


November 15: Timur Soykan's articles titled "The wheel of bribery is covered up", "The rotting judiciary", "Insulting our intelligence" and "Judge: I received the audio recording of the intervention in the judiciary" and at least 2 news articles were ordered to be deleted by the Istanbul 4th Criminal Judgeship of Peace on the grounds of violation of personal rights.


November 15: The content of the Engelliweb website dated November 1, 2023 and entitled "Deletion of the news on the sanction of the news on the wheel of corruption in the courthouse, deletion of the news on the deletion of the news on the deletion of the news on the deletion of the news" was ordered to be deleted by the decision of the 4th Criminal Chamber of Peace of Istanbul for violation of human rights.


November 16: Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP) Seyhan district chair Hakan Çayan was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison for 'insulting the President'.


November 17: The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) fined a total of 11 items broadcast on Halk TV, Flash News, KRT, FOX TV, Star TV and Show TV.


November 17: Upon The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK)'s request, Deutsche Welle's dwturkce.com and inspiredminds.de domains were blocked from access by the Ankara 9th Criminal Judgeship of Peace on the grounds that it had not obtained the necessary license.


FREEDOM OF RELIGION

November 15: According to a recent report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Alevis were the religious community that suffered the most attacks on religious property in Turkey between 2003 and 2022.


Traditional dance of Alevis

JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE & RULE OF LAW

November 13: An İstanbul court ruled to release six of 36 defendants who are standing trial due to their connection to a terrorist attack in İstanbul last year that left six people dead.


November 14: The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that Turkish authorities’ monitoring and recording of three applicants’ meetings with their lawyers while they were in pretrial detention violated their right to respect for private life, ordering the government to pay non-pecuniary damages and costs and expenses.


ECtHR

November 15: Ogün Samast, the convicted murderer of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, was released on parole.


Ogün Samast

November 15: Notorious Turkish crime boss Alaattin Çakıcı threatened pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) lawmaker and rights advocate Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu on social media over his criticism of Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).


Devlet Bahçeli and Alaattin Çakıcı

KURDISH MINORITY

November 16: Reber Dosky, a Dutch-Kurdish journalist, producer and director, was detained on November 8 in Turkey, where he had arrived for a new project, and deported after being taken to the Repatriation Center (GGM) in Urfa.


PRISON CONDITIONS

November 14: prisoners with diabetes in Ankara Sincan High Security Prison No 1 were not given proper diet food and prisoners were not transferred to hospitals on time.


November 16: It was learned that prisoners in Edirne L Type Prison are given water for 1 hour a day.


REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS

November 13: An Afghan man who was injured while working in an illegal coal mine in northern Turkey was not taken to a hospital but was beaten to death to prevent the authorities from learning of the activities of the illegal mine.


November 15: Turkish border guards shot dead two young men trying to cross into the country from northeast Syria.


TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT

November 14: İstanbul prosecutors indicted six police officers on charges of torturing three people in their custody in 2022.


November 14: The wards of political prisoners in Balıkesir Bandırma T Type Prison No 2 were searched at 03.00 at night and personal belongings of prisoners as well as items they bought from the commissary were seized during the search.


November 14: Prisoners in Ankara Sincan High Security Prison No 1 were asked to pay for translation of Kurdish books.


November 15: Aziz Beyaztaş and Dilber Beyaztaş were subjected to physical violence of a police officer in Eyyübiye district of Şanlıurfa. Aziz Beyaztaş was hit on his head with the butt of a gun and got wounded.

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