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Turkey Rights Monitor - Issue 47

ARBITRARY DETENTION AND ARREST


May 12: Ali Osman Köse, a cancer patient jailed for life, applied to the Constitutional Court for his release.


Ali Osman Köse

ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES


No news has emerged of Yusuf Bilge Tunç and Hüseyin Galip Küçüközyiğit, former public sector workers who were sacked from their jobs by decree-laws during the 2016-2018 state of emergency and who were reported missing respectively as of August 6, 2019 and December 29, 2020, in what appear to be the latest cases in a string of suspected enforced disappearance of government critics since 2016.


FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY


May 10: The police in İstanbul briefly detained two former public sector workers while staging a sit-in to protest their summary dismissal from their jobs.


May 11: The Mardin Governor’s Office issued a ban on all outdoor gatherings for a period of 30 days.


May 11: The police in İstanbul blocked a women’s protest to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the signing of the İstanbul Convention, an international treaty on combating domestic violence from which Turkey withdrew earlier this year, detaining three people.


May 16: The Rize Governor’s Office issued a ban on all outdoor gatherings for a period of 15 days.


May 16: The Hakkari Governor’s Office issued a ban on all outdoor gatherings for a period of 15 days.


FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA


May 10: Enes Kanter, an NBA player at Portland Trail Blazers known for his outspoken criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced that he was sued by Erdoğan on allegations of insult.


Enes Kanter

May 13: A court arrested leftist activist Taylan Kulaçoğlu over his social media commentary.


Taylan Kulaçoğlu

May 14: An İstanbul prosecutor indicted Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yücel, seeking up to two years in prison on insult charges over his articles about the Armenian genocide and the repression of Kurds in Turkey.


Journalist Deniz Yücel

May 16: Media regulator RTÜK fined an online streaming platform over a show featuring a trans woman as a guest, ordering the platform to remove the episode.


May 16: The Press Advertising Agency (BİK), the state body responsible for publicly funded advertisements in the media, imposed a five-day advertising ban on the government-critical Evrensel newspaper over a column that was penned by academic Ceren Sözeri.


Ceren Sözeri

JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE & RULE OF LAW


May 10: The Constitutional Court’s individual applications statistics related to the past eight-and-a-half years showed that the “right to a fair trial” has been the most violated right in Turkey during this period of time.


May 12: The police in Afyonkarahisar detained a man for recording a police officer during an argument, in line with an Interior Ministry regulation stipulating legal action against any citizens who record the police while on duty.


KURDISH MINORITY


May 13: Three attackers threw rocks at the HDP headquarters in Ankara.


May 14: A far-right mob in Mersin assaulted a Kurdish tourist family visiting from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, severely injuring the father of the family.


May 15: The police in İstanbul forcibly removed a banner put up at a HDP district office about ongoing hunger strikes in prison, briefly detaining four people including HDP district manager Fatih Ergün.


MISTREATMENT OF CITIZENS ABROAD


May 15: Leaked documents revealed that the Turkish Embassy in Tirana engaged in a campaign of intelligence gathering and profiling of critics of the government living in Albania.


OTHER MINORITIES


May 17: Media regulator RTÜK fined an online streaming platform over a show featuring a trans woman as a guest, ordering the platform to remove the episode.


PRISON CONDITIONS


May 10: İsmet Torun, a 53-year-old businessman who was diagnosed with stomach cancer during his 38-month incarceration over alleged links to the Gülen movement, died after his release from prison.


İsmet Torun

May 12: Erdal Kılınç, a former lieutenant colonel who was jailed on coup charges following an abortive putsch, died after contracting coronavirus in an overcrowded prison cell.


REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS


May 11: A number of migrants who were detained at a repatriation center in İzmir were subjected to torture and ill-treatment at the hands of officials.


TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT


May 11: Two migrants who were detained at a repatriation center in İzmir were subjected to torture and ill-treatment at the hands of officials.


May 11: The guards at a Samsun prison physically assaulted an inmate for refusing a strip-search during a prison transfer from another province.


May 12: The police in Şırnak inflicted torture and ill-treatment while carrying out a house raid to detain three people.


May 13: Police officers and neighborhood watchmen in Batman physically assaulted a 15-year-old minor who was found in violation of Covid-19 curfew.


May 13: Neighborhood watchmen in İstanbul physically and verbally assaulted a person.


May 13: Reports revealed that the police in Şanlıurfa tortured a person while in custody where he was held for alleged ties to terrorism.


May 13: Neighborhood watchmen in Bursa physically assaulted a person during an ID check.


May 14: Neighborhood watchmen in Siirt physically assaulted four people who were found in violation of Covid-19 lockdown measures.


May 15: Neighborhood watchmen in İstanbul physically attacked two people who were celebrating their football club’s championship title.


WOMEN’S RIGHTS


May 11: The police in İstanbul blocked a women’s protest to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the signing of the İstanbul Convention, an international treaty on combating domestic violence from which Turkey withdrew earlier this year, detaining three people.