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Turkey Rights Monitor - Issue 6

ARBITRARY DETENTION AND ARREST


July 29: A bar association head was briefly detained while dining with his family after refusing to submit his identification to the police officers who approached him at a restaurant.


Ekrem Dönmez (L), the head of the Hatay Bar Association detained while dining with his family

FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY


July 27: The governor’s office in Adana imposed a 3-day ban on all outdoor gatherings in the province.


July 27: The governor’s office in Adıyaman imposed a 3-day ban on all outdoor gatherings in the province.


July 27: The governor’s office in Denizli imposed a 15-day ban on all outdoor gatherings in the province.


July 27: The governor’s office in Gaziantep imposed a 7-day ban on all outdoor gatherings in the province.


July 27: The governor’s office in Sinop imposed a 7-day ban on all outdoor gatherings in the province.


July 28: The governor’s office in Hatay imposed a 3-day ban on all outdoor gatherings in the province.


July 29: Alev Şahin was briefly detained in Düzce while protesting her summary dismissal from public service.


Alev Şahin, architect and purge victim

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA


July 29: The Turkish parliament passed the new social media law allowing authorities vast censorship powers over platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


July 30: İstanbul prosecutors indicted Rawîn Stêrk, Rudaw reporter who was arrested on March 6, charging him with alleged terrorist propaganda over his reporting on the situation of refugees at the Turkish-Greek border.


Journalist Rawîn Stêrk, held in pre-trial detention since March 2020

July 31: A monthly report released by opposition lawmaker Barış Yarkadaş said that 60 journalists stood trial in July.


HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS


July 27: A US State Department spokesperson and the European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur called for the release of Osman Kavala, the human rights defender who marked his 1000th day in prison.


Osman Kavala, businessman and human rights defender who marked his 1000th day in prison on July 27

KURDISH MINORITY


August 1: Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) prohibited students studying Kurdish language and literature at Turkish universities from writing their dissertations in Kurdish.


MILITARY OPERATIONS ABROAD


July 27: A local militia group in northern Syria claimed that bombing by Turkish-backed forces in Manbij killed six civilians.


July 27: Turkish airstrike against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq killed two civilians.


PRISON CONDITIONS


July 29: The lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) after Turkey’s Constitutional Court refused to lift the ban on contact with their client.


August 2: Melek Çetinkaya, the mother of an imprisoned cadet who was arrested on July 17 over her remarks on a TV show, was denied her medication and telephone rights in prison, according to the revelations by her daughter Rüveyda Çetinkaya on social media.


REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS


July 28: Former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu corroborated last week’s allegations that Turkey was sending Uighurs back to China where they were likely to face political persecution.


July 29: A 10-year-old Syrian child worker lost his life after falling into a pond in Bursa.


July 30: Hatay prosecutors launched an investigation into allegations that six Syrian migrant children were battered in a racist attack by a group of seven to eight unidentified Turkish citizens. The children received treatment at a hospital and two of them were in critical condition, according to reports.


August 2: Turkey reportedly handed over a fugitive Algerian military officer to his country where he is to face espionage charges.


TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT


July 29: Human Rights Watch urged Turkey to investigate allegations of serious abuses committed by police and neighborhood night watchmen against more than a dozen people in İstanbul and the Southeast.


July 31: Hunger striking lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal were reportedly taken to a hospital for a “forced intervention,” after a forensic medicine report found that the two were not in a state to stay in prison. The lawyers launched the hunger strike to demand a fair trial.


Imprisoned lawyers Aytaç Ünsal and Ebru Timtik who have been on a hunger strike to demand a fair trial

WOMEN’S RIGHTS


July 30: A woman in Bursa claimed that authorities released a man who allegedly raped her. Her allegations drew widespread social media attention.


August 1: A 24-year-old Yazidi woman was rescued by her family from her captivity in the Turkish capital city of Ankara, at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

OTHERS AISBL | BELGIUM