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Turkey Rights Monitor - Issue 98

ARBITRARY DETENTION AND ARREST


Throughout the week, prosecutors ordered the detention of at least 20 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.



May 5: Şerife Sulukan, a former teacher suffering from paralysis for 19 months, was sent to prison after courts upheld her prison sentence handed down over her affiliation with the Gülen movement.


Şerife Sulukan

May 7: The authorities arrested and sent to prison Ceyda Nur Eroğlu, a nine-month-pregnant woman, in contravention of laws that stipulate the postponement of prison sentences for pregnant and post-partum women.


Ceyda Nur Eroğlu

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


May 3: The Hakkari Governor’s Office issued a ban on all outdoor gatherings for a period of 15 days.


May 5: The police in Ankara intervened in an event organized by the HDP, detaining six party members as well as two others. Party members were physically assaulted during the intervention. An officer verbally threatened MP Ayşe Acar-Başaran.


May 5: The police in İstanbul briefly detained two people who staged a protest in front of a courthouse.


May 6: The Constitutional Court ruled that the authorities violated the rights of a woman who was arrested for protesting the imprisonment of a relative near the home of the president.


May 7: The police in Muş intervened in a demonstration organized by the HDP, briefly detaining three party executives.


May 9: The İstanbul Governor’s Office blocked the bank accounts of the Nesin Foundation on the grounds that the foundation was allegedly involved in an unauthorized donation campaign.


FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA


May 3: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published the 2022 edition of its World Press Freedom Index in which Turkey ranked 149th out of 180 countries.



May 3: The Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ) reported that Turkey led the world in terms of violations against women journalists between January and May. According to the group, women journalists in Turkey faced 63 cases of legal harassment, physical assault and detention.


May 4: The authorities briefly detained journalist Hande Karacasu after she produced a short film critical of the government’s migration policy.


Journalist Hande Karacasu

May 4: The authorities briefly detained the alleged admin of a popular Twitter anonymous account due to tweets about migrants in the country.


May 5: A prison administration in İstanbul partially censored a letter sent by political prisoner Sultan Gökçek to a pro-opposition TV channel. The letter was about rights violations in prisons.


Sultan Gökçek

May 7: The police in İstanbul detained far-right politician Adem Şeker for spray painting an anti-migrant slogan on a road sign.


May 7: The police in Aydın detained a Moroccan tourist on charges of insulting the president.


May 8: The police in Şırnak detained Mahsun Birlik, an employee of the pro-Kurdish Yeni Yaşam newspaper.


KURDISH MINORITY


May 5: The police in Ankara intervened in an event organized by the HDP, detaining six party members as well as two others. Party members were physically assaulted during the intervention. An officer verbally threatened MP Ayşe Acar-Başaran.


May 7: The police in Muş intervened in a demonstration organized by the HDP, briefly detaining three party executives.


May 8: The police in Şırnak detained Mahsun Birlik, an employee of the pro-Kurdish Yeni Yaşam newspaper.


OTHER MINORITIES


May 2: The police in İstanbul violently raided an apartment inhabited by trans women on the grounds that there was a noise complaint, using tear gas and physical violence that resulted in the injury of five people.


May 3: İpek Ağmaz, a trans woman, was murdered in İstanbul by an unidentified man.


PRISON CONDITIONS


May 3: A prison administration in İzmir cut off the phone conversation between inmate Halil Kasal and his mother after Kasal began talking about the mistreatment he suffered in prison.


May 5: A prison administration in İstanbul partially censored a letter sent by political prisoner Sultan Gökçek to a pro-opposition TV channel. The letter was about rights violations in prisons.


May 6: The Constitutional Court ruled in a case that recording conversations between inmates and their visitors during non-contact visitation violated the right to respect for private and family life.


REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS


May 5: Data released by Eurostat showed a 45 percent year-on-year increase in the number of Turkish nationals seeking asylum in EU in 2021.


May 5: Three Jordanian teenagers were physically assaulted in İstanbul in what appears to be a hate crime. The incident took place amid rising anti-migrant sentiment and hate speech in the country.


TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT


May 2: The police in İstanbul violently raided an apartment inhabited by trans women on the grounds that there was a noise complaint, using tear gas and physical violence that resulted in the injury of five people.


May 3: The guards in a Bitlis prison threatened with death an inmate named Naif İşçi.


May 3: A prison administration in İzmir cut off the phone conversation between inmate Halil Kasal and his mother after Kasal began talking about the mistreatment he suffered in prison.


May 4: The police in Şırnak physically assaulted a man named Ebubekir Çıkmaz during an ID check.


May 5: The Ankara Bar Association announced that they filed a complaint against the Ankara Police Department based on nine allegations of torture made by detainees in February and March.


May 5: The police in Ankara physically assaulted HDP MPs during an intervention in a party event. An officer also verbally threatened MP Ayşe Acar-Başaran.


May 7: The guards in a Samsun prison physically assaulted inmate Emir Karakum, who was injured as a result of the violence and hospitalized. Hospital officials reportedly refused to offer him treatment.


WOMEN’S RIGHTS


May 4: Men killed 29 women and inflicted violence on at least 52 others in April, according to a report released by Bianet.