Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkey ordered detention of 89 people over alleged Gülen links in a week

29/04/22

Turkish prosecutors have over the past week ordered the detention of 89 people including teachers, lawyers, active duty and dismissed military officers and former military cadets due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, according to Turkish media reports.

The public prosecutor’s office in Denizli on Monday issued detention warrants for 10 individuals including teachers and lawyers over alleged Gülen links. Police conducted operations in the provinces to detain five suspects.

As part of an investigation launched on Tuesday by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, detention warrants have been issued for 53 people including active duty and former military officers and former military cadets. Turkish police have detained 23 of the suspects in operations in 16 provinces.

[…]

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

A total of 319,587 people have been detained and 99,962 arrested in operations against supporters of the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in November.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

https://euromedrights.org/publication/free-the-gezi-defendants/

https://ahvalnews.com/gezi-trial/farce-called-gezi-trial-when-verdict-criminal-act

Turkey: Rights lawyer Can Atalay sentenced to 18 years in jail for “attempting to overthrow the government”

25/04/22

Turkish civil rights activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala was jailed for life without parole on Monday in a long-running case that sparked a diplomatic crisis and highlighted fears for the rule of law. 

The 64-year-old, who has been held in prison for 4½ years, was found guilty of attempting to overthrow the government in connection with mass protests that broke out in 2013 and a failed coup three years later. 

In a verdict greeted with boos and jeers, seven other defendants were sentenced to 18 years imprisonment at Istanbul’s Caglayan courthouse. The seven other defendants were civil rights activists Mucella Yapici, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman, Ali Hakan Altinay, Yigit Ali Ekmekci, Cigdem Mater and Mine Ozerden

The trial of Henri Barkey, a US-based professor at Lehigh University, and seven other defendants will be continued in a separate case, the court ruled.

Many raised their fists in salute in a show of defiance and promised to continue their struggle. “We will not bow to persecution. We will resist persecution,” said defendant Can Atalay. 

Rights groups condemned the outcome of a case they had already criticized as unfounded and unjust. 

“Today, we have witnessed a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions,” said Nils Muiznieks, Europe director at Amnesty International, of the “politically motivated charade.” 

He added, “The court’s decision defies all logic. The prosecuting authorities have repeatedly failed to provide any evidence that substantiates the baseless charges of attempting to overthrow the government. 

“This unjust verdict shows that the Gezi trial was only an attempt to silence independent voices.” 

Emma Sinclair-Webb, Europe director at Human Rights Watch, described the conclusion of the “show trial” as “horrifying, cruel and evil.” 

[…]

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/04/turkish-court-jails-philanthropist-osman-kavala-life-widely-condemned-trial

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/25/philanthropist-sentenced-to-life-in-turkey-in-travesty-trial-over-gezi-park-protests

https://m.bianet.org/english/law/260956-gezi-trial-aggravated-life-sentence-for-kavala-18-years-in-prison-for-seven-others

https://m.bianet.org/english/law/260956-judgment-day-in-gezi-trial-court-recesses-hearing-before-announcing-verdict

https://m.bianet.org/english/law/260956-judgment-day-in-gezi-trial-kavala-can-t-be-seen-due-to-problem-in-videoconference-system

https://www.ibanet.org/article/eec314ee-ab8f-4019-8ea5-117a8fce5802

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/delegations/fr/product/product-details/20220421DPU32664

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/can-atalay

https://www.gercekgundem.com/guncel/338243/portre-i-can-atalay-magdurlarin-doganin-avukati (TURKCE)

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/04/26/en-turquie-osman-kavala-condamne-a-perpetuite-au-terme-d-une-parodie-de-justice_6123664_3210.html (FRANCAIS)

(ITALIANO)
(ESPANOL)

Turkey: Police beat lawyer Orhan Alphan in Batman Courthouse 

15/04/22

Lawyer Orhan Alphan, who tried to prevent the torture of a prisoner in Batman Courthouse, was subjected to police violence himself. Batman Bar Association strongly condemned the attack.

Lawyer Orhan Alphan, who wanted to prevent torture being carried out by police on a prisoner in Batman Courthouse, ended up being a victim of violence himself.

The incident took place in the corridors of the courthouse. The police responded to Alphan’s intervention with insults and then hit the lawyer. The face of Alphan was covered with blood.

After the violence, Alphan went to Batman Training and Research Hospital and received a report of assault.

Lawyer Alphan went back to the courthouse with the report and filed a criminal complaint against the police.

Reaction from Batman Bar

Batman Bar Association reacted to the incident. While the lawyers participated in the statement made in front of the courthouse dressed in their robes, Bar Association President Erkan Şenses said: “We will use all our legal rights to ensure the police officer is punished. We demand that the relevant officer be detained and arrested. We do not even want to think about what he did to the suspects in custody, considering that he treated a lawyer in this way in the middle of the courthouse.”

[…]

https://anfenglish.com/human-rights/police-beat-lawyer-orhan-alphan-in-batman-courthouse-59321

https://www.barobirlik.org.tr/Haberler/meslektasimiz-av-orhan-alphan-a-yapilan-saldiriyi-kiniyoruz-82602 (TURKCE)

https://www.rudaw.net/turkish/kurdistan/150420221

https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/polis-siddetini-onlemek-isteyen-avukata-adliyede-saldiri-haber-1560646

Turkish police officer reverses to run over Kurdish lawyer

11/04/22

A police officer who was detained for intentionally injuring a lawyer by running him over said he did it after hearing voices in his head.

A police officer who intentionally ran over and critically injured a lawyer in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Şırnak (Şirnex) on Sunday said he was mentally disturbed at the time of the incident, and that he was hearing voices in his head.

The incident occurred when Serkan Karakaş, a lawyer, had to stop his car around 10:30 am due to a technical problem, and got out to see what the problem was.

This was when the police officer, a superintendant in the Şırnak Police Department, drove past Karakaş, then stopped his car, went into reverse, and ran over Karakaş.

On Monday, Karakaş, who was left in a critical condition, with a fractured kneecap and ruptured ligament in his knee after the incident, had to have a lengthy surgical operation.

It has been reported that the operation was successful, although doctors noted that further operations might be required for a full recovery.

[…]

https://bianet.org/english/law/260309-investigation-into-lawyers-over-statement-about-turkey-s-afrin-operation-dismissed-4-years-later

https://www.birgun.net/haber/avukat-serkan-karakas-a-kasten-carptigi-iddia-edilen-komiser-tutuklandi-383811 (TURKCE)

https://www.rudaw.net/turkish/kurdistan/11042022

https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/sirnak-barosu-bir-komiser-avukatimiza-araciyla-kasten-carparak-agir-yaraladi-haber-1560085

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/459117/sirnakta-polisin-araciyla-hedef-alarak-carptigi-avukata-dair-aciklama-hicbirimizin-can-guvenligi-yok

Turkey: Women lawyers visit ill Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk, criticize Bars for silence

06/04/22

Diagnosed with dementia, Aysel Tuğluk is kept in prison despite medical reports suggesting that she should be released.

Women lawyers have visited Kurdish politician and lawyer Aysel Tuğluk, who has been diagnosed with dementia, at Kandıra Prison in Kocaeli, northwestern Turkey, Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reported.

After the visit, they spoke to reporters and read out a statement in front of the prison. Human Rights Association (İHD) Co-Chair Eren Keskin and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Züleyha Gülüm were among them.

“Her illness has progressed”

Speaking about Tuğluk’s health, lawyer Leyla Han Tüzel said her disease progressed, but her morale is high because of women’s struggle for her.

Reading out a statement, lawyer Eylem Arzu Kayaoğlu said Tuğluk was referred to the Forensic Medicine Institution (ATK) to determine whether she can make defense in the Kobanî trial. The ATK, however, did not make an assessment on the issue requested by the court but stated that Tuğluk had “full criminal responsibility” in 2014, when the events subject to trial took place, she added.

“Only two pages of the report included the medical findings of ATK, but the opinion of the neurologist, who is the most important physician to determine the course of the disease and the stage it has reached, was not taken.

“We are aware that the sole purpose of the ATK’s extensive coverage of accusations like public prosecutors in its report is to conceal the actual health condition of Aysel Tuğluk by turning the public’s attention to criminal allegations. The report in question is also striking in terms of showing the biased political structure of the ATK.”

Silence of the bar associations

“All administrative and judicial authorities, especially the Ministry of Justice, who do not do what is necessary while Tuğluk’s health condition is evident, are responsible.

“In the face of Aysel Tuğluk’s disease, the İstanbul Bar Association, which she is affiliated with, and the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, are in a great silence.

[…]

https://bianet.org/english/law/260127-women-lawyers-visit-ill-kurdish-politician-aysel-tugluk-criticize-bars-for-silence

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aysel_Tu%C4%9Fluk

https://www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/barolara-aysel-tugluk-cagrisi-artik-harekete-gecmeli-haber-1559399 (TURKCE)

https://m.bianet.org/1/137/260124-avukatlar-aysel-tugluk-u-ziyaret-etti-serbest-birakilsin

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/458777/avukatlar-aysel-tugluku-ziyaret-etti-yetkilileri-hukuka-bilime-ve-vicdana-uygun-davranmaya-cagiriyoruz

https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aysel_Tu%C4%9Fluk

https://anfdeutsch.com/frauen/anwaltinnen-besuchen-aysel-tugluk-im-gefangnis-31551 (DEUTSCH)

https://anfdeutsch.com/frauen/kampagne-fur-tugluk-geht-weiter-31528

Lawyers’ Day in Turkey: Hundreds of lawyers in jail

05/04/22

“We refuse to accept the 5th of April as a day for celebrations while hundreds of our colleagues are jailed over their professional activities,’ an official spokesperson of a lawyers’ association says on ‘Lawyers’ Day’ in Turkey.

Representatives of lawyers’ associations read out statements in Istanbul on Tuesday on the occasion of Lawyers’ Day in Turkey, stating that the 5 April cannot be a day of celebration while so many lawyers are incarcerated solely over their professional activities.

According to a report released in December 2021 by the Arrested Lawyers Initiative, more than 1,600 lawyers were detained and prosecuted while 615 lawyers were under pre-trial arrest in Turkey since 2016. Subsequently, 474 lawyers were sentenced to a total prison term of 2,966 years in prison on the grounds of membership of an armed terrorist organisation, or of spreading terrorist propaganda.

Esra Erin, the co-chair of Free Lawyers’ Association’s Istanbul branch said:

“Hundreds of our colleagues are in jail solely due to their professional activities. We refuse to accept the 5th of April as a day for celebration while our imprisoned colleagues are not free and among us. We have been visiting them in prison. Through their determination to stand against injustices and to carry on with their work even in their prison cells, they have reminded us yet again that a lawyer does not perform only in the courthouse, and that this is a profession to be performed practically anywhere as a rights struggle.”

She continued:

“A lawyer’s title is not just something that we lawyers can be stripped of. We carry on the struggle of Fuat Erdoğan, Faik Candan, Şefik Epözdemir and Medet Serhat who were killed in the 1990s, of Tahir Elçi who was killed in 2015, of Ebru Timtik who went on hunger strike for the right to fair trial on 5 April 2020 and who lost her life on 27 August 2020.”

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2022/04/aba-presidential-statement-re-lawyers-day-in-turkey/

https://bizimtv.com.tr/guncel/avukatlar-avukatlar-gununde-istanbul-adliyesinde-bulustu-yuzlerce-meslektasimiz-ha-78503h (TURKCE)

https://t24.com.tr/haber/istanbul-barosu-5-nisan-avukatlar-gunu-nu-yargi-krizi-ile-karsilasiyoruz,1025757

(FRANCAIS)

Turkey: Arrest warrants out for 101 FETÖ suspects

29/03/22

Prosecutors in the capital Ankara, the southern province of Adana and the northwestern province Edirne issued arrest warrants for 101 suspects linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on Tuesday in separate investigations. Fifteen suspects were detained, while operations are underway to capture the others.

The suspects are wanted in three separate investigations. In one investigation carried out by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office, 21 suspects are sought by authorities for their ties to senior figures within the terrorist group. The suspects were mostly lawyers, academics and security guards. They were identified as members of the group since they stayed in “study houses” exclusive for would-be judges and prosecutors in the past. “Study houses” refer to the informal dormitories run by FETÖ, which is known for recruiting members at a young age and guiding them over the course of their education. The terrorist group is also known to have aided its members in infiltrating public institutions such as judiciary offices. Sixteen of the suspects have been apprehended so far.

In another investigation based in Ankara, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 49 suspects who stayed at another network of “study houses” between 2014 and 2016 in the capital. The suspects included serving civil servants and former public sector employees.

[…]

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/investigations/arrest-warrants-out-for-101-feto-suspects-in-turkey

https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/europe-and-central-asia/turkey/report-turkey/

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/investigations/underworld-figure-wanted-for-turkish-lawyers-killing

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-29/turkey-s-erdogan-brings-back-bozdag-as-justice-minister-resigns

Turkish prosecutors ordered detention of 78 people over alleged Gülen links in a week

28/01/22

Turkish authorities have ordered the detention of 78 people in the last five days due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, according to reports by Turkish media.

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday issued detention warrants for 20 people including 17 lawyers over alleged links to the movement. Police conducted operations across seven provinces as part of the operation and detained 18 of the suspects.

On Wednesday the chief public prosecutor’s office in Ankara ordered the detention of 29 people including active duty and dismissed gendarmerie officers over alleged Gülen links. Police conducted operations in 20 provinces to detain the suspects.

An additional 11 detention warrants were issued in Manisa and Adana provinces on Thursday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

[…]

(FRANCAIS)
(ESPANOL)

Turkey: Letter to UN for Kurdish politician, ill prisoner Aysel Tuğluk: ‘Take urgent action’

21/01/22

43 bars, law and rights organizations from Turkey and the world have sent a letter to the special rapporteurs and working groups of the United Nations and expressed “grave concern” over “imminent risk to health and life of ill prisoner Aysel Tuğluk.”

Diagnosed with dementia, Kurdish politician Aysel Tuğluk is still held in the Kocaeli Kandıra Type F Prison despite the medical report of the Kocaeli University concluding that she is not in a state to stay in prison.

In this context, 43 bar associations, law and rights organizations from Turkey and the world have sent a letter to the special rapporteurs and working groups of the United Nations (UN) titled “Urgent Action: Imminent risk to health and life of ill prisoner Aysel Tuğluk.”

In their letter addressed to the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health and the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, the 43 law and rights organizations have expressed their “grave concern over the treatment of the seriously ill prisoner Aysel Tuğluk.”

The letter has explained that after Aysel Tuğluk was diagnosed with dementia, her condition has gotten worse quickly.

[…]

https://bianet.org/english/world/256570-law-rights-organizations-urge-the-un-to-take-urgent-action-for-aysel-tugluk

https://www.duvarenglish.com/twenty-turkish-bar-associations-call-for-release-of-kurdish-politician-aysel-tugluk-suffering-from-illness-news-60205

https://ahvalnews.com/aysel-tugluk/human-rights-legal-groups-urge-un-release-kurdish-politician-tugluk

https://www.duvarenglish.com/turkish-intellectuals-issue-statement-in-support-of-aysel-tugluk-osman-kavala-sezen-aksu-and-sedef-kabas-news-60219

https://bianet.org/english/law/256251-report-by-aysel-tugluk-solidarity-group-let-her-live

https://bianet.org/english/human-rights/255921-petition-for-politician-ill-prisoner-aysel-tugluk-we-don-t-want-to-be-late-to-save-her

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aysel_Tu%C4%9Fluk

https://bianet.org/bianet/insan-haklari/256562-aysel-tugluk-icin-birlesmis-milletler-e-acil-mudahale-cagrisi (TURKCE)

https://bianet.org/kurdi/mafen-mirovan/256588-ji-bo-aysel-tugluke-bang-li-neteweyen-yekbuyi-kirine (KURDI)

https://www.institutkurde.org/info/lettre-a-l-onu-pour-lsex-deputee-kurde-emprisonnee-aysel-tusluk-en-danger-1232552111 (FRANCAIS)

Colombia: Day of the Endangered Lawyer – Wrap up

24/01/22

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "24 January 2022 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE LAWYER IN DANGER COLOMBIA"

Along with the workaday perils of practising law that they share with their male counterparts, such as being gunned down in the street, Colombia’s women lawyers face threats that are particular to them. They could be raped, for example, or suffer another form of sexual assault that aims to intimidate and discourage them from doing their job – which is representing and protecting the vulnerable through the rule of law. Also, women lawyers’ children may be threatened with violence or press ganged into a guerrilla army, where the only subject on the curriculum – Marxist precepts apart – is how to kill.

These are some of the stark truths to emerge from this year’s Day of the Endangered Lawyer (24 January) panel discussion chaired by Law Society international human rights adviser Doctor Marina Brilman. Previous discussions have looked at other countries where the rule of law no longer holds sway, such as Azerbajan, Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt. This year’s focus is on the South American republic of Colombia, where the 2016 peace agreement was supposed to have ended the 60 year conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the state.

The conflict claimed around 262,000 lives, displaced 6.9m people, saw around 18,000 children forced to join armed groups and many thousands more people ‘disappeared’, raped or tortured. The optimism engendered by the agreement has failed to bear fruit, as the three Colombian lawyers on the panel report.

Dora Lucy Arias Giraldo is a member of Colombia’s leading human rights lawyers’ collective. She begins: ‘The Colombian constitution states that it is the duty of lawyers to promote human rights and represent the vulnerable. And yet the government, working through its own intelligence organisations, has an active strategy of diminishing and weakening our operations through attacks on our children and sexual violence against our (women lawyers’) bodies.’ She concedes: ‘There are protection measures in place regarding gender, but they are under-funded – a particular problem when trying to bring powerful economic players to justice.’

Ana Maria Rodriguez, who is also a human rights lawyer, warns that Colombia’s ‘entire existence as a social justice state’ is under threat. She points to recent ‘reforms’ that were designed specifically to weaken the remit of both public prosecutors and the ombudsman, while increasing the power of the executive to turn a blind eye to government corruption.

[…]

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer/5111266.article

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2022/01/statement-of-aba-president-reginald-turner-re-day-of-the-endange/

https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/auvergne-rhone-alpes/rhone/lyon/journee-internationale-des-avocats-en-danger-le-barreau-de-lyon-denoncent-la-situation-de-leurs-conferes-colombiens-2431921.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.leprogres.fr/societe/2022/01/24/journee-de-l-avocat-en-danger-a-lyon-une-tradition-de-defense-des-droits-de-l-homme

https://www.camerepenali.it/cat/11306/24_gennaio_2022_-_giornata_dell_avvocato_minacciato.html (ITALIANO)

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