Refugees and Latest Pushbacks in Greece

June 2019 / (20 pages)

No one puts their children in a boat unless the boat is safer than the land.” (Warshan Shire, Home)
Thousands of refugees fleeing their homeland due to violence, terror, or political prosecution use Greece as an entry gate to Europe. Since the beginning of 2014, over 1.1 million refugees have crossed the borders of Greece(3). Most of the refugees have chosen to go by sea in order to land on one of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, but recently a growing number of refugees have begun to use Evros as a passage from Turkey to Greece. In recent years, besides refugees who are using Turkey as a transit way to Greece, Turkish citizens who were forced to flee Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt have also used the same route. This witch-hunt was launched by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government against the sympathizers of the Gulen Movement following a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Many of these citizens attempted to escape Turkey using illegal methods as the Turkish government cancelled their passports.


Collapse of Rule of Law in TURKEY and Politically Motivated Extradition Requests for the Dissidents of Erdogan Regime

May 2019 / (60 pages)

There are numerous reports illuminating the collapse of rule of law and the judicial independence in Turkey. The lack of fair trials, the denial of the right to defense, and political interference in ongoing cases summoned close-up scrutiny from international organizations to the nature of post-coup trials, causing debilitating damage to the credibility of trials at all. Despite for all the coverage of post-coup affairs in Turkey, how trials proceed on bogus and trumped-up charges, how the Turkish political and judicial authorities fabricated evidence to implicate certain figures and how arbitrariness contagiously pervaded all layers of judicial mechanism remain mostly under-sketched until the recent report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW). The HRW report aside,1previous studies mostly left certain aspects regarding trials beyond the full grasp of outsiders. For this reason, except experts and legal observers, the outside world remains uninformed about how things veered off the script and how the very word of law has become a dead letter following the purge and politically-tinged trials.

Turkey’s Assault on Books

April 2019 / (24 pages)

The course of recent political events has become an object of countless studies to measure Turkey’s steady tilt toward authoritarianism in all facets and layers of political conduct.According to the common view upheld by international organizations and media outlets, Turkey is no longer a democracy it once was. The breakdown of rule of law and the collapse of central pillars of democracy have become crystal clear in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in 2016. One of the less noticed or under-studied theme was the government’s policies on culture. The culture emerged as a key source of impassioned debate or a political war as the government’s critical stance on Western-oriented art institutions generated fresh controversy in the past few months. This report wants to shed light on another notorious aspect of the post-coup purge and crackdown. The government not only launched a new cultural war to reshape the secular nature of the political system but also went on a full-fledged crusade to eradicate certain cultural institutions affiliated with leftist, secular, Kurdish groups.


Turkey’s Massive Crackdown on Health Care Professionals

March 2019 / (8 pages)

Following the coup attempt on the 15th of July 2016, dissident groups in Turkey are facing arguably their biggest crackdown in the country’s history. The Turkish government under the authoritarian leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken a wave of oppressive actions against those that are perceived as critics of the regime.
The health industry is among the variety of industries that have been affected in association with those actions. Hospitals, medical schools and health clinics have been shut down. Thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, scientific publishers and health authorities have been dismissed from their jobs. Many of those have been detained and/or arrested and are now serving prison sentences for baseless charges of belonging to what they call a “terrorist” group. Human rights organizations have also recently reported that arrested individuals have been subjected to severe torture and mistreatments.


Turkey: A Prison for Righteous People

March 2019 / (16 pages)

Turkey’s passage over the threshold from Partly Free to Not Free is the culmination of a long and accelerating slide in Freedom in The World. The country’s score has been in free fall since 2014 due to an escalating series of assults on the press, social media users, protesters, political parties, the judiciary, and the electoral system, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fights to impose personalized control over the state and society in a deteriorating domestic and regional security environment.


Turkey’s Maarif Foundation Poorly Performs in Afghanistan Mired in Scandals

January 2019 / (16 pages)

For more than two years, Turkey’s aggressive policy to take over and shut down schools operated by opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan across the world has produced mixed results. In some countries such as Pakistan, Somalia, Gabon and Malaysia, the Turkish government’s relentless pursuit and sweetening financial offers swayed local governments’ positions and led to the takeover of Turkish schools previously ran by non-governmental organizations affiliated with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, the arch-nemesis of President Erdogan. But not every country conceded to Ankara’s demands. And in some countries, Ankara led Maarif Foundation has shown signs of poor management and has failed to deliver success in education.


Americans Arrested in Turkey: Andrew Brunson and Others

December 2018 / (16 pages)

Erdogan’s government does not only target Turkish citizens but also people from other nationalities who reside legally in Turkey. The situation raises concern about the non-citizens’ human rights in relation to detention and arrest. Main principle of the rights of non-citizens has been seen as the principle of equality, meaning that state must treat non-citizens as same with their citizens. However, recently this understanding has started to change and there have been new and higher standards protecting aliens. This document will refer to human rights documents protecting the rights of non-citizens in terms of detention and then will include the stories of foreign citizens have been either taken into custody or arrested. In addition, arrested consular officials of the US Consulates will be mentioned despite the fact that they should have been treated with diplomatic respect.


A Predatory Approach to Individual Rights: Erdogan Government’s Unlawful Seizures of Private Properties and Companies in Turkey

November 2018 / (36 pages)

Property rights in Turkey are no longer protected because of the disregard the Erdogan government has shown to the rights of its dissidents. Even though the anti-government Turks suffer from many different rights violations, the violations of the right to property should be separately noted since it is deemed a fundamental human right.
“Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions” reads Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights.


Expulsion of Turkish Teachers from Moldova: The Whole Story

September 2018 / (28 pages)

To the astonishment of the whole world last week, September 6, Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and its Moldovan counterpart acted together in snatching six Turkish nationals affiliated with Gulen Movement from Moldovan territory, triggering a wave of international criticism and opprobrium against Moldova’s authorities for their acquiescence to Ankara’s demand for the expulsion of teachers. How the incident took place, the nature of international calls to stop the deportation of education officials working for Orizont High School, and the failure or complicity of the Moldovan political leadership generated a great deal of controversy, bringing their possible collaboration with the Turkish government in the whole drama into sharper international focus.


Erdogan’s Crackdown at a Glance

September 2018 / (12 pages)

Under the state of emergency in place since July 2016, the president presides over the cabinet, which can pass decrees without parliamentary scrutiny or the possibility of appeal to the constitutional court. Many decrees adopted contained measures that undermine human rights safeguards and conflict with Turkey’s international human rights obligations.


The Confiscations and Smear Campaigns by Turkish Government through Maarif Foundation in Africa

July 2018 / (16 pages)

Erdoğan government’s education policy consists of generalizing the imam hatip high- schools which provide mainly religious education, and forcing the students to choose one of these schools. In addition to this, it has been approximately 20 years since AKP (Justice and Development Party) took over the country, and the education system has been changing too many times within this period, only to end up with a more complicated system which has been far from providing any benefits at all.


Türkiye Develetinin Resmi Vakfı Maarif Üzerinden Afrika’da Yürütülen Gasp ve Karalama Kampanyası

Temmuz 2018 / (16 sayfa)

Erdoğan, kurdurduğu Maarif Vakfı üzerinden yurtdışında bulunan Hizmet Hareketine bağlı okul ve bağlı kuruluşlara el konulması için Devlet destekli bir el koyma operasyonu başlattı. Bizzat Maarif vakfı başkanının da bir röportajda ifade ettiği üzere Maarif vakfı hedef olarak yurtdışındaki Türk okullarına hukuksuz biçimde el konulmasını belirlemiş durumda. Zengin imkanlarla donatılan Maarif vakfı bugüne kadar hukuksuzca el konulan Hizmet hareketi okulları dışında yalnızca bir okul kurabilmiş durumdadır.


Erdogan’s Long Arms Abroad and Recommendations to Governments

July 2018 / (24 pages)

Since the attempted coup of July 15, 2016 the Government of Turkey Turkish government has engaged in illegal extraterritorial and extrajudicial actions been taking strict measures to silence dissidents in other countries from various ideologies recently. There are many examples of abductions and physical violence incidents in several countries as well as threats by pro-government people referring to the supporters abroad. This paper discusses these issues to conclude that individuals linked to the Movement cannot feel safe abroad either.


The Last Exit Before Illegal Legality: Snap Elections in Turkey as the Final Step on the Road to Authoritarianism

May 2018 / (16 pages)

Following months of speculation about possible early elections, on April 16, 2018, the anniversary of the controversial 2017 referendum, Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), called for early elections to be held on August 26, the national holiday. One of the main reasons for early elections is to ensure they take place before the upcoming economic depression. There are concerns that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will commit electoral fraud. Following the April 18 announcement of the decision to hold early elections, on April 24 the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) recommended that Turkey postpone the elections.


Turkey’s New Normal: Torture and Ill-Treatment

April 2018 / (8 pages)

This report prepared by the Advocates of Silenced Turkey’s Right to Life Committee provides an overview of official reports published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the US Department’s State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. According to the Human Rights Association, the total number of human rights violations amounted to 7,907 since 2016. 2,278 victims faced torture and maltreatment while 423 of such cases took place under police detention.


Turkey Must Ensure Freedom of Religion Under Its Jurisdiction

April 2018 / (11 pages)

Especially in recent years, freedom of religion has been under attack in most countries with the rise of oppressive regimes. Turkey is also one of these states limiting religious freedoms. Different religious communities took their shares from the government’s arbitrary implementations. This paper elaborates on the different types of discriminatory practices religious groups have been facing in Turkey recently. It will be evaluated whether freedom of religion and belief is respected at the level required the internationally accepted standards. Therefore, for the purpose of this paper different statements from government officials as well as the government’s actions targeting religious groups will be mentioned below.


Türk Hükümetinin Yeni Hamlesi: Yurtdışında Bulunan Hizmet Gönüllülerinin Sahte Belge ve Gerçek Dışı İddialarla İadeleri Talebi (TÜRKÇE)

Mart 2018 / (15 sayfa)

Erdoğan hükümeti, iktidardaki varlığını 2013 yılında hakkında çıkan yolsuzluk iddialarından beri kutuplaşma ve oluşturulan kontrollü siyasi krizlerle sürdürüyor. İki yıla yakın bir süredir OHAL ile yönetilmekte olan Türkiye’de artık hukukun üstünlüğü değil, hükümet tarafından sınırsızca kullanılan “Devletin Ezici Gücü” ülkeye yön verir oldu. Adalet teşkilatının yarısının görevden alınıp binlerce hakim ve savcının terörist suçlamasıyla hapse atıldığı Türkiye’de, hükümetin istemediği yönde tek bir karar dahi almak mümkün değil.


Turkish Government’s New Strategy: Request Extradition of Hizmet Sympathizers Using Fabricated Documents And False Claims

March 2018 / (16 Pages)

It can be seen that Mr. Erdogan’s government, acting without any consideration of rules, the Turkish judiciary and other executive organs which do not raise against any of Mr. Erdogan’s political claims are ready to take any action in order to somehow extradict the people from abroad. For this reason, any future requests to be made through the Turkish government, especially regarding extraditions of lawbreakers and limitations of traveling abroad, are subject to be investigated to the maximum extent so that to prevent abuses.

Women’s and Children’s Rights are Under Attack in Turkey

January 2018 / (8 Pages)

Oppressive attitude of the Turkish government has been becoming harsher as the time goes. A process of targeting dissident groups, especially the Hizmet Movement, started in 2013 and the government became even stricter than one can expect since July 15, 2016 when the so-called attempted coup occurred. The Movement has been the main group targeted by the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is unfortunately true that vulnerable groups have suffered more than others in this process. Women and children have been affected by Erdogan’s and the government’s measures disproportionately. This paper lists below some statements taken from the most important human rights organizations working about the recent events taking place in Turkey.

Erdogan’s Tool to Take Over Hizmet Schools Illegally: The Maarif Foundation

March 2018 / (8 Pages)

The report talks mainly about the recent activities of the Turkish government putting education at risk through illegal takeovers by Turkish government sponsored Maarif Foundation. The government for a long time has been trying to “Islamize” Turkey’s education system by placing imam hatip high schools in the center of the education policies. Nearly for one and a half year, the Turkish government has also been attempting to export its policy abroad by taking over Turkish schools founded years ago around the world by participants of the Hizmet Movement. Following the excerpt from the JWF’s report which will provide background information on the case, new information acquired by the Advocates of Silenced Turkey will be provided aiming to illustrate the current situation.

Comparative Analysis of Different Countries’ Approaches Towards Turkish Asylum Seekers Linked to the Gulen Movement

December 2017 / (12 Pages)

Turkish government has been targeting dissidents from various ideologies recently. One of these opposition groups, the Gulen Movement, has been the main target since 2013. The supporters of the Movement have been dealing with different strict measures perpetrated directly by the state authorities such as arrest, imprisonment, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, denial of fair trial, confiscation, passport cancellations and labeling. These asylum seekers have been receiving affirmative responses in many countries, four of which are explored in this study.


Report on the Current and Possible Threats Supporters of the Gulen Movement Face Abroad

December 2017 / (15 Pages)

Gulen Movement (also known as “Hizmet Movement,” meaning service in Turkish) has been the main target of the government, which is a faith-based group of people engaging in different voluntary activitiessuch as education, business and health. Alleged supporters of the Movement in Turkey have been dealing with arrest, imprisonment, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, confiscation and passport seizure. Regrettably Turkish government’s actions against the Gulen Movement are not limited to Turkish borders but are also extraterritorial. There are many examples of abductions and physical violence incidents in several countries as well as threats by pro-government people referring to the supporters abroad.

European Court of Human Rights Should Reconsider Judicial Independence in Turkey Before Referring Cases to Domestic Authorities

November 2017 / (8 Pages)

In recent years and in particular in the aftermath of attempted coup of July 15, 2016, the Turkish government has been targeting dissidents belonging to different ideologies. Among the many dissident groups, in particular the Gulen Movement has been the primary target. The far-reaching, increasingly repressive and almost unlimited discretionary powers exercised by the Turkish authorities during the state of emergency – now in its 15th month – endanger the general principles of rule of law and human rights safeguards, the ones the state of emergency is designed to protect.