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Afghan security forces raided Afghan-Turk High School at the request of Turkish government

Afghan-Turk Boys High School in Shibirghan was raided by members of the Afghan security forces under the command of Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum, controversial First Vice President of Afghanistan, early July 28,2018 morning. Afghan security forces detained Turkish teachers, dozens of students and their parents in order to seize the school at the request of the Turkish government.

Local sources indicate that the school has been surrounded and shut down by the militias of the Dostum. The school administration notes that no legal justification has been provided. Governor of Jowzjan province and the police chief joined the raid at 6:00 AM local time.

The Turkish government has pressured the government of Afghanistan to either shut down or transfer ownership of the Afghan-Turk Schools to the Maarif Foundation which is affiliated to and supported by the Turkish government. The Afghan-Turk schools were founded by Gulen inspired Turkish businessmen and teachers in 1995. Despite all the difficulties in the region, the schools have continued to maintain its services believing that education is the only way to overcome those difficulties. Gulen Movement affiliated schools in Afghanistan operated under Afghan-Turk ÇAĞ Educational NGO, have won 875 awards in international science Olympiads from 2003 through 2016 — 278 gold, 287 silver, and 310 bronze medals.

We would like to emphasize that this raid is not an isolated incident. Turkish officials and the Turkish Embassy in Kabul have continuously targeted the schools and its staff over the past few years. The unlawful and politically motivated measures taken within recent months against the Afghan-Turk Schools have been perpetuated by the Turkish government.

It is apparent that the prior abductions and human rights violations by the Turkish government would conclude with taking over the schools abroad and asking extraditions of all the Turkish teachers in these schools to Turkey.

As the Advocates of Silenced Turkey, we strongly request your assistance to remind the Afghan authorities to respect democratic values and resist the pressures from Turkey. We urge immediate and necessary action to stop the crackdown on the Afghan-Turk schools.

Download sample statement as a word document:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AST_Letter_Afghan-Turk-school-raid.docx

Download AST statement signed by AST spokesperson Hafsa Yildiz as a pdf document:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AST_Letter_Afghan-Turk-school-raid.pdf

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:

1) Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, U.S. Helsinki Commission
Phone: 202-225-1901
Fax: 202-226-4199
Email: INFO@CSCE.GOV
Twitter: @HelsinkiComm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helsinkicommission/

Chairman: Senator Roger F. Wicker
Address and Contact:
555 Dirksen 555 Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Main: (202) 224-6253 |Fax: (202) 228-0378 | Twitter: @SenatorWicker
Email: senator@wicker.senate.gov

Co-Chairman: Representative Christopher H. Smith
Washington DC Office: 2373 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3765 | Fax: (202) 225-7768 | Twitter: @RepChrisSmith
https://chrissmith.house.gov/contact/zipauth.htm

2) Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Phone: +1 (202) 225-3599
Fax: +1 (202) 226-5887
Email: TLHRC@mail.house.gov
Twitter: @TLHumanRights

3) Congressional Afghan Caucus
Phone: +1 (202) 225-2411
Fax: +1 (202) 225-2013
Federal Caucus Member: Pete King, pete.king@mail.house.gov,
Federal Caucus Member: Bill Pascrell, bill.pascrell@mail.house.gov

4) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

5) The European Court of Human Rights Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg cedex
Phone: +33 (0)3 88 41 20 18
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 27 30

Mr. Günter SCHIRMER
Head of the Secretariat
Phone: +33/3 88.41.2809
Email: guenter.schirmer@coe.int

6) U.S. Department of State
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

7) Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
Phone: 202-456-6213
Email: vice.president@whitehouse.gov
Twitter: @VP

8) Senator Cory Booker
Phone: (202) 224-3224
Fax: (202) 224-8378
Email: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact
Twitter:@SenBooker

News articles on the raid:

https://dtj-online.de/afghanistan-polizei-will-hizmet-schule-einnehmen-111781

https://stockholmcf.org/afghan-security-forces-raided-afghan-turk-boys-high-school-in-shibirghan/

https://turkeypurge.com/afghan-police-wait-outside-gulen-affiliated-high-school-in-shibirghan-to-detain-teachers-at-turkeys-request

Social media posts on the raid:

ی جوزجان خون آلود شدن صورت یکتن از اولیای شاگردان توسط نیرو های امنیتی مربوط به والی

در یورش امروز نیرو های امنیتی مربوط به والی جوزجان به مکتب افغان-ترک شبرغان، در اثر سنگ های که از بواسطه موتر آبپاش به صورت یکتن از والدین برخورد نمود، صورت ایشان خون آلود شد.ARG – ارگAshraf GhaniDr. Abdullah Abdullahریاست عمومی دفتر مقام عالی ریاست جمهوریریاست اجراییه جمهوری اسلامی افغانستاندفتر شورای امنیت ملیوزارت امور داخله – د کورنیو چارو وزارتMohammad Haneef AtmarUNICEF Afghanistanلوی څارنوالی – AGODirectorate of NGOs ریاست انجوها وزارت اقتصادUNHCR, the UN Refugee AgencyBBC NewsThe New York TimesReutersWashington PostCNN International

Posted by QATRA TV AF on Saturday, July 28, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=441994122952060&id=101711293647013

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=441928086291997&id=101711293647013

شکستاندن دروازه مکتب افغان-ترک توسط نیرو های امنیتی مربوط به والی جوزجان

شکستاندن دروازه مکتب افغان-ترک شبرغان توسط نیرو های امنیتی مربوط به والی جوزجانARG – ارگAshraf GhaniDr. Abdullah Abdullahریاست عمومی دفتر مقام عالی ریاست جمهوریریاست اجراییه جمهوری اسلامی افغانستاندفتر شورای امنیت ملیوزارت امور داخله – د کورنیو چارو وزارتMohammad Haneef AtmarUNICEF Afghanistanلوی څارنوالی – AGODirectorate of NGOs ریاست انجوها وزارت اقتصادUNHCR, the UN Refugee AgencyBBC NewsThe New York TimesReutersWashington PostCNN International

Posted by QATRA TV AF on Saturday, July 28, 2018

Previous AST coverage on Afghan-Turk schools:

http://silencedturkey.org/turkish_teachers_afghanistan

http://silencedturkey.org/int-witch-hunt-afghan-turkish-teachers

http://silencedturkey.org/fate-of-four-afghan-turk-teachers-remains-uncertain

http://silencedturkey.org/missing-teachers-in-afghanistan

Read more

Turkey’s MIT abducted Veysel Akçay in Mongolia

Veysel Akçay, the General Director of the schools affiliated with the Gülen movement in Mongolia who has lived in Mongolia for over 24 years, was abducted by Turkey’s notorious National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) Friday morning (7/27/18) in front of his house in the capital city Ulan Bator.

It was reported that a private jet plane is waiting at the Ulan Bator Airport to transfer Akçay to Turkey. Akçay, who has worked at the educational institutions in Mongolia for 24 years, is reportedly one of a few Turkish nationals possessing the Mongolian Friendship Medal bestowed by Mongolian State.

New York-based Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) said that on Friday, at 9:00 am (local time in Mongolia) Veysel Akçay left his home to his workplace at the Empathy Worldwide Educational Institution. According to eyewitnesses (and CCTV recordings), he was stopped by a minibus in front of his house and abducted by people working on behalf of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

As it is known Turkish government has been taking strict measures to silence dissidents from various ideologies. Gulen/Hizmet Movement has been the main target of the government, which is a faith-based group of people engaging in different voluntary activities such 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. There are many examples of abductions and physical violence incidents in several countries like Sudan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Georgia, Myanmar, Kosovo and Malaysia.

According to a statement made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, over 100 alleged members of the Gülen movement have been abducted by MİT agents abroad and brought back to Turkey as part of the Turkish government’s global manhunt.

Around 12 AM Eastern Time (5-6 hours after abduction), Meryem Akcay announced that her husband Veysel Akcay has returned home safely. Resistance from citizens and politicians has prevented the illegal transfer to Turkey. We thank the Mongolian government and officials for resisting the illegal transfer of Veysel Akcay, showing careful attention to the situation and standing firmly for the rule of law. We urge the Mongolian government to investigate Veysel Akcay’s case, open a legal case against MIT officials and other people who engaged in this illegal act, and ensure the safety of Gulen sympathizers in Mongolia.

Download sample statement as a word document:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AST_Letter-Veysel-Akcay-3.docx

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:

1) President of Mongolia, Battulga Khaltmaa
Website: https://president.mn/en/
Email Address: https://president.mn/en/contact-us/
Phone: +976 99116118
Fax: +976 51261273
Twitter handle: @BattulgaKh

2) Prime Minister of Mongolia, Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh
Wesbite: http://zasag.mn/en/
Phone: +976 99113937
Twitter handle: @UKhurelsukh

3) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia
Website: http://consul.mn/eng/contact.php
Email Address: dep10@mfa.gov.mn
Phone: +976-51-262282
Fax: +976-11-322127
Twitter handle: @MFA_Mongolia

4) Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations
Website: https://www.un.int/mongolia/
Email Address: mongolianmission@twcmetrobiz.com
Phone: +1 (212) 861-9460, +1 (212) 472-6517
Fax: +1 (212) 861-9464
Twitter handle: @nymongolia

5) Embassy of Mongolia to the United States
Website: http://mongolianembassy.us/contact-us/#.W1sqYNhKg_U
Email Address: washington@mfa.gov.mn
Phone: +1 202-333-7117
Fax: +1 202-298-9227
Twitter handle: @MGLEmbassy_USA

6) The delegation of the European Union to Mongolia
Head of the Delegation: Mr. Traian Laurentiu Hristea
Email Address: DELEGATION-MONGOLIA@eeas.europa.eu

News articles on the abduction of Veysel Akcay:

https://stockholmcf.org/mit-abducts-veysel-akcay-general-director-of-schools-affiliated-with-gulen-movement-in-mongolia/

https://dtj-online.de/bildungsaktivist-deutscher-schulen-in-mongolei-auf-befehl-erdogans-entfuehrt-111772

https://ikon.mn/n/1ci3

http://mongolcom.mn/read/52090

Social media posts on the abduction of Veysel Akcay:

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2023664780986591&id=100000292673421

Videos on the abduction of Veysel Akcay:

AST Spokesperson Hafsa Yildiz on the abduction of Veysel Akcay

Veysel Akcay’s wife explain the abduction

Locals explain the abduction of Veysel Akcay-1

Locals explain the abduction of Veysel Akcay-2

Locals explain the abduction of Veysel Akcay-3

Read more

Turkish family missing in Evros river after trying to escape from Erdogan’s persecution

Victims of Erdogan’s regime are increasing every day, as there has not been an effective mechanism to prevent him. In Turkey, thousands of families and tens of thousands of people had to leave their country soon after the failed coup attempt on July, 15, 2016. 151,967 people were dismissed from their jobs, 136,995 people were detained, 77,524 were arrested.

A group of 11 people including the Akçabay family tried to escape from political persecution in Turkey on July 18, 2018. Their rubber dinghy boat crashed into something like a rock and it later overturned.

Murat Akcabay said “At the time my wife went adrift and then held on to a branch. I shouted to her, ‘Don’t let go of the branch, I will rescue you.’ While I was trying to fight the waves, I saw she wasn’t in the same place. I repeatedly shouted, but I never heard her voice again”. Murat Akcabay said his wife, Hatice Akcabay, and three sons (seven-year-old Ahmet Esat, five-year-old Mesut, and one-year-old Aras) were missing after their boat capsized in the Evros River on Wednesday night.

Early Friday, June 20, 2018, It was reported that 36 years old Hatice Akçabay and her 1-year-old Bekir Aras found dead, while search and rescue operation is still ongoing for 7-years-old Ahmet Esat, 5-years-old Mesut. Murat Akcabay had noted that 7-years-old Ahmet was wearing a life vest. Turkish villagers said that they saw a child in Greece coast. There is still hope that Ahmet and his brother Mesut may be still alive.

Turkish police also detained Yunus Akçabay, the uncle of the missing children, who was trying to find his lost nephews and their mother. No accusations against him were made by police. The Turkish police also prohibit civilians from searching for the missing two children.

Advocates of Silenced Turkey calls on all the international and non-governmental human rights organizations to raise awareness about the drowned Akcabay family and also to take immediate action as regards the problems in Turkey to prevent other families and children from suffering as such. We hope the situation in Turkey will get better for those in Turkey and abroad who are oppressed by the ruling government of Turkey.

Download sample statement as a word document:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AST_Letter-Akcabay-Family..docx

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:

1) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

2) Human Rights Watch
Twitter: @hrw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HumanRightsWatch
NY Address:350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

Emma Daly, Communications Director
Tel: +1-212-216-1835
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

3) Human Rights Foundation
Twitter: @HRF
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanrightsfoundation/
New York Address:350 5th Ave., #4515 New York, NY, 10001
Phone Number: (212) 246-8486

4) Freedom House
Twitter: @FreedomHouseDC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomHouseDC
info@freedomhouse.org
Phone: 202-296-5101
Fax: 202-293-2840

Annie Boyajian, Advocacy Manager
boyajian@freedomhouse.org

5) Amnesty International
Twitter: @amnestyusa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amnestyusa
report@aiusa.org

6) International Federation for Houman Rights
Twitter: @fidh_en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FIDH.HumanRights
FIDH AT THE UN (NEW-YORK)
110 East 42nd street, Suite 1309 NY 10017 New-York
Phone Number: 001 646 395 7103

7) International Court of Justice
Email: information@icj-cij.org
Phone: (+31) 70 302 23 23
Fax: (+31) 70 364 99 28
Twitter: @CIJ_ICJ
Website: http://www.icj-cij.org/en

News articles on Akcabay Family:

http://www.euronews.com/2018/07/20/family-missing-after-boat-capsizes-on-the-evros-river

https://turkeypurge.com/bodies-of-turkish-mother-one-year-old-son-found-in-evros-river-report

https://turkey.theglobepost.com/mother-kids-missing-evros-river/

http://www.politurco.com/another-family-has-gone-missing-in-evros-river-trying-to-escape-from-erdogans-persecution.html

https://stockholmcf.org/4-people-trying-to-escape-persecution-in-turkey-missing-after-boat-capsizes-in-evros-river/

Tweets on Akcabay Family:

Read more

Torture and Suspicious Deaths in Turkish Prisons

Turkish prisons have turned into death houses during the Erdoğan regime. Stockholm Center for Freedom has tried to record people who died since 15 July 2018 in Turkey to the extent it is possible. SCF has compiled 117 cases of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format. Among these people, there are teachers, academicians, volunteers for philanthropic organizations, businessmen, engineers, and doctors.

On July 1st, 2018, Zeki Güven, the former intelligence chief of the Ankara Police Department who was arrested by a Turkish court in May as part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement, was found dead in his bed at Sincan No 1 F Type Prison. According to the official statement, Zeki Güven allegedly died from a heart attack; however, given the previous incidents and deaths in Turkish prisons, his death is being viewed as suspicious. Other suspicious deaths in the prison have been listed as ‘died due to heart attack’. None of them received detailed autopsies from independent institutions. Nonetheless, Güven did not have any known medical condition. His friends have noted that he never smoked and took well care of his body. Thus, Güven, who went to prison in perfect health died in prison because of a “heart attack” right before his hearing is quite suspicious. Güven is not the first and will not be the last who has died in the prison.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment visited Turkey in November 2016 and found that torture was widespread following the failed coup, particularly at the time of arrest and subsequent detention. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, expressed serious concerns about the rising allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in Turkish police custody since the end of his official visit to the country. The reported abuse included severe beatings, electrical shocks, exposure to icy water, sleep deprivation, threats, insults and sexual assault. The Special Rapporteur said no serious measures appeared to have been taken by the authorities to investigate these allegations or to hold perpetrators accountable.

Families of the jailed individuals such as Yurt Atayün (former head of İstanbul antiterror division), Ahmet Altan (working journalist for more than twenty years), Taner Kilic (Amnesty’s Turkey director), and many other individuals are worried that their loved one may be the next victim.

We wholeheartedly condemn the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in Turkish prisons and detention centers. We urge Turkish authorities to stop torture and ill-treatment, and obey United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT).

Download sample statement as a word document: AST_Letter-Torture-and-Suspicious-deaths-in-prisons-2

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement below to following relevant Turkish authorities.

1. Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Justice
Website: http://www.justice.gov.tr
Email Address: info@adalet.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (0312) 417 77 70
Fax: +90 (0312) 419 33 70

2. Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Website: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/
Contact form: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/contact-us.en.mfa
Phone: +90 (312) 292 10 00

3. Union of Turkish Bar Associations
Website: https://www.barobirlik.org.tr
Email Address: barobirlik@barobirlik.org.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 292 59 00
Fax: +90 (312) 286 31 00

4. Presidency of the Constitutional Court
Website: http://www.anayasa.gov.tr
Email Address: bilgi@anayasa.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 463 73 00
Fax: +90 (312) 463 74 00

5. Court of Cassation
Website: https://www.yargitay.gov.tr
Email Address: iletisim@yargitay.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 416 10 00

6. Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C.
Website: http://vasington.be.mfa.gov.tr/Mission
Email Address: embassy.washingtondc@mfa.gov.tr
Phone: +1 202 612 67 00
Fax: +1 202 612 67 44

News and reports of torture in Turkish prison:

Erdogan regime started executions in prisons after the elections (July 2018)

AST report on cruel and unusual punishments in Turkey (April 2018)

UN Report on the impact of the state of emergency on human rights in Turkey, including an update on the South-East (March 2018)

Tortured to death; holding Gökhan Açıkkollu’s killers to account

Stockholm Center for Freedom report on suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkish prisons (March 2017)

Platform for Peace and Justice’s comprehensive report on the prison conditions in Turkey (2017)

Human Rights Watch’s report, “In custody: police torture and abductions in Turkey” (2017)

Take a look at Stockholm Center for Freedom’s updated list of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey (as of July 1st, 2018):
https://stockholmcf.org/suspicious-deaths-and-suicides-in-turkey-updated-list/

Videos:

Yurt Atayün’s daughters are worried for the health of their father. Yurt Atayün was the former head of İstanbul antiterror division and has been in prison for 4 years & now is in solitary confinement for 6 months.

Read more

Torture and Suspicious Deaths in Turkish Prisons

On July 1st, 2018, Zeki Güven, the former intelligence chief of the Ankara Police Department who was arrested by a Turkish court in May as part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement, was found dead in his bed at Sincan No 1 F Type Prison. According to the official statement, Zeki Güven allegedly died from a heart attack; however, given the previous incidents and deaths in Turkish prisons, his death is being viewed as suspicious. Other suspicious deaths in the prison have been listed as ‘died due to heart attack’. None of them received detailed autopsies from independent institutions. Nonetheless, Güven did not have any known medical condition. His friends have noted that he never smoked and took well care of his body. Thus, Güven, who went to prison in perfect health died in prison because of a “heart attack” right before his hearing is quite suspicious.

Turkish prisons have turned into death houses during the Erdoğan regime. Güven is not the first and will not be the last who has died in the prison. Stockholm Center for Freedom has tried to record people who died since 15 July 2018 in Turkey to the extent it is possible. SCF has compiled 117 cases of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format. Among these people, there are teachers, academicians, volunteers for philanthropic organizations, businessmen, engineers, and doctors.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment visited Turkey in November 2016 and found that torture was widespread following the failed coup, particularly at the time of arrest and subsequent detention. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, expressed serious concerns about the rising allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in Turkish police custody since the end of his official visit to the country. The reported abuse included severe beatings, electrical shocks, exposure to icy water, sleep deprivation, threats, insults and sexual assault. The Special Rapporteur said no serious measures appeared to have been taken by the authorities to investigate these allegations or to hold perpetrators accountable.

Families of the jailed individuals such as Yurt Atayün (former head of İstanbul antiterror division), Ahmet Altan (working journalist for more than twenty years), Taner Kilic (Amnesty’s Turkey director), and many other individuals are worried that their loved one may be the next victim.

We wholeheartedly condemn the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in Turkish prisons and detention centers. We urge Turkish authorities to stop torture and ill-treatment, and obey United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT).

Download sample statement as a word document:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AST_Letter-Torture-and-Suspicious-deaths-in-prisons.docx

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:

1) U.S. Department of State
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

2) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

3) Human Rights Watch
Twitter: @hrw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HumanRightsWatch
NY Address:350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

Emma Daly, Communications Director
Tel: +1-212-216-1835
Fax: +1-212-736-1300

4) Human Rights Foundation
Twitter: @HRF
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanrightsfoundation/
New York Address:350 5th Ave., #4515 New York, NY, 10001
Phone Number: (212) 246-8486

5) Freedom House
Twitter: @FreedomHouseDC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomHouseDC
info@freedomhouse.org
Phone: 202-296-5101
Fax: 202-293-2840

Annie Boyajian, Advocacy Manager
boyajian@freedomhouse.org

6) Amnesty International
Twitter: @amnestyusa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amnestyusa
report@aiusa.org

7) International Federation for Houman Rights
Twitter: @fidh_en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FIDH.HumanRights
FIDH AT THE UN (NEW-YORK)
110 East 42nd street, Suite 1309 NY 10017 New-York
Phone Number: 001 646 395 7103

8) International Court of Justice
Email: information@icj-cij.org
Phone: (+31) 70 302 23 23
Fax: (+31) 70 364 99 28
Twitter: @CIJ_ICJ
Website: http://www.icj-cij.org/en

News and reports of torture in Turkish prison:

Erdogan regime started executions in prisons after the elections (July 2018)

AST report on cruel and unusual punishments in Turkey (April 2018)

UN Report on the impact of the state of emergency on human rights in Turkey, including an update on the South-East (March 2018)

Tortured to death; holding Gökhan Açıkkollu’s killers to account

Stockholm Center for Freedom report on suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkish prisons (March 2017)

Platform for Peace and Justice’s comprehensive report on the prison conditions in Turkey (2017)

Human Rights Watch’s report, “In custody: police torture and abductions in Turkey” (2017)

Take a look at Stockholm Center for Freedom’s updated list of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey (as of July 1st, 2018):
https://stockholmcf.org/suspicious-deaths-and-suicides-in-turkey-updated-list/

Videos:

Yurt Atayün’s daughters are worried for the health of their father. Yurt Atayün was the former head of İstanbul antiterror division and has been in prison for 4 years & now is in solitary confinement for 6 months.

Read more

Turkey’s New Normal: Torture and Ill-Treatment

Turkey, after the failed coup attempt has been a tumultuous ground for human rights. Many subtopics of human rights violations were brought into the spotlight especially after the declaration of the state of emergency. Perhaps some of the most important derivatives of such violations are torture and maltreatment. Although a state of emergency can help condense and concentrate efforts to bring perpetrators into justice it does not grant the government a blank check to suspend human rights. Even though a delicate matter like suspect and prisoner rights can never be dispensable, Turkey is currently infamous for infringing plenty of them from a global standpoint.

Since the coup attempt in 2016 a hefty sum of 160,00 people were detained 152,000 of which were state officials varying from teachers to lawyers. According to the government’s statement a majority of these detainees were associated with the Gulen movement. Since 2016 an overwhelming 7,907 cases of human rights violations occurred among these were 2,278 victims of torture and within that number 423 of them occurred under police detention. Methods of torture included but were not limited to thumps, electrical chairs, and sexual assault threats (particularly women). In addition, 48 extralegal killings were reported which were deemed tolerable under “troubling” provisions vaguely stated in emergency decree 667.

Besides the aforementioned brutishness, safeguards available to any prisoner were denied by the detainers. Among those violated safeguards were reasonable detention and legal review arrangements, access to medical reports, right to choose a lawyer, and last but not least monitoring the places of detention. Considering the absence of these safeguards combined with the turmoil within cells detainees came to be more vulnerable to mental and physical abuse.

Numerous examples of each different method of torture can be exemplified, whether that is a teacher beaten to death and his autopsy altered (teacher Acikkolu), or a woman tortured remorselessly in front of her husband (Asli S.). The defiling of basic detainee rights is not only tarnishing Turkey’s reputation in the world stage yet it is also obliviously and gradually driving the Turkish government to a dead end.


Download as a PDF File: http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/AST_6-22-18_Turkeys-new-normal_P15.pdf

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Academics at Risk in Turkey

The coup attempt on July 15, 2016 stands as the most ruinous mark to the legal and political grounds of the Turkish Republic and continues to do so. Due to the coup attempt many people have been stripped from their ebullience, charged with allegations in abetting the coup and serving as members of a terrorist group, been unlawfully released from their jobs or incarcerated under the articles specified by the state of emergency period. Hence after the declaration of the state of emergency laws, a “legal” basis for unlawful prosecution and illegitimate actions was formed.

Academics in Turkey after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt stands as certainly one of the most severely affected branches of civil structure if not the most. On July 23, 2016 2 days after the emergency decree-laws were established the state ordered the closure of 15 universities displacing over 60,000 students and rendering 2,808 academicians jobless according to the State of Turkish Higher Education’s report. The data published by the same report displayed an immense 8,535 academicians released from duty by December 2017 virtually quadrupling the July 2016 figure. As stated by another report compiled by BBC Turkey at least 23,427 academicians lost their jobs either due to direct dismissals or reasons pertaining to university closures.

In reality January 2016, 6 months Prior to the coup attempt, marks the inception of the witch-hunt against academicians following the “Academics for Peace” petition. The respective petition, signed by 1,128 education personnel, left the signatories with very severe and exasperating upshots ranging from criminal prosecutions, dismissals and detentions to travel restrictions. The most up-to-date consolidated numbers exhibit more than 9,200 higher education personnel subject to direct targeting alongside over 60,000 scholars, administrators, and students affected materially or incurring tangible losses ascribed to government and institutional actions.

Perhaps the pinnacle of the maltreatment of academicians did not take place during the process of prosecutions but after imprisonment. Dr. Ahmet Turan Ozcelik no doubt is an exemplar of this persecution. Dr Ozcelik was confined in Balikesir Bandirma prison for 14 months after a 21 day psychological torture inflicted prior to his transfer. During his imprisonment he developed colon cancer, notwithstanding his health issued he was denied preventive treatment. After rigorous efforts he was released, yet soon after following his release he passed away from colon cancer.


Download as a PDF File: http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/AST_6-22-18_Academics-at-Risk_P14.pdf

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Women and Children in Prison

Recent reports from the Journalist and Writers Foundation in Turkey and the Stockholm Center for Freedom have estimated the number of women in Turkish prisons is a staggering 17,000 along with over 660 children. Official records indicate that 23 percent of these children are infants less than a year old. Dr. Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society (a British foreign policy think tank) said “prison is no place for children in any civilized country”.

These reports have questioned the basis for the detainment and imprisonment of these women, as well as the timing of their arrests, in some cases shortly after giving birth. Many of these women have been held without charges being pressed and without access to legal representation, and in some cases, access to their family.

Reports from within Turkey have shown images of security officials waiting outside hospital rooms for mothers to be discharged in order to detain them and their newborn children. With the critical need of preventing bacteria during a child’s first months, questions about the conditions of the prisons where these women are held with their newborn children have also arisen in numerous media reports. Since “extra food, books, phone calls, trips to the hospital, and bathroom supplies are all added to inmates’ prison bills” some women with poor financial situation cannot afford basic hygienic items such as sanitary pads (which they are not provided).

The prison conditions are not satisfactory for the well being of women, and especially children. They are forced to stay in overcrowded rooms, denied health care, missing fresh air and have to share bed and meal.

Many inmates sleep on the floor. Human Rights Association (IHD) has stated that in Turkey, 1025 prisoners are in poor health, 357 of which are seriously ill. Nonetheless, at a parliamentary hearing, it was revealed that at least five women have suspiciously died at the women’s prison in Kocaeli’s Gebze district .

We wholeheartedly condemn this violation of basic human rights of not only the imprisoned women but also these children who are being subjected to a life behind bars without cause.

Read AST’s report on women and children in prison:
AST_1-28-18_REPORT4_WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ARE UNDER ATTACK IN TURKEY

Download AST’s presentation on women and children in prison:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/AST_presentation_Persecution-of-women-in-Turkey.pdf

Download AST’s newsletter on women and children in prison:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AST_Newsletter2_Womens-Rights-Newsletter.pdf

News and reports on women and children in prison:
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/TR/2018-03-19_Second_OHCHR_Turkey_Report.pdf
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AST_Newsletter2_Womens-Rights-Newsletter.pdf
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/13/hundreds-young-turkish-children-jailed-alongside-their-moms-as-part-post-coup-crackdown.html
http://jwf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Children-Report-2017-.pdf
http://jwf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Womens-Rights-Under-Attack.pdf
http://stockholmcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Jailing-women-in-Turkey.pdf

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement below to following addresses:

1. Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau
Email: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

2. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Chrystia Freeland
Email: Chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca

3. Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, Ahmed D. Hussen
Email: Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca

4. Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee of Canada, Robert D. Nault
Email: Bob.Nault@parl.gc.ca

5. Justice and Human Rights Committee of Canada, Anthony Housefather
Email: Anthony.Housefather@parl.gc.ca

6. Embassy of Canada to Turkey in Ankara
Email: ankra@international.gc.ca

Download sample statement as a word document:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/AST_Letter-Women-and-children-in-Prison.docx

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UN Working Group urges AKP govt to release Kaçmaz Family immediately and unconditionally

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Human Rights Council has called on the Turkish government to immediately release Mesut Kaçmaz and Meral Kaçmaz, a couple that was abducted from their home after midnight in Lahore on September 27, 2017 and deported illegally by the Pakistani government to Turkey just two days before their scheduled appearance before a Pakistani court.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has released its 16-page opinion concerning Mesut Kaçmaz and Meral Kaçmaz and their two daughters.

The UN body called on Turkey to take the steps necessary to remedy the situation of Mesut Kaçmaz, Meral Kaçmaz and the two minors without delay and bring them into conformity with the relevant international norms, including those set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The UN body also called on the government of Pakistan and the government of Turkey to accord Mr. and Mrs. Kaçmaz and the two minors an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, including for the impact on their psychological integrity from having been arrested, secretly detained and deported.

For more detailed information about the risks supporters of the Gulen Movement experience, please look at the report prepared by the Advocates of Silenced Turkey on the current and possible threats supporters of the Gulen Movement face abroad titled “I Cannot Say We Are Absolutely Safe Even Abroad.”

Download the report as pdf: http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/AST_Report_Threats_Gulen-Movement.pdf

We strongly request Turkish authorities to take all necessary steps to immediately and unconditionally release Kacmaz family.

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement below to following relevant Turkish authorities.

Download sample statement: AST_letter_Kacmaz family

1. Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Justice
Website: http://www.justice.gov.tr
Email Address: info@adalet.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (0312) 417 77 70
Fax: +90 (0312) 419 33 70

2. Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Website: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/
Contact form: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/contact-us.en.mfa
Phone: +90 (312) 292 10 00

3. Union of Turkish Bar Associations
Website: https://www.barobirlik.org.tr
Email Address: barobirlik@barobirlik.org.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 292 59 00
Fax: +90 (312) 286 31 00

4. Presidency of the Constitutional Court
Website: http://www.anayasa.gov.tr
Email Address: bilgi@anayasa.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 463 73 00
Fax: +90 (312) 463 74 00

5. Court of Cassation
Website: https://www.yargitay.gov.tr
Email Address: iletisim@yargitay.gov.tr
Phone: +90 (312) 416 10 00

6. Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C.
Website: http://vasington.be.mfa.gov.tr/Mission
Email Address: embassy.washingtondc@mfa.gov.tr
Phone: +1 202 612 67 00
Fax: +1 202 612 67 44

NEWS ARTICLES ON THIS SUBJECT:

UN Human Rights Council calls on Turkish gov’t to release Kaçmaz couple immediately
https://stockholmcf.org/un-human-rights-council-calls-on-turkish-govt-to-release-kacmaz-couple-immediately/

UN High Commissioner on Refugees takes notice of Turkish family deportation
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1729982/1-un-high-commissioner-refugees-takes-notice-turkish-family-deportation/

Pro-gov’t media ‘over the moon’ after UN-protected Turkish family forcefully deported to Turkey
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-pro-govt-media-over-the-moon-over-un-protected-kacmaz-familys-forced-return

Protests held for safe recovery of Turkish teacher, his family
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1525371/protests-held-safe-recovery-turkish-teacher-family/

Turkish family of PakTurk Schools director abducted in Pakistan: rights group
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-turkey/turkish-family-of-pakturk-schools-director-abducted-in-pakistan-rights-group-idUSKCN1C31CX

Missing Turkish teacher ‘deported from Pakistan’
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/missing-turkish-teacher-deported-pakistan-171016103226988.html

A Turkish family has disappeared in Pakistan, and suspicion turns to intelligence agencies
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/a-turkish-family-has-disappeared-in-pakistan-and-suspicion-turns-to-intelligence-agencies/2017/10/11/aa8c0d80-a480-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1041c41bf150

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UN Working Group calls on AKP govt to release Kaçmaz Family

Citing the state of emergency it has declared after the coup attempt in July 2016, the AKP government has further exacerbated its heavy human rights violations following the corruption operations of December 17/25 and the June 7th general elections. Cases of abduction have lately been added to widespread torture, deaths in custody, and extrajudicial killings.

Teachers, doctors, businessmen, mothers, and children, who legally work and live in different countries away and disconnected from the unrest in Turkey, are abducted by paramilitary agents through clandestine plots and unlawfully handed over to the Turkish government.

Pakistan was one of the places where kidnappings were carried out as a part of these global criminal activities conducted by the members of the Turkish intelligence and consular staff upon the orders of President Erdogan. Mesut Kaçmaz, the former director of the Pak-Turk schools, was abducted from his home in Lahore with his family early in the morning. The scandal was protested both in Pakistan and in many countries around the world, but Mesut Kaçmaz and his family, who had been under UN protection, were deported unlawfully despite the decision of the Lahore Supreme Court.

Having completed its evaluation of the situation, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has made a strong call to the Turkish government and requested the Kaçmaz Family to be released immediately and unconditionally. (http://www.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/Wopi…)

The kidnapping scandal has been detailed in the declaration as follows: “15 ‘officers’ in plain clothes, including several female officers providing no identification raid the house of the Kaçmaz family. Officers were pushing and shoving in arresting the family, including Mr. Kaçmaz who was protesting the raid. … The officers blindfolded them all and later slipped hoods over their heads – including on Mrs. Kaçmaz and the two minors. … Kaçmaz family was kept at an unknown location prevented from going outside and did not see daylight for 17 days. Kaçmaz family was forcibly deported on October 14, 2017, and flown on a special, unmarked aircraft from Islamabad to Istanbul, Turkey. While Pakistani staff transported the family to the flight, there were only Turkish agents on board the aircraft.”

The UN Working Group, which assessed “that the arrest, detention, and deportation of the Kaçmaz family was carried out by the Government of Pakistan, through agents acting on its behalf and with its support, and at the request of the Turkish authorities”, underlined that the family had been detained and deported in violation of the Pakistani law, and noted that the Government of Pakistan was “responsible for its own actions in the arrest, detention, and deportation of the Kaçmaz family, as well as the subsequent violations of their rights in Turkey”.

The declaration also emphasized that “the Government of Turkey is jointly responsible with the Government of Pakistan for the arrest, detention, and deportation of the Kaçmaz family to Turkey without any legal basis” and both governments have breached the Human Rights Universal Declaration and the Covenant through their arbitrary acts.

The Working Group which has called the Government of Turkey to immediately and unconditionally release Mesut Kaçmaz and Meral Kaçmaz, and respect their rights to leave Turkey, also asked for compensation from Islamabad and Ankara for the detention and deportation of the Kaçmaz family including any possible psychological effects.

The declaration which sets a precedent for other cases of abduction by the AKP government has also stated that “Several United Nations bodies have documented widespread violations of human rights in Turkey, particularly since the attempted coup in July 2016. These include extrajudicial killings in the context of counter-terrorism operations, arbitrary detention of people arrested under the state of emergency measures, the use of torture and ill-treatment during pre-trial detention, and mass dismissal of teachers accused of being associated with the Gülen movement.”

The video was prepared by 30 Plus TV.

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