1-540-209-1934
help@silencedturkey.org

web editor

SEND A LETTER: GRAVE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TURKEY

AST STATEMENT REGARDING GRAVE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TURKEY ON
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, DECEMBER 10

Under the state of emergency, imposed after the July 2016 attempted coup and lifted on July 2018, President Erdogan presided over the cabinet, which could 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 routine extensions of the state of emergency within two years have led to profound human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of people – from arbitrary deprivation of the right to work and to freedom of movement, to torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary detentions and infringements of the rights to freedom of association and expression.

The Erdogan government is showing disregard to the rights of its dissidents. Approximately 217,000 people are detained and over 82,000 people are arrested on terrorism charges. Those prosecuted include journalists, civil servants, teachers, politicians, academics, human rights defenders as well as police officers and military personnel. The prosecutions often lack compelling evidence of criminal activity. Thereby the State officials use torture and ill-treatment in custody, including severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks, waterboarding and interference with medical examinations.

Public officials continued to be dismissed or suspended by decree without due process, with more than 170,000 dismissed since July 2016. Those dismissed from their jobs lost their income, social benefits, medical insurance, and even their homes, as various decrees stipulated that public servants “shall be evicted from publicly-owned houses or houses owned by a foundation in which they live within 15 days”.

Websites including Wikipedia are blocked. Hundreds of media outlets, associations, foundations, private hospitals, and educational establishments that the government shut down by decrees are still closed, their assets were confiscated without compensation. The states of emergency have been used to severely and arbitrarily curtail the human rights of a very large number of people which is also declared by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

One of the most alarming actions of the Turkish authorities is incarceration of women who are pregnant or have just given birth. Some are incarcerated with their children and others violently separated from them. At this moment, seven hundred forty-three (743) children under the age of six are in jails across Turkey with their mothers, detained or arrested as part of the government crackdown on its dissidents. One hundred forty-nine (149) of these children are infants under a year old. “This is simply outrageous, utterly cruel, and surely cannot have anything whatsoever to do with making the country safer” as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein” also emphasized.

Another alarming action of the Turkish government is the overseas operations conducted by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to capture perceived political opponents of President Erdogan’s administration. Abductions are perpetrated by violating international legal norms.

We, as Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST), want to emphasize our deep concern and make you aware of human rights violations in Turkey. We want the Turkish government to change its seizure policies and reinstitute human rights all over the country and follow the rule of law. Turkey is in breach of its International Law Obligations. We, as AST urge you to address this situation and attract attention to it in your official capacity. AST urges to stand against the unlawful practices of the Turkish government after the failed coup attempt in July 2016.

In this regard, we call upon the Government of the Republic of Turkey to:

● Stop arbitrary arrests, detentions and wrongful prosecution of political prisoners and release them;

● Stop arbitrary arrests, detentions and wrongful prosecution of women and children;

● Stop illegal overseas operations to capture perceived political opponents;

● Stop, prevent and punish the use of torture and ill-treatment by State officials;

● Reinstate, those wrongly detained, prosecuted and dismissed from their posts;

● Ensure and safeguard the independence of the legal profession.

You can download the AST Statement’s PDF version about Grave Human Rights Violations in Turkey

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Human-Rights-Day-Letter.pdf

SEND AN EMAIL OR MAIL

We urge you to express your views or send attached sample statement to following addresses:

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Human-Rights-Day-Letter.docx

SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

#FreePrisonersofConscience
#StandUp4HumanRights

Video about Children and their Mothers are Prisoners of Conscience in Turkey

AST FLYER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/HUMAN-RIGHTS-DAY-FLYER.jpg

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ABOUT HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATIONS.

United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

The Honorable Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria/High Commissioner
InfoDesk@ohchr.org
civilsociety@ohchr.org
dexrel@ohchr.org

COMMISSION ON SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE, U.S. HELSINKI COMMISSION

234 Ford House Office Building 3rd & D streets SW, Washington, DC 20515

TEL: 202-225-1901 | FAX: 202-226-4199 |
EMAIL: INFO@CSCE.GOV
Twitter: @HelsinkiComm | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helsinkicommission

UNITED NATIONS & EU

The Honorable Zeid Ra’ad AI Hussein
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH- 121 I Geneva 10. Switzerland
Email: InfoDesk@ohchr.org

The Honorable Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education
Palais des Nations
CH- 1 2 1 1 Geneva 1 0. Switzerland
Email: sreducation@ohchr.org

The Honorable David Kaye
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Palais des Nations
CH- 121 I Geneva 10. Switzerland
Email: freedex@ohchr.org

The Honorable Federica Mogherini
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
European Commission
Rue de la Loi 200/Wetstraat 200 B-1049
Brussels, Belgium
Email: federica.mogherini@ec.europa.eu

The Honorable Thorbjorn Jagland
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
Avenue de I’Europe F-67075
Strasbourg Cedex, France
Email: private.office@coe.int

The Honorable Nils Muiznicks
Commissioner for Human Rights
Council of Europe
Avenue de I’Europe F-67075
Strasbourg Cedex, France

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND NGOS

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

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

FREEDOM HOUSE

Twitter: @FreedomHouseDC | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomHouseDC

For all general inquiries, please contact
Freedom House: info@freedomhouse.org or call our main line: 202-296-5101, fax 202-293-2840

For Congressional inquiries, please email
Annie Boyajian, Advocacy Manager, at boyajian@freedomhouse.org

Freedom House Washington Office Address:
1850 M Street NW, Floor 11
Washington D.C. 20036

Freedom House New York Office Address:
120 Wall Street, Fl. 26
New York, NY 10005

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Twitter: @amnestyusa | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amnestyusa

If you believe your human rights have been violated and you need referrals for assistance or want to share your story, contact our research team
report@aiusa.org

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY

Twitter: @NEDemocracy | Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/National.Endowment.for.Democracy

Ph: (202) 378-9700
E-Mail: INFO@NED.ORG

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL

Twitter: @anticorruption | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransparencyInternational/

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT

Address: Alt-Moabit 96 10559 Berlin Germany

General contact:
Telephone: +49 30 3438 200
Fax: +49 30 3470 3912
Email: ti@transparency.org

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR HUMAN 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

HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST

Twitter: @humanrights1st | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanrightsfirst

New York
Human Rights First
75 Broad St, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10004
Tel: (212) 845 5200
Fax: (212) 845 5299

Washington
Human Rights First
805 15th Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: (202) 547 5692
Fax: (202) 543 5999

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

Read more

Children and their Mothers are Prisoners of Conscience in Turkey

One of the most alarming actions of the Turkish authorities is the incarceration of women who are pregnant or have just given birth. Some are incarcerated with their children and others violently separated from them. At this moment, seven hundred forty-three (743) children under the age of six are in jails across Turkey with their mothers, detained or arrested as part of the government crackdown on its dissidents. One hundred forty-nine (149) of these children are infants under a year old. “This is simply outrageous, utterly cruel, and surely cannot have anything whatsoever to do with making the country safer” as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein” also emphasized.

Read more

Government seizes businesses in Turkey

The Turkish government has seized hundreds of businesses. Many of the owners have fled to Germany. The government accused these owners of supporting the Gülen movement. The government says Gülen was behind the recent coup attempt.

Source: https://www.dw.com/en/government-seizes-businesses-in-turkey/av-37084560

Read more

Turkey May Face Sanctions After EU Court Decision Regarding Jailed Kurdish Politician.

European Court Slams Erdogan Administration For Imprisonment of Kurdish Politician

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) called on Turkey to release Selahattin Demirtas, the former co-chairman of pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP), who has been imprisoned for two years and sharply criticized his ongoing imprisonment.

In an unusually blunt statement, the ECtHR portrayed Demirtas’s continuing imprisonment as politically motivated. While the court said Demirtas had been arrested on “reasonable suspicion,” the extensions of his detention lacks plausible justification.

In November 2016, Demirtas, along with other HDP Co-Chair Figen Yuksekdag, have been arrested on the charges of having links to outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

He faces dozens of years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors particularly charge him with instigating the violent anti-government protests in October 2014 when HDP supporters took into streets to protest the Erdogan government’s indifference to Islamic State (ISIS) onslaught on the Syrian border town of Kobani.

More than 40 people had been killed during Kobani protests across Turkey. Demirtas vehemently denies any role for the outbreak of violence. His imprisonment came when the Turkish government unleashed a massive crackdown on opponents in different quarters of the political spectrum, arresting tens of thousands of people, including HDP lawmakers and supporters.

Unlike its verdict and judgment on previous applications from Turkey regarding detention of journalists, the ECtHR invoked the 18th article of European Human Rights Convention in its recent decision, setting the stage for a potential diplomatic showdown.

The 18th article appears as binding for the countries against which the verdict was delivered. But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outright dismissed ECtHR call for the release of Demirtas.

“[The extensions of detention] had pursued the predominant ulterior purpose of stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate, which was at the very core of the concept of a democratic society,” the top human rights court said in its statement.

“The Court therefore held, unanimously, that the respondent state was to take all necessary measures to put an end to the applicant’s pre-trial detention,” the court added, pressing Turkey to act swiftly.

In its articulation of the reasoning, the ECtHR referred to the “tense political climate” in Turkey, an element that “created an environment capable of influencing certain decisions by the national courts.”

If Turkey refuses to comply with the recent verdict, it would have grave ramifications for Turkey’s relations with the Council of Europe. Ankara may face sanctions in the case of non-compliance and even lose its membership in the Council of Europe, as the 18th article requires for the failing respondent states.

Read more

Imprisonment of Academics Sparks Public Backlash

In a new round of crackdown, Istanbul police units have detained a number of academics linked with philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been in prison for nearly a year, sparking criticism and condemnation from large segments of society, including leading business organization TUSIAD.

The new wave of arrests took place as part of Istanbul police’s efforts to dismantle Kavala-affiliated NGO Anadolu Kultur. Law Professor Turgut Tarhanli and Professor Betul Tanbay are among the detained.

“It is very sad to begin the day with the news of detention of many academics at a time when we were talking the return of scientists to the country. We owe the productivity of the lands in which we live to our culture that has become a shelter of science for centuries. We cannot progress by denying this!” Erol Bilecik, the head of the Turkish Industry and Business People’s Association (TUSIAD) wrote on Twitter, expressing his dismay.

Kavala, a secular and pro-Western activist, was imprisoned last year. Despite calls from the international community, the Turkish authorities did not allow his release.

Read more

Torture in Turkey

This video is about people who were tortured in custody after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Even though there is not any solid evidence against these people showing their involvement in the coup, they were detained, put in the jail and more importantly, tortured. Gokhan Acikklolu is the first person and a teacher who died under custody in Istanbul Vatan Police Directorate became the symbols of the police torture after July 15. There are more than 15 witnesses stating that Gokhan Acikollu died due to torture under police interrogation.

According to the UN Special Rapporteur Nils Melzer, there are allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in Turkish Police Custody including;

§ Severe beatings,

§ Electrical Shocks,

§ Exposure to icy water,

§ Sleep deprivation,

§ Threats, insults, and

§ Sexual assaults ”

The video was prepared by AST

Read more

After Yearlong Struggle, Turkey’s Crackdown Reaches Afghan Schools

Turkey’s global purge and the crackdown on Gulen-affiliated schools never show signs of abating. The latest attempt took place in Afghanistan on Sunday, with all the hallmarks of previous ones already displayed in various times in Turkey or other countries.

Early on Sunday, officials linked with Turkey’s state-run Maarif Foundation took control of two schools in Herat province of Afghanistan. In a submission to unyielding demands from Ankara, the Afghan Education Ministry already relinquished the control of a number of private Afghan-Turkish schools affiliated with the Gulen Movement to Ankara-backed Maarif Foundation earlier this year.

The decision set off a yearlong showdown between new officials and the families of students who were adamantly opposed to any takeover of the schools by Ankara.

Previous attempts to run schools hit a snag after families’ unflinching and stubborn resistance. But this Sunday, Maarif-linked officials came to the school, touching off a new episode of clashes between families and the Afghan authorities.

While Turkey’s efforts to seize Gulen-affiliated schools across the world mostly took place without much fuss, things in Afghanistan developed differently as families vowed to fight against the seizure as long as possible within their capacity.

The Sunday takeover resulted in a number of brief detentions, local media reported. Police and security forces laid a siege to all-girls and all-boys schools in Herat. A Turkish official working for
Afghan-Turkish school network divulged details of how the events transpired in schools with media.

Police blocked access to schools, assembled students to a gathering point and seized their cellphones to restrict diffusion of the news throughout media. They detained some teachers and students who attempted to resist those attempts.

When news of the crackdown filtered through social media and the local community, parents of students began to amass outside schools. The committee of student families was summoned by the provincial education bureau of the Afghan government in Herat for consultations and briefing. An official who talked to AST on the condition of anonymity claimed that the summoning served as a distraction as Afghan authorities descended on one of the schools’ principal office at the same time to finalize the management change.

They even held a symbolic ceremony for the commencement of new administrators. When police and security forces left the school, graduates, students and a group of families forced the newly installed Maarif officials out of the school after a brief scuffle.

Maarif directors took refuge in armed vehicles of Afghan security forces outside one of the schools. A melee followed thereafter as graduated schools displayed their fury against the takeover of the school.

This invited a large force of reinforcements as top education official in Herat sought new forces to break up the protest and suppress the resistance by families. The deployment of additional police forces within school sparked some clashes. The police forcefully detained many students.

As things escalated into some violent showdown, more than 400 people assembled outside the school to demand the release of detained students.

So far now, no Turkish teachers were taken into custody, something that always occurred in other countries where such school takeovers took place.

In first official remarks on the incident, Herat Governor’s Spokesman Jelani Farhad confirmed that security forces carried out a court order against Gulen-linked schools. He also acknowledged that the raid was conducted to change the school director.

But the official denied any wrongdoing and insisted that the whole takeover took place as part of an official agreement between the governments Afghanistan and Turkey.

Afghan-Turk Cag Educational (ATCE), an NGO that previously ran the schools, condemned the police raid, portraying it as a move incompatible with civil law, constitution, the criminal code of the country, not to speak of international norms.

Turkey’s yearlong efforts were repeatedly foiled by a group of determinant families. The attitude displayed by student parents and NGOs defending education rights of the Afghan people offer some form of a solace in a country where civil society barely exists. In a repudiation of the perception that civil society is just a letter on paper, devoid of any substance, in Afghanistan, the families pledged to prolong their fight against Maarif’s brazen takeover.

A large-scale demonstration is expected to take place on Monday. Afghanistan, which goes through a decades-long war between Western-backed government forces and a resurgent Taliban, suffers a shortage of teachers and education facilities. In the face of depleted sources and tremendous hardships, the last thing Kabul needs is to alienate a group of volunteers and NGOs which, for their unswerving commitment to Afghan people, did not leave the country even in the face of a protracted and deadly war. Kabul should return the favor by ignoring Turkey’s norm-defying demand for the takeover of the schools, which have become beacons of success and advanced education.

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

You can find a sample letter at the following link.

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Letter_to_officials_erdogans_long_arm_in_afghanistan.pdf

You can find your U.S Senator at the following link.

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

You can find your U.S Representatives at the link.

https://www.house.gov/representatives

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

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

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

AFGHANISTAN

1) President Ashraf Ghani
Twitter: @ashrafghani
Phone: 0202104444,
0202104445
Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Advisor (Former Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United
States)
Twitter: @hmohib

2) Shah Hussain Murtazawi,
Acting Spokesperson for President’s Office
Phone: +93 (0) 728 998 907
Email: murtazawi84@yahoo.com

3) Salahuddin Rabbani. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Address: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan,
Malek Asghar St. Kabul, Afghanistan
Phone: 0093 (0) 20 2100372,
0093 (0) 20 2100371
Email: info@mfa.af
Twitter: @mfa_afghanistan http://mfa.gov.af/en/form/contactus

4) Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States
Address: Embassy of Afghanistan, 2341 Wyoming Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008 Phone:
202-483-6410
Fax: 202-483-6488
Info@afghanembassy.us

Contact Us

5) Mahmoud SAIKAL, Ambassador and Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New York Address: 633 Third Avenue Floor 27A, New York,
NY 10017
Phone: 212-972 1212
Fax: 212-972 1216
@AfghanMissionUN
info@afghanistan-un.org

6) U.S. Embassy Kabul
Phone: (00 93) (0)700-10-8000
Fax: (00 93) (0)700-108-564 @USEmbassyKabul
KabulACS@state.gov

7) DR. ABDULLAH ABDULLAH(CEO)
Special Assistant Ahmet Zahit Anwari
0093700291626
0093202106803
a.z.anwari@ceo.gov.af
Sao@ceo.gov.af

8) Chief of Staff Abdul Kahar Abed
0093744200000
0093700281980
abed.qahar@gmail.com

9) Spoke person
Dr. Mucibur Rahman Rahimi
PH: 0093702103333
mujib.rahimi@ceo.af

10) Ministry of Foreign Affairs

0093202100372
0093202100371
Info@mfa.af

Social media posts on the raid:

HASHTAG
#DoNotPoliticizeAfghanSchools

Read more

SEND A LETTER | PURGED PUBLIC WORKERS

PURGED BEYOND RETURNS

SEND A LETTER to COUNCIL OF EUROPE, VENICE COMMISSION & MEMBER OF CABINET

“On the evening of 15 July 2016, elements within Turkey’s armed forces attempted a violent coup. The coup attempt was quickly thwarted as thousands of people took to the streets and state forces overpowered the coup plotters. Hundreds died, and thousands were injured in a night of terrible violence. The government declared a state of emergency soon afterwards on 20 July 2016 with the stated aim of countering threats to national security arising from the coup attempt. While the state of emergency was initially declared for three months, it would be renewed seven times, and its remit broadened to include combatting ‘terrorist’ organizations. The state of emergency finally ended on 18 July 2018, two years after it was first announced, having ushered in a period of tremendous upheaval in Turkish public life.

During the state of emergency, the government had the extraordinary power to issue emergency decrees with the force of law. These decrees were used to enact a wide variety of measures, affecting diverse issues from detention periods and NGO closures to snow tyre requirements. Around 130,000 public sector workers were dismissed by emergency decrees. Those dismissed include teachers, academics, doctors, police officers, media workers employed by the state broadcaster, members of the armed forces, as well as people working at all levels of local and central government. Their dismissals did not include specific evidence or details of their alleged wrongdoing. Instead, the decrees offered a generalized justification that they ‘…had links to, were part of, were connected to, or in communication with…’ proscribed groups.
The arbitrary dismissals have had a devastating impact on those who lost their jobs and their families. They did not only lose the jobs they occupied; in some cases, they were entirely cut off from access to their professions, as well as housing and healthcare benefits, leaving them and their families without livelihood opportunities.

For a long time, these dismissed public sector workers did not have any recourse against their dismissal as they had no access to ordinary administrative or legal channels in Turkey. Following considerable domestic and international pressure, the government passed an emergency decree in January 2017 setting up a ‘State of Emergency Inquiry Commission’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Commission’) to review decisions taken by the emergency decrees, including the appeals of purged public sector workers. Amnesty International research, which involved a review of procedures and a sample of decisions taken by this Commission and interviews with dismissed individuals and their families, reveals that the Commission – by its very design – is not set up to provide an effective remedy to the thousands of public sector workers dismissed from their jobs by emergency decrees. The combination of factors – including the lack of genuine institutional independence, lengthy review procedures, absence of necessary safeguards allowing individuals to effectively rebut allegations about their alleged illegal activity and weak evidence cited in decisions upholding dismissals – resulted in the failure of the Commission to provide a recourse against dismissals, leaving more than a hundred thousand individuals – their livelihoods on hold – without a timely and effective means of justice and reparation. The Commission does not have institutional independence from the government as its members are largely appointed by the government and may be dismissed simply by virtue of an ‘administrative investigation’ on the basis of suspicion of links to proscribed groups. Thus, the provisions for
appointments and dismissals could easily influence the decision-making process; should members fail to make decisions expected of them, the government can just as easily dispense with them.”

Purged Beyond Return Report by AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, pp. 4-5, October 2018.

SEND A LETTER AS A DISMISSED PUBLIC WORKER OR DEFENDER

The Commission of Europe invited OHAL commission to Strasbourg in November about their political decisions and the violation of rights of the dismissed 130,000 public workers. We urge the dismissed public workers or their defenders to write letters to the commission, member of the parliament, President of the Council of EU and Secretary of Venice Commission:
In order to comply with the human rights standards that they profess to uphold, Turkish authorities should reinstate all the dismissed public sector workers and, in any cases where individuals are reasonably suspected of wrongdoing or misconduct in their employment, or of a criminal offense, any decision on their dismissal should be made solely in a regular disciplinary process with full procedural safeguards.

3 SAMPLE LETTERS FOR PUBLIC WORKERS

Below are the sample letters created for a dismissed teacher, doctor and public worker. Do not forget to include your own story by changing the related parts.

You can download TEACHERS SAMPLE LETTER here…

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Teacher_sample_letter.pdf

You can download DOCTORS SAMPLE LETTER here…

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Doctors_sample_letter.pdf

You can download PUBLIC WORKER SAMPLE LETTER here…

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/public_servants_Sample_letter.pdf

CONTACT INFORMATION TO SEND YOUR LETTER.

1) PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COUNCIL
Donald TUSK
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/contact/general-enquiries/send-message/?IsPresident=true

2) PRESS OFFICE
press.office@consilium.europa.eu

3) PRESS CENTER
press.centre@consilium.europa.eu
Planning.Audiovisuel@consilium.europa.eu

4) SECRETARY OF VENICE COMMISSION
Thomas Markert
Thomas.markert@coe.int

4) RIAA OOMEN
Chairperson of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy: Bureau of the Assembly
ria.oomen-ruijten@eerstekamer.nl

5) BERNARD BRUNET
Bernard Brunet is currently Head of Unit “Thematic Support, Monitoring, and Evaluation” in the
European Commission (DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement
Bernard.BRUNET@ec.europa.eu

6) JOHANNES NOACK
Member of Cabinet
johannes.noack@ec.europa.eu

7) MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE on Political Affairs and Democracy
http://www.assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/AssemblyList/AL-XML2HTML-EN.asp?lang=en&XmlID=Committee-Pol

8) TWITTER

—-VENICE COMMISSION—-
@venicecomm

—-EUROPEAN COUNCIL—-
@EUCouncil

“PURGED BEYOND RETURN” 28 pages report released by Amnesty International about the
130,000 dismissed public workers in Turkey. You can reach the report from the link;

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur44/9210/2018/en/

NEED HELP?

If you need help to translate your story, AST volunteers in your local community will help you.
If you could not find an AST volunteer for the translation of your letter from Turkish to English to submit, you can send the Turkish letter to help@silencedturkey.org until November 15. We will try to do our best to translate your letter by our volunteers and empower you to submit your letter to the relevant commissions and officials in Europe

Read more

The Story of the Maden Family

Under Erdogan’s brutal regime, Turkey’s democracy derailed, innocent people are tortured or even killed in prisons. Those who wish to flee Turkey have a challenging journey to take, likely to end up in death. Here is the story of Maden family.
Husband: Math teacher
Wife: History teacher
They were charged with terrorism and involvement in the 7/15 coup attempt. They chose to leave their country. Last year this time the family was drowned in the Aegean sea. Here is their story.

The video was prepared by Huddled Masses

Read more