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STATEMENT ON MISSING TEACHERS IN AFGHANISTAN

The National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghan intelligence agency, abducted four teachers including one Afghan and three Turkish nationals from one of the schools run by the Afghan Turk CAG Educational NGO (ATCE) on 12 December 2017. Families and friends of the teachers have indicated they are very much worried that there has not been any sign regarding their whereabouts. The ATCE was founded by Gulen inspired Turkish businessmen and teachers and has been running several schools in different cities of Afghanistan since 1995. Despite all the difficulties in the region, the ATCE has continued to maintain its services believing that education is the only way to overcome those difficulties.

Former Deputy Minister of Education, Sediq Patman classified the situation as “politically motivated and unethical.” Former NDS chief has also defined the move as unprecedented in recent years, also as a shameful act for the government. According to former government officials, the raid by the NDS was illegal in the sense that the security forces have been used by the government leaders for political objectives. Despite these statements, there has not been an official comment on the incidence, neither by the government nor the intelligence agency.

Moreover, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani traveled to Istanbul a day before the incidence (12/11/17) to attend a summit organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Ministry of Education said, “it was satisfied with the functioning of these schools, but decision on their fate rested with President Ghani.” Reportedly few days before the operation, the Turkish government announced arrest warrant on teachers’ name for taking part in the so-called coup attempt. Documents indicate that the UN has provided asylum protection to one of the abducted teachers and asked authorities not to extradite him to Turkey.

The operation against the ATCE is part of a Turkish campaign against the followers of Fethullah Gulen who is a Turkish cleric which lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S. He promotes a moderate form of Islam, supports inter-faith communication and inspires to promote education in different parts of the world. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses him of orchestrating the failed coup-attempt. Mr. Gulen has strongly been denying all the allegations.

As the Advocates of Silenced Turkey, we strongly ask the government of Afghanistan to step back and release the teachers immediately. We also invite all international organizations and everyone caring about human rights and fundamental freedoms to speak out to create awareness and also to take urgent action against such an abduction towards the teachers as it violates many human rights enshrined by international human rights law. Number of cases of illegal abductions committed at the request of the Turkish government have been increasing day by day. The situation is likely to get worse if we do not protect the victims. Therefore, we lastly urge President Erdogan to stop resorting to illegal ways to clampdown innocent people.

Download as pdf: AST_Statement_Teachers_in_Afghanistan

Please send a letter to your representatives, relevant individuals or organization regarding the illegal abductions of members of Gulen Movement. A letter sample is attached as a word document: AST_Letter_Urgent Appeal regarding Turkish Teachers in Afghanistan

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Statement on Human Rights Day

As Advocates of Silenced Turkey, we are pleased to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Human Rights Day. Yet, unfortunately, the values emphasized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are today undermined in many countries. It is the duty of each informed citizen to advocate for peace and sustain justice. Human Rights Day is therefore not only about few people, but it is about all of us.

Turkey is one of the countries that have experienced significant deterioration in regards to values mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After the failed coup, more than 130,000 people have been arbitrary detained and more than 60,000 people have been arrested. Many of those arrested do not have any evidence against them. Nonetheless, there are 17,000 women in jail and 688 babies under age of six. Furthermore, there has been more than 2,200 torture and numerous abduction cases. All independent media in Turkey have been shut down and confiscated by the government. More than 4,400 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed. The government has also seized more than 800 companies worth more than $10 billion.

We urge every individual to voice the silenced voices of people in Turkey. As mentioned earlier, it is the duty of each of us to advocate for peace and justice in order to attain it. 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 as pdf: AST_Statement-on-Human-Rights-Day

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Another Turkish Woman Detained On Coup Charges One Day After Giving Birth

Fatma Türkmen, who gave birth to a baby in Ankara on Monday, was reportedly detained on Tuesday over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

According to a Twitter account, @Odak2014, police came to the hospital several hours after Türkmen gave birth to her baby, and took her to a police station in Ankara for interrogation. The mother was allegedly refused by police to see her newborn baby. The claim has neither been confirmed nor denied by the Turkish authorities.

This is not the first-time Turkish police detained a woman shortly after giving birth, as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged followers of the Gülen movement.

In July, Rümeysa Doğan in an Antalya hospital and Ayşe Kaya from Edirne province were detained by police after delivery.

On June 2, Elif Aslaner, a religious education teacher who gave birth to a baby May 31 at a private hospital in Bursa province, was detained due to alleged links to the Gülen movement.

In May, Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who gave birth to a baby in an elective cesarean procedure, was detained at the hospital and subsequently arrested by a court and put in pretrial detention with a 3-day-old baby in Zonguldak province as part of the witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

In late January, Fadime Günay, who gave birth to a baby, was detained by police at Antalya’s Alanya Başkent Hospital.

In early January, Ş.A., a former private school teacher and mother of a week-old premature infant, was taken into police custody over links to the movement while she was on her way to the hospital to feed the baby.

A day after Ş.A. was taken into police custody, another woman known as Meryem gave birth to twins by C-section at a hospital in Konya and was detained by police despite hospital reports said that she should not travel and was taken to Aksaray from Konya in a police car.

According to recent data released by the Ministry of Justice, 668 children aged between 0 to 6 are being held in prison along with their parents.Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Source: https://stockholmcf.org/another-turkish-woman-detained-on-coup-charges-one-day-after-giving-birth/

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