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democracy

The Economist; Democracy is under threat all around the world.

Democracy is under threat all around the world. There are four stages to dismantling a democracy, starting with a charismatic leader who pledges to save the people

Source: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist/status/1048785226376392704?s=08

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Persecuting the future: The child victims of Turkey’s purge under Erdogan’s Regime

Children struggle in the prison of Turkey.
The current panel execution law No:5275 reads” imprisonment is adjourned for women who are pregnant or who have not passed 6 months since birth”.
But…
The mothers of 668 babies in jail committed no offense, they are not proven guilty of the offense, and their indictments are not written…

668 children in Turkish Jails… %64 of them are under the age of three…
72 children are waiting for their mothers outside, ages ranging from 8 months old to 14 years old…
13 children drowned in Aegean sea or Evros River…

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International Bar Association Raises Judicial Independence in Turkey to UN

09/28/2018

International Bar Association Raises Judicial Independence in Turkey to UN

In a joint submission with two other groups, the International Bar Association (IBA) raised the issue of independence of judges and judicial independence in Turkey to a special rapporteur from the United Nations.

The dismal state of rule of law and the judiciary in Turkey continues to attract attention from relevant international bodies. In cooperation with the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales and the Law Society of England and Wales, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) submitted a report to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of Judges and Lawyers.

The report mostly focuses on the collapse of the rights and protections regarding the legal profession in a steady way since 2010. But, according to the study, the situation concerns Turkey’s judiciary, judicial independence and other legal rights have dramatically been shredded and worsened since the failed 2016 coup. Both during and after the state of emergency, members of judiciary faced political crackdown and imprisonment en masse.

“Prior to the failed attempt, the Turkish government had been increasingly interfering with, and exercising undue influence over, the legal profession using adverse constitutional and legislative reforms together with systematic attacks against judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other legal professionals,” the study noted.

Since the failed coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has only sharpened its clampdown on its social and political opponents, as well as members of the judiciary.

Thousands of military officials, police officers, diplomats, academics, teachers, judges and prosecutors have been dismissed over coup terrorism-related charges with little evidence.

To this date, the report stated that “4,279 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed.”

“Five hundred and ninety lawyers have been arrested, 1,546 prosecuted and 181 convicted.”

Resource:
https://twitter.com/IBAHRI/status/1045312267762487297

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Justice suffocates in post-coup Turkey: LAWYERS BEHIND BARS

The bloody July 15th coup attempt proved to be a turning point in the course of the crackdown and witch-hunt the AKP government had launched in the aftermath of the December 17-25 corruption probe.

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Severity of Human Rights Violations in Turkey & Support to Turkish Migrants and Refugees

Since the attempted coup of July 15, 2016, the government of Turkey has been taking strict measures to silence dissidents in other countries from various ideologies recently. One of these opposition groups, the Gulen Movement (a.k.a “Hizmet Movement”, meaning service in Turkish), has been the main target since 2013. The Gulen Movement is a faith-based non-political, cultural and educational movement. The Movement is composed of a cluster of religious, educational and social organizations inspired by Fethullah Gulen.

After the July 15 failed coup attempt, the Turkish government accused Fethullah Gulen and his sympathizers for having a connection with the failed coup. Gulen has repeatedly dismissed any involvement in the coup attempt. Foreign intelligence units such as Germany’s BND Foreign Intelligence Agency’s chief, EU intelligence-sharing unit (Intern), UK Parliament and U.S. House Intel Chair have all noted that there is no evidence that shows Gulen’s involvement. Nonetheless, Gulen spoke to global media outlets right after the coup attempt and called for an open international investigation to find out who was behind the attempt.

Yet, the Turkish government chose to declare state of emergency, which still continues, to purge thousands of people. Alleged supporters of the Movement in Turkey have been dealing with arrest, imprisonment, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, confiscation and passport seizure. After the failed coup, more than 130,000 people have been arbitrarily detained and more than 60,000 people have been arrested. Most of them are from the elite part of the society and are all well-educated individuals with different backgrounds such as doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, engineers and so on. The striking point is that most were imprisoned with no compelling evidence of any criminal activity. Nonetheless, there are 17,000 women in jail and 1914 children, where 688 are babies under age of six. There have also been several cases where women who just gave birth have been put in prison with their few days old babies. Moreover, more than 4,400 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed. The government has also seized 3,003 schools, dormitories, and universities. The government has also confiscated more than 800 companies worth more than $10 billion.

All independent media in Turkey have been shut down and confiscated by the government. Turkey is the leading country to imprison most journalists. Turkey has arrested 319 journalists since the coup. A lot of people are arrested for talking against government’s policies. Many students get imprisoned for their critical tweets. 70 thousand students are currently in jail in Turkey.

People are also arrested for having downloaded an encrypted messaging phone application called ByLock. The government believes coup plotters used this application. The Turkish Intelligence Organization (MIT) has handed over a list of people who have allegedly downloaded the application. People who are alleged of downloading the application have been imprisoned. Prof. Izzet Özgenç, who is one of the founders of the Turkish Penal Code, emphasized that the Bylock arrests made without revealing any evidence are unlawful. Recently, Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that close to 11 thousand people have been mistakenly investigated for use of ByLock. Turkey has also put the Amnesty International’s Turkey head, Taner Kiliç in jail for having downloaded block. While Kiliç claims that he has never downloaded the application, he is facing imprisonment for up to 15 years.

International human rights organizations have condemned and reported the human rights violations occurring in Turkey. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) announced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the winner of ‘Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press’ and ‘Most Thin-skinned’ awards. A new report released by the independent, non-profit and non-partisan watchdog organization Freedom House concluded that democratic principles such as election integrity and freedom of the press, political and civil rights have severely downgraded in Turkey that is no longer ‘a free country’. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in its recent “World Report 2018” that innocent people are imprisoned with no substantial evidence, inalienable rights have been taken away, and that there are more than 2,200 cases of torture and ill-treatment. Hugh Williamson, Europe, and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch said that “everywhere you look, checks and balances that protect human rights and rule of law in Turkey are being eroded”.

Due to increasingly severe human rights violations in Turkey, families have chosen to leave their country to seek safe haven. Many families have sought to enter Europe to seek asylum due to geographical proximity. However, there are also thousands of people who have also successfully reached and sought asylum in the United States. Unfortunately not everyone successfully reaches Europe. On November 21, 2017, Greek media reported that Greek authorities have found bodies of five members of the Maden family, including three children, a short time ago on the Greek Island of Lesvos. The father, Huseyin Maden, and mother, Nur Maden, were allegedly linked to the Gulen Movement and was forced to flee due to arrest warrant issued out on their names. The drowning has sparked outrage over an ongoing political purge.

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. Recently some Turkish teachers and principles who worked at schools funded by the Gulen Movement in Malaysia, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan have been abducted, and in some cases illegally deported back to Turkey.

Families who have successfully reached the United States by escaping the oppression of the Turkish government are now facing new challenges. Most of the families have left everything behind in Turkey; jobs, houses, education, relatives and the Turkish government have blocked their bank accounts. Some families were able to only bring a single luggage.

These families are now in need of shelter, financial support, and acceptance of their asylum applications. You could help by personally providing donations to these individuals, or donate through human rights organizations like Embrace Relief or Advocates of Silenced Turkey, who focuses on these Turkish nationals. You could also help with helping them attain legal help and cover legal fees for their asylum applications, with their education fees. Some other ways you can help is by sending support letters regarding the persecution of these Gulen sympathizers to relevant bodies such as the State Department, embassies and the European Court of Human Rights. You can also create awareness using social media and encourage other human rights and humanitarian aid organizations to create campaigns on behalf of these individuals. Given their circumstance, we hope that you can help these people through your support. Every bit of help will aggregate to make a big difference.


Download as a PDF File: AST_1-25-2018_SEVERITY OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TURKEY & SUPPORT TO TURKISH MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES_P9

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How The Supporters Of The Hizmet Movement Suffer From Persecutions By The Turkish Government?

Introduction

The Turkish government’s oppressive regime and strict measures against dissidents, especially the Hizmet Movement, have created a new group of people seeking asylum around the world. This paper includes many statements from various organizations and experts on the current situation in Turkey in terms of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Hence, this study aims to shed light on how the authorities are expected to react towards asylum cases from Turkish applicants citing the risk of persecution based on their links with the Hizmet Movement.

1. Situation in Turkey in terms of Human Rights, Fundamental Freedoms, Rule of Law and Democracy

1.1. Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2018, 19 January 2018

Turkey’s status declined from Partly Free to Not Free, its political rights rating declined from 4 to 5, and its civil liberties rating declines from 5 to 6 due to a deeply flawed constitutional referendum that centralized power in the presidency, the mass replacement of elected mayors with government appointees, arbitrary prosecutions of rights activists and other perceived enemies of the state, and continued purges of state employees, all of which have left citizens hesitant to express their views on sensitive topics.

Constitutional revisions that concentrated power in the presidency were adopted in an April referendum. The campaign featured a grossly uneven playing field, and last-minute changes to the criteria for validating ballots—made in contravention of the law—undermined the legitimacy of the vote count.

The fear of arbitrary arrest stifled public discussion and weakened civil society.

1.2. Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018, 18 January 2018

Many decrees adopted contained measures that undermine human rights safeguards and conflict with Turkey’s international human rights obligations.

In January, the government ruled on the establishment of an ad hoc commission to review decisions made under the state of emergency. The commission lacks independence since its seven members are appointed by the same authorities responsible for approving dismissals and closures. … In the meantime, those affected have no right to work in public service, their bank accounts are frozen, and passports confiscated.

Turkey is the world leader in jailing journalists and media workers as they face criminal investigations and trials, with around 150 behind bars at time of writing. Most newspapers and television channels lack independence and promote the government’s political line.

There were widespread reports of police beating detainees, subjecting them to prolonged stress positions and threats of rape, threats to lawyers, and interference with medical examinations.

1.3. United Nations, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression on his mission to Turkey, 7 June 2017

The state of emergency decrees adopted in the aftermath of the coup attempt are far-reaching and give authorities wide discretionary powers to derogate from human rights obligations, without providing adequate channels for judicial review and appeal.

The Government is obligated to ensure that any restriction on freedom of expression during the state of emergency is strictly proportionate to the exigency of the situation. The tests of necessity and proportionality are not suspended during a period of derogation linked with a state of emergency.

1.4. Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2016/17, 21 February 2017

Freedom of expression deteriorated sharply during the year. After the declaration of a state of emergency, 118 journalists were remanded in pre-trial detention and 184 media outlets were arbitrarily and permanently closed down under executive decrees, leaving opposition media severely restricted. People expressing dissent, especially in relation to the Kurdish issue, were subjected to threats of violence and criminal prosecution. Internet censorship increased. At least 375 NGOs, including women’s rights groups, lawyers’ associations and humanitarian organizations, were shut by executive decree in November.

After July, the authorities used state of emergency laws to issue blanket bans preventing demonstrations in cities across Turkey. [P]olice used excessive force against people attempting to exercise the right to freedom of peaceful assembly regardless of the bans.

The state of emergency removed protections for detainees and allowed previously banned practices, which helped facilitate torture and other ill-treatment: the maximum pre-charge detention period was increased from four to 30 days; and facilities to block detainees’ access to lawyers in pre-charge detention for five days, and to record conversations between client and lawyer in pre-trial detention and pass them to prosecutors were introduced. Detainees’ access to lawyers and the right to consult with their choice of lawyers – rather than state-provided lawyers – was further restricted. Medical examinations were carried out in the presence of police officers and the reports arbitrarily denied to detainees’ lawyers.

Widespread torture and other ill-treatment of suspects accused of taking part in the coup attempt was reported in its immediate aftermath. In July, severe beatings, sexual assault, threats of rape and cases of rape were reported, as thousands were detained in official and unofficial police detention. Military officers appeared to be targeted for the worst physical abuse but holding detainees in stress positions and keeping them handcuffed behind their backs, and denying them adequate food and water or toilet breaks were reported to have taken place on a far wider scale. Lawyers and detainees’ relatives were often not informed that individuals had been detained until they were brought for charge.

1.5. Amnesty International, Annual Report 2015/16, 24 February 2016

Politically motivated appointments and transfers of judges and prosecutors continued throughout the year, wreaking havoc on a judiciary already lacking independence and impartiality. Criminal Courts of Peace – with jurisdiction over the conduct of criminal investigations, such as pre-charge detention and pre-trial detention decisions, seizure of property and appeals against these decisions – came under increasing government control.

1.6. Hugh Williams, Europe and Central Asia Director at Human Rights Watch, 18 January 2018

Everywhere you look, checks and balances that protect human rights and rule of law in Turkey are being eroded. The move to a presidential system, the ongoing state of emergency, and charges against opposition lawmakers have all weakened parliament, the courts are under ever tighter government control, and the crackdown on media and civil society deepens.

1.7. Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights (former), 7 October 2016

The decrees have introduced sweeping measures affecting, among others, civil society, municipalities, private schools, universities and medical establishments, legal professionals, media, business and finance, as well as the family members of suspects…. [T]he series of emergency decrees adopted in Turkey since July created very far-reaching, almost unlimited discretionary powers for administrative authorities and the executive in any areas, by derogation from general principles of rule of law and human rights safeguards ordinarily applicable in a democratic society.

Turkish authorities should immediately start repealing the emergency decrees, starting with the provisions which allow the highest degrees of arbitrariness in their application and stray the widest from ordinary guarantees.

1.8. British Legal Experts Lord Woolf, Sir Jeffrey Jowell, Sir Edward Garnier, July 2015

Since December 2013, the government has taken unprecedented steps to exert executive control over Turkey’s judiciary, to interfere with and derail the corruption investigation, to stifle criticism in the media and on the internet. The government has brought the main institution responsible for the judiciary, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, under its control by purging its members of anyone suspected of opposing the AKP government.

1.9. Riza Turmen, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights (former)

Turkey has a serious regime problem; it is not a democracy – you can probably call it ‘elected authoritarianism.’ It is a majoritarian and hegemonic system.

2. Persecutions that the Supporters of the Hizmet Movement Face

2.1. Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2018, 19 January 2018

Using emergency powers and vaguely worded terrorism laws, the authorities had suspended or dismissed more than 110,000 people from public-sector positions and arrested more than 60,000 others by year’s end. Extensive use of pretrial detention meant that many suspects were held behind bars for long periods without due process. There was increasing evidence of extrajudicial “disappearances” and routine torture of political detainees.

2.2. Human Rights Watch, World Report 2018, 18 January 2018

Hundreds of media outlets, associations, foundations, private hospitals, and educational establishments that the government shut down by decree remained closed in 2017, their assets confiscated without compensation.

2.3. Amnesty International, No End in Sight: Purged Public Sector Workers Denied a Future in Turkey, 22 May 2017

[D]ecrees include similarly vague and non-individualized references to their connection to (unspecified) terrorist organizations or threat to national security. Nor has any individualized evidence been presented in the few examples of written decisions carried out under the authority of the decrees.

The government decrees also require their passports to be cancelled, preventing them from leaving the country. Others, along with their families, have lost housing and health care benefits provided through their jobs. Many have lost not only their jobs but the ability to carry on their professions, even in the private sector. After being tainted as “terrorists” through their dismissal, many have not been able to find work at all, inhibiting their right to work and their right to an adequate standard of living in the long term.

No individualized justification or evidence for the dismissal of public sector employees has been provided in the decrees or in subsequent administrative decisions made under the authority of the decrees. Neither have dismissed public sector employees been able to obtain information about the grounds for their dismissal either before or following their dismissal, beyond the vague generalized criteria of links to a terrorist organization or threat to national security. … Among the reasons advanced by dismissed public sector employees and their supporters, are people’s actual or perceived opposition to the ruling AK Party government, union activism, and local score-settling.

It remains uncertain for example whether dismissed individuals will be able to claim their full pension rights resulting from their years of service in the public sector. What is clear and stated explicitly in the decrees, is that in addition to being dismissed from their employment, they are expelled from all forms of public service. Given the broad interpretation of public service in Turkey, in many cases this means that dismissed people are effectively banned from continuing their professions.

All of the people Amnesty International spoke to were either living off their savings, being assisted by friends or family, doing jobs such as cleaning in the irregular economy, or surviving on the minimal amount paid to dismissed workers who are members of trade unions. None of the people interviewed believed that they could survive in the long term under these circumstances.

The fact that lists of dismissed people have been published in the decrees and on the internet, and form part of a person’s record, visible to state institutions and the public at large has led to additional pressures on them and their families.

2.4. United States Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, 3 March 2017

Other human rights problems included prison overcrowding compounded by the influx of tens of thousands of new prisoners after the coup attempt. The government fired more than 3,000 members of the judiciary, creating an atmosphere of fear that further limited judicial independence and complicated or delayed court proceedings.

The vast majority were accused of ties to the Gulen movement, as opposed to direct participation in the coup attempt itself. Under the state of emergency, detainees could be held without charge for up to 30 days. There were numerous accounts of persons waiting beyond 30 days to be formally charged.

The suspension, detention, firing, and freezing of personal assets of more than 3,000 members of the judiciary after the July 15 coup attempt (representing about 22 percent of the total) accused of affiliation with the Gulen movement had a chilling effect on judicial independence.

After the July 15 coup attempt, the government seized hundreds of businesses and an estimated 15 billion lira ($4 billion) in assets from alleged members of the Gulen movement.

After the coup attempt, the government targeted family members to exert pressure on some wanted suspects. Under the state of emergency, the government cancelled the passports of family members of civil servants suspended from work as well as of those who had fled authorities. In some cases, the government cancelled or refused to issue passports for the minor children of accused Gulenists who were outside the country, forcing family separation.

3. Approaches of Other Foreign Government Towards Asylum Cases from Turkish Applicants Citing the Risk of Persecution based on Their Links with the Hizmet Movement

3.1. Norway, Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, 12 October 2017

[A] generally worsening human rights situation in that country have led to a new group of applicants seeking protection in Norway. These are persons who cite the risk of persecution based on links, or alleged links, to the Fethullah Gülen network/ movement. … These applicants can risk arrest, imprisonment, torture and conviction and will be entitled to protection … and that in some cases also family members of active Gülen affiliates may be entitled to protection. … The majority who have sought protection in Norway to date have been professors at, or have some other professional connections to, the Gülen schools and colleges at home and abroad.

[A]pplicants with credible indications of involvement within the Gülen movement, or applicants who can show that the domestic authorities in their country of origin have alleged such involvement, and where the actual or alleged involvement may trigger persecution by the authorities, shall be entitled to protection under the Immigration Act. … Referral to internal displacement will not be applicable, since the Turkish authorities control the whole country.

3.2. Canada, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, 29 September 2016

[I]nstead of targeting Gulen’s followers who “engaged in genuine criminal activity or abuse of power …” the AKP prosecutors targeted “journalists, businesspeople and academics who appear to be guilty of little more than sympathy for Gulen’s publicly expressed calls for moderation, non-violence and interfaith dialogue.

3.3. United Kingdom, Home Office Country Policy and Information Note, Turkey: Gulenism, April 2017

As the person’s fear is of persecution or serious harm from the state, they will not be able to avail themselves of the protection of the authorities. … As the person’s fear is of persecution or serious harm at the hands of the state, they will not be able to internally relocate to escape that risk. … Where a claim is refused, it is unlikely to be certifiable as ‘clearly unfounded.’

Overall Evaluation

In the light of all this information and comments, we ask governments, law enforcement officers and security officers to be aware of the risks that the supporters of the Movement may face when they return to their home countries. The Hizmet Movement is known to be promoting non-violence, inter-faith dialogue and education. Members of the Movement have not engaged any violent/criminal activity so far representing a moderate understanding of Islam. Therefore, existence of the Movement is important for the whole world to diminish radicalism where radicals have been creating disasters around the world. We request authorities to consider all these while taking action and speed up the asylum processes as much as possible since these people need immediate help.


Download as a PDF File: AST_1-25-2018_HOW-THE-SUPPORTERS-OF-THE-HIZMET-MOVEMENT-SUFFER-FROM-PERSECUTIONS-BY-THE-TURKISH-GOVERNMENT_P8

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Human Rights Watch’s Report Shows the Severity of Human Rights Violations in Turkey

On January 18, 2018, the Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) published a report reviewing the human rights practices around the world in 2017. The report titled “World Report 2018: Events of 2017” examined more than 90 countries including Turkey. In parts relevant to Turkey, the HRW scrutinized a wide range of topics such as the state of emergency measures, freedom of expression, association and assembly, torture and ill-treatment in custody as well as refugees’ situation.

The report firstly referred to the April 2017 referendum which introduced a new presidential system lacking satisfactory system of checks and balances. It highlighted the fact that the referendum was carried out under the state of emergency in an environment of heavy media censorship. The HRW’s points about the new presidential system indeed indicate that the separation of powers is at risk in Turkey whereas it is one of the most significant components of democracy.

The state of emergency measures also attract attention. The president can adopt decree laws without parliamentary oversight or the possibility of judicial review according to Turkish legislation. As reported by the HRW, these decree laws include many controversial measures incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities under the international human rights law. More than 110,000 people were dismissed or suspended from their public positions with no explanation but only their names on lists published via decree laws. The government shut down plenty of institutions including media outlets, businesses, schools and universities, hospitals and non-governmental organizations such as associations and foundations. What is worse, there is still no effective authority for all these real and legal persons to apply for a review. People had little hope when the “State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission” was introduced to investigate measures taken under the state of emergency. Nevertheless, as stated by the HRW, independence of the Commission is doubtful since all of its members are appointed with the government’s approval. Further appeal is possible on the paper, but it is likely to take too much time because of the high influx of applications and applicants have nothing else but wait about their right to work in public service to be taken away, bank accounts to be frozen and passports to be canceled.

Many people including teachers, public servants such as police officers and military personnel, journalists and politicians were either arrested or detained under the state of emergency as well. The striking point is that most were imprisoned with no compelling evidence of any criminal activity, but only because of their alleged links with the Hizmet Movement inspired by an Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen who has been blamed by the government to mastermind the coup attempt. It is crucial to note here that the Movement has been strongly denying any involvement and Mr. Gulen has called for an international investigation on the issue.

Freedom of expression, association and assembly were also violated considerably by the Turkish government. To clarify, the government has blocked many websites and banned a huge amount of content, and all types of peaceful public protests were banned by the government as well as were violently dispersed. Unsurprisingly, Turkey is the leading country in the number of jailed journalists whose trials and case files are again insufficient. The documents used as an evidence against arrested journalists are mostly writing and reporting which do not promote any type of violence. As there is always a prominent risk of imprisonment and censorship, other journalists and media agencies cannot publish anything critical but only pro-government ideas. In March, 21 journalists who were arrested because of their connections with the Hizmet Movement, were released by the court. Their families went to the prison facilities to bring them back to their homes but could not. After huge criticisms by pro-government media, an appeal was lodged against eight of them and a new investigation was started against the rest. Therefore, eventually, none of them were released. In addition, judges and a prosecutor who was at this trial were suspended by the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors. Many of the journalists from the newspaper Zaman, claimed to be supporting the Movement, have been on trial due to writings without a reference to any type of violence and they face life imprisonment.

Not only individuals related to the Hizmet Movement but also leftist and Kurdish people were targeted by the government. According to the HRW’s report, 19 journalists from the newspaper Cumhuriyet were jailed as well. In one of the cases concerning Cumhuriyet, Enis Berberoglu was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment who is a parliamentarian from the main opposition party, Republican People’s Party (CHP). The court of appeal has overturned his conviction, yet he is not released as well as not expected to be released as the government still wants him behind bars. Similarly, plenty of journalists were arrested from the newspaper Ozgur Gundem which was shut down by the government.

Lawyers and human rights defenders received their own shares from the Turkish government’s oppression. Around 500 lawyers have been arrested and 1000 are yet on trial, mostly because of supporting the Hizmet Movement. Chair of Amnesty International, Taner Kilic, has been in prolonged detention with “politically motivated and unsubstantiated charges” as said by the HRW.

The HRW also explored the detention conditions during police custody and concluded that many instances of torture and ill-treatment were witnessed. There have been many cases reported where police officers beat detainees, left them in physically stressed positions and threatened them to rape. Enforced disappearances, scaring defense lawyers and interfering with medical examinations also took place in the country.

Regarding the ongoing conflict in the southeast region, the government could not yet make a progress. Party co-leaders and parliamentarians of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) were sent to prison. Additionally, 89 mayors were dismissed by the government as specified by the report. The government has clearly violated freedom of expression and rights to political association, participation, and representation.

The report highlighted the refugee crisis as well which indeed concerns the whole world. The conditions in which refugees live (mostly Syrian but also from other countries) are not compatible with international standards.

All these were expressed in various occasions by international actors. The United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United States State Department and many other foreign governments have called the Turkish government to end this human rights disaster going on in the country as was stated by the Human Rights Watch’s report.


Download as a PDF File: AST_1-22-2018_HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH’S REPORT SHOWS THE SEVERITY OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TURKEY_P7

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AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly Jan 15

Download as pdf: AST_Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly_Jan 15

Turkey’s Human Rights Violations | 1/8/2018-1/15/2018

1-“Seized Gülen dormitory in Istanbul transferred to pro-gov’t Ensar foundation”
https://turkeypurge.com/seized-gulen-dormitory-istanbul-transferred-pro-govt-ensar-foundation

2-“Report: Police chief who fought against ‘Erdogan assassins’ during coup sentenced to 6 years in jail”
https://turkeypurge.com/police-chief-fought-erdogan-assassins-coup-sentenced-6-years-jail

3-“Diyarbakir man says cows seized by gov’t as part of post-coup crackdown”
https://turkeypurge.com/diyarbakir-man-says-cows-seized-govt-part-post-coup-crackdown

4-“Turkey’s pro-gov’t mayors ban theater play ‘Just Dictator’”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-pro-govt-mayors-ban-theater-play-just-dictator

5-“Local deeds officer suspended for insulting Erdogan on social media”
https://turkeypurge.com/local-deeds-officer-suspended-insulting-erdogan-social-media

6-“Pro-Erdogan hackers take over Der Spiegel editor’s Twitter account”
https://turkeypurge.com/pro-erdogan-hackers-take-der-spiegel-editors-twitter-account

7-“7,655 dismissed, 243 others suspended at Health Ministry so far: minister”
https://turkeypurge.com/7655-dismissed-252-others-suspended-health-ministry-far-minister

8-“Prison warden commits suicide after being dismissed on coup charges — claim”
https://turkeypurge.com/prison-warden-commits-suicide-dismissed-coup-charges-claim

9-“Turkey’s prize-winning author Aslı Erdoğan: University students in Turkey are being jailed over tweets”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-prize-winning-author-asli-erdogan-university-students-turkey-jailed-tweets

10-“Imprisoned Kurdish leader Demirtaş makes first appearance in court in 14 months”
https://turkeypurge.com/imprisoned-kurdish-leader-demirtas-makes-first-appearance-court-14-months

11-“2 media outlets closed, 262 dismissed in new gov’t decree”
https://turkeypurge.com/2-media-outlets-closed-262-dismissed-new-govt-decree

12-“Teacher, three others caught in attempt to flee to Greece”
https://turkeypurge.com/teacher-three-others-caught-attempt-flee-greece

13-“Warrants issued for 70 teachers in Turkey’s capital”
https://turkeypurge.com/warrants-issued-70-teachers-turkeys-capital

14-“Pro-Kurdish deputy gets 8 years, 1 month in prison on terror charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/pro-kurdish-deputy-gets-8-years-1-month-prison-terror-charges

15-“Turkey strips another pro-Kurdish deputy of parliamentary status”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-strips-another-pro-kurdish-deputy-parliamentary-status

16-“[VIDEO] 25 teachers detained in Turkey’s Samsun”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-25-teachers-detained-turkeys-samsun

17-“Jailed writer Ahmet Altan fined TL 7,000 for insulting Erdogan”
https://turkeypurge.com/jailed-writer-ahmet-altan-fined-tl-7000-insulting-erdogan

18-“French writers, journalists ‘adopt’ Turkish colleagues in solidarity”
https://turkeypurge.com/french-writers-journalists-adopt-turkish-colleagues-solidarity

19-“Report: Ankara investigating 60 businessmen for stock market selloff ahead of 2016 coup attempt”
https://turkeypurge.com/report-ankara-investigating-60-businessmen-stock-market-selloff-ahead-2016-coup-attempt

20-“24 former Bank Asya shareholders put in pretrial detention”
https://turkeypurge.com/24-former-bank-asya-shareholders-put-pretrial-detention

21-“Father of cancer patient boy denied release from prison”
https://turkeypurge.com/court-denies-request-release-father-cancer-patient-child

22-” Journalist, writer and 28 others detained in Istanbul”
https://turkeypurge.com/journalist-writer-28-others-detained-istanbul

23-“Turkey issues detention warrants for 56 more military members over coup charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-issues-detention-warrants-56-military-members-coup-charges

24-“[VIDEO] Dismissed air force pilot detained while selling waffle in Konya: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-dismissed-air-force-pilot-detained-selling-waffle-konya-report

25-“Jailed father allowed to attend son’s funeral only with handcuffs”
https://turkeypurge.com/jailed-father-allowed-attend-sons-funeral-handcuffs

26-“Theater play on dictatorship not allowed to be staged in Turkey’s Artvin”
https://turkeypurge.com/theater-play-dictatorship-not-allowed-turkeys-artvin

27-“Jailed engineer to judge: You will stand trial when democracy comes to this country!”
https://turkeypurge.com/jailed-engineer-judge-will-stand-trial-democracy-comes-country

28-“[VIDEO] 8 including pharmacists, lawyers detained over Gulen links”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-8-including-pharmacists-lawyers-detained-gulen-links

29-“[VIDEO] 5 children, 8 others detained while on way to escape to Greece”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-5-children-8-others-detained-way-escape-greece

30-“President Erdoğan once again sues Turkey’s main opposition leader over ‘insult’: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/president-erdogan-sues-turkeys-main-opposition-leader-insult-report

31-“Turkish gov’t uses emergency rule to suppress dissent: opposition leader”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-govt-uses-emergency-rule-suppress-dissent-says-opposition-leader

32-“Imprisoned teacher dies of cancer in Balıkesir — claim”
https://turkeypurge.com/imprisoned-teacher-dies-cancer-balikesir-claim

33-“Turkey’s post-coup State of Emergency to be extended for another 3 months: gov’t”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-post-coup-state-emergency-extended-another-3-months-govt

34-“262 more dismissed, 1,828 reinstated with new gov’t decree”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/262-more-dismissed-1828-reinstated-with-new-govt-decree/

35-“20 more detained in Bursa, Antalya over Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/20-more-detained-in-bursa-antalya-over-gulen-links/

36-“Jailed police chiefs who led 2013 corruption ops taken to police HQ”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/14/jailed-police-chiefs-who-led-2013-corruption-ops-taken-to-police-hq/

37-“Int’l NGOs slam lower courts’ failure to free jailed journalists Altan, Alpay”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/intl-ngos-slam-lower-courts-failure-to-free-jailed-journalists-altan-alpay/

38-“Former President Gül expresses support for top court ruling on Altan, Alpay”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/former-president-gul-expresses-support-for-top-court-ruling-on-altan-alpay/

39-“Gov’t slams top court for decision on Altan and Alpay”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/govt-slams-top-court-for-decision-on-altan-and-alpay/

40-“German-Turkish footballer says shot at on highway in western Germany”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/08/german-turkish-footballer-says-shot-at-on-highway-in-western-germany/

41-“Turkey warned of judicial crisis over jailed journalists”
https://www.ft.com/content/048dc200-f932-11e7-9b32-d7d59aace167

42-“Turkish writer Asli Erdogan: ‘Thousands of students are in jail for one tweet'”
http://www.france24.com/en/20180112-interview-asli-erdogan-turkey-trial-crackdown-students-human-rights-eu-macron

43-“A new refugee flow to Europe: Turkish refugees”
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/01/turkey-turkish-refugee-flow-to-europe.html

44-“Turkish courts reject jailed journalists’ request to be released”
https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/turkish-courts-reject-jailed-journalists-request-to-be-released/

45-“Biggest prison for journalists: Turkey prepares for election year”
https://eadaily.com/en/news/2018/01/09/biggest-prison-for-journalists-turkey-prepares-for-election-year

46-“Ergun Babahan wrote about risk of torture for police chiefs”
https://silencedturkey.org/ergun-babahan-wrote-about-risk-of-torture-for-police-chiefs

47-“Honorary President of Court of Cassation of Turkey, Sami Selçuk: Last Nail in the Coffin”
https://silencedturkey.org/sami-selcuk-last-nail-in-the-coffin

Türkiye tarafından işlenenen İnsan Hakları İhlalleri | 1/8/2018-1/15/2018

1-“Türkiye’de hukuk nasıl ayaklar altına alındı nasıl zulüm aracına dönüştü!”
http://aktifhaber.com/analiz/turkiyede-hukuk-nasil-ayaklar-altina-alindi-nasil-zulum-aracina-donustu-h110682.html

2-“17 Aralık polis şeflerine emniyette işkence mi yapılıyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/17-aralik-polis-seflerine-emniyette-iskence-mi-yapiliyor-h110681.html

3-“ByLock kullanmadığı tespit edilmesine rağmen 16 ay tutuklu kalan vatandaş isyan etti”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/bylock-kullanmadigi-tespit-edilmesine-ragmen-16-ay-tutuklu-kalan-vatandas-isyan-etti-h110680.html

4-“‘Erdoğan’a suikast timi’ ile çatışan polis Bylock’tan tutuklandı”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/erdogana-suikast-timi-ile-catisan-polis-bylocktan-tutuklandi-h110672.html

5-“Gözaltına aldıkları anneyi 4 aylık bebeğinden ayırıp Bayburt’a götürdüler”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gozaltina-aldiklari-anneyi-4-aylik-bebeginden-ayirip-bayburta-goturduler-h110669.html

6-“Kahramanmaraş Emniyeti’ndeki işkenceci polisler ortaya çıktı”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/kahramanmaras-emniyetindeki-iskenceci-polisler-ortaya-cikti-h110667.html

7-“Spiegel’in genel yayın yönetmeninin Twitter hesabı hacklendi”
http://aktifhaber.com/dunya/spiegelin-genel-yayin-yonetmeninin-twitter-hesabi-hacklendi-h110665.html

8-“Eski AKP’li Osman Can: Mahkemelerin tahliyeye direnmesi hukuken yanlış”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/eski-akpli-osman-can-mahkemelerin-tahliyeye-direnmesi-hukuken-yanlis-h110663.html

9-“Rektör Erdöl’den Soylu’nun ‘ayak kırın’ talimatına destek”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/rektor-erdolden-soylunun-ayak-kirin-talimatina-destek-h110661.html

10-“Ergun Babahan polis şeflerine yapılan işkenceyi yazdı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ergun-babahan-polis-seflerine-yapilan-iskenceyi-yazdi-h110659.html

11-“Alpay ve Altan’ın tahliye edilmemesine büyük tepki!”
http://aktifhaber.com/medya/alpay-ve-altanin-tahliye-edilmemesine-buyuk-tepki-h110645.html

12-“Hukukçu Varol ByLock’la ilgili: Dosyalar boş ama 9-10 yıl ceza veriliyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/hukukcu-varol-bylockla-ilgili-dosyalar-bos-ama-9-10-yil-ceza-veriliyor-h110632.html

13-“Gözaltına aldıkları anneyi 4 aylık bebeğinden ayırıp Bayburt’a götürdüler”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gozaltina-aldiklari-anneyi-4-aylik-bebeginden-ayirip-bayburta-goturduler-h110669.html

14-“İhraç edilen savaş pilotu, kumpir satarken kıskıvrak(!) yakalandı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ihrac-edilen-savas-pilotu-kumpir-satarken-kiskivrak-yakalandi-h110459.html

15-“Bebekli kadınların tutuklanmasının Türk hukukunda da İslamda da yeri yok!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/bebekli-kadinlarin-tutuklanmasinin-turk-hukukunda-da-islamda-da-yeri-yok-h110449.html

16-“AKP’nin OHAL’i 3 kişinin daha hayatını kararttı..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/akpnin-ohali-3-kisinin-daha-hayatini-karartti-h110427.html

17-“Berk Görmez’in cenazesine babasını kelepçeyle getirdiler!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/berk-gormezin-cenazesine-babasini-kelepceyle-getirdiler-h110411.html

18-“Cinsel istismarı kamera ile kayıt altına alındı; yine de red etti..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/cinsel-istismari-kamera-ile-kayit-altina-alindi-yine-de-red-etti-h110401.html

19-“OHAL’in suç karnesi: 126 suç türü!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ohalin-suc-karnesi-126-suc-turu-h110347.html

20-“Geç kalan adalet, bir öğretmenin daha hayatını kararttı..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gec-kalan-adalet-bir-ogretmenin-daha-hayatini-karartti-h110328.html

21-“Gergerlioğlu: Berk’i kaybettik, bari Eray babasını görmeli”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gergerlioglu-berki-kaybettik-bari-eray-babasini-gormeli-h110289.html

22-“Emekli Hakim Kardaş: ByLock’ta sadece isim bildiren listeler delil kabul edilemez”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/emekli-hakim-kardas-bylockta-sadece-isim-bildiren-listeler-delil-kabul-edilemez-h110633.html

23-“Alman Freie Presse Gazetesi: Hizmet Hareketi mensuplarının mağduriyetlerini yer verdi”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/alman-freie-presse-gazetesi-hizmet-hareketi-mensuplarinin-magduriyetlerini-yer-verdi-h110607.html

24-“Türkiye Barolar Birliği Başkanı Feyzioğlu: AYM’nin kararı bağlayıcıdır”
http://aktifhaber.com/politika/turkiye-barolar-birligi-baskani-feyzioglu-aymnin-karari-baglayicidir-h110603.html

25-“Emniyet Müdürü’nden Soylu’ya mesaj: Yeri gelirse kafalarını kıracağız”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/emniyet-mudurunden-soyluya-mesaj-yeri-gelirse-kafalarini-kiracagiz-h110573.html

26-“TÜRGEV ve Ensar Vakfı’nın 3 yurdunda öğrencilerin hayatı hiçe sayıldı”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/turgev-ve-ensar-vakfinin-3-yurdunda-ogrencilerin-hayati-hice-sayildi-h110559.html

27-“Yargıtay Onursal Başkanı Sami Selçuk: Tabuta son çivi”
https://www.evrensel.net/haber/283205/yargitay-onursal-baskani-sami-selcuk-tabuta-son-civi

28-“Mevcut rejim bakimindan anayasa mahkemesi’nin Alpay ve Altan kararlari ”
http://www.tr724.com/mevcut-rejim-bakimindan-anayasa-mahkemesinin-alpay-altan-kararlari/

29-“15 Temmuz’da erdoğan’i korumak için çatişan polise Bylock’tan 6 yil 3 ay hapis”
http://www.tr724.com/15-temmuzda-erdogani-korumak-icin-catisan-polise-bylocktan-6-yil-3-ay-hapis/

30-“Bayraktar’a ‘ben dilenci değilim’ diye isyan eden lenf kanseri hastasi Dilek Özçelik hayatini kaybetti”
http://www.tr724.com/bayraktara-ben-dilenci-degilim-diye-isyan-eden-lenf-kanseri-hastasi-dilek-ozcelik-hayatini-kaybetti/

31-“TBMM’nin önünde kendini yakan işçiye fiili gözalti!”
http://www.tr724.com/tbmmnin-onunde-kendini-yakan-isciye-fiili-gozalti/

32-” Yok böyle bir “taniklik”: mahkemede gerçekleri söyleyince segbis’i dondurdular, davayi ertelediler!”
http://www.tr724.com/yok-boyle-bir-taniklik-mahkemede-gercekleri-soyleyince-segbisi-dondurdular-davayi-ertelediler/

33-” OHAL’de cezaevlerindeki sağlik hakki ihlalleri artti: her yil 215 kişi hayatini kaybediyor”
http://www.tr724.com/ohalde-cezaevlerindeki-saglik-hakki-ihlalleri-artti-her-yil-215-kisi-hayatini-kaybediyor/

35-“16 Temmuz sabahi köprüde ilk kez yayinlanan görüntüler: 4 tanesini öldürdük…”
http://www.tr724.com/16-temmuz-sabahi-koprude-ilk-kez-yayinlanan-goruntuler-4-tanesini-oldurduk/

35-“Avrupa parlamentosu’ndan aym kararina uygulamayan mahkemelere tepki ”
http://www.tr724.com/avrupa-parlamentosundan-aym-kararina-uygulamayan-mahkemelere-tepki/

36-“Freedom House: ‘Bazı devlet görevlileri cezadan muaf gibi davranıyor’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/freedom-house-bazi-devlet-gorevlileri-cezadan-muaf-gibi-davraniyor/

37-” ’11 bin 480 ByLock mağduru buz dağının görünen yüzü’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/11-bin-480-bylock-magduru-buz-daginin-gorunen-yuzu/

38-“HÖH’ten soruşturma açıklaması: Memnuniyet duyduk, gururluyuz”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/hohten-sorusturma-aciklamasi-memnuniyet-duyduk-gururluyuz/

39-“Çöpe atılan kitapta parmak izi çıkan üniversite öğrencisi gözaltına alındı”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/cope-atilan-kitapta-parmak-izi-cikan-22-yasindaki-genc-kizi-gozaltina-aldilar/

40-“Açlığın 310’uncu günü: ‘Bir komisyon var mı’ emin değiliz”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/acligin-310uncu-gunu-bir-komisyon-var-mi-emin-degiliz/

41-” Savcılık: ‘Muharrem’in cenazesinin çuvalda taşınmasında ihmal yok’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/cenazesi-cuvalda-tasinan-muharremin-olumunde-ihmal-gorulmedi/

42-” AYM ‘hak ihlali’ yorumu: ‘Doğru kararı ilk derece mahkemesi verir’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/mahkemeler-feto-ile-mucadeleyi-zaafa-ugratmamali/

Read more

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

“I CANNOT SAY WE ARE ABSOLUTELY SAFE EVEN ABROAD”

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

Summary
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.

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 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. 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. This paper discusses these issues to conclude that individuals linked to the Movement cannot feel safe abroad either. Therefore, this study aims to remind foreign security officers the risks Hizmet participants may face, and to request that necessary legal, administrative and practical measures are undertaken to ensure protection of individuals who might be at risk and subject to possible abduction, enforced disappearance, and extrajudicial killings.

Introduction
Even though actions of the Turkish government against dissidents including the Gulen Movement are not appreciated by many countries around the world, there are some states who are in cooperation with Turkey neglecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. This study will first talk about abductions and deportations around the world that are considered as violating international human rights law and customary international law. Then in the second section, violent reactions perpetrated in foreign states by pro-government people will be mentioned. Third section will be giving details about recent threats targeting the supporters of the Movement. Lastly, to cope with such risks and threats, the Advocates of Silenced Turkey recommends to foreign governments to take all the necessary steps for ensuring protection to these people.

1.     Abductions and Deportations around the World
There has been many news around world that members of the Movement have been abducted in different countries suspiciously by the intelligence agencies who aimed to sent them back to Turkey. Below there are summaries of different relevant cases occurred recently which are set out chronologically.

It must be noted that below there are only sample stories of people who could reach out to media and whose voices could be heard by the international community. There might be many more people living through similar things who are not mentioned here in this report.

i. Memduh Cikmaz – Sudan
Memduh Cikmaz has been running a factory in Sudan, and was wanted by Turkey for almost two years and Sudanese authorities informed him that there was no problem regarding his factory as well as his stay in Sudan.[1] However, after the so-called coup attempt in Turkey, the government has been sending letters to foreign governments to deport the supporters of the Movement. Following these, Mr. Cikmaz was detained in a joint operation by Sudanese and Turkish police. He wanted to meet with his lawyer but was denied access, and moreover his family has been concerned of his health relating to a protein-related disease. Hence, they urged domestic authorities not to deport Mr. Cikmaz as he might face persecution in Turkey. Their call was not responded positively.[2][3] He was deported as well as detained and arrested in Turkey after deportation. There has not been much detailed information about his situation. Nevertheless, if he has been facing with ill-treatment during his arrest, it means Sudan has breached its responsibilities the 1951 Refugee Convention by sending him back.[4]

ii. Enver Kilic and Zabit Kisi – Kazakhstan
Enver Kilic and Zabit Kisi were abducted from a plane in Kazakhstan by an unknown group of people. Their wives have been trying to make themselves heard through social media. Accordingly, on 16 September 2017, both were not allowed to get on the plane because their passports were allegedly cancelled. They had a court hearing in two weeks on 30 September 2017. Ms. Kilic and Ms. Kisi wrote on social media that they cannot get any news from their husbands since 30 September 2017. Two men were reported to be deported according to Turkish media, moreover, they were under custody in Turkey.[5] Nevertheless, there have not been any up-to-date information about them and their condition, their families are justifiably afraid of the possibility of torture. It must be noted that Kazakhstan has been party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, meaning that the country presumably violated the principle of non-refoulement prescribed in the Convention.[6]

iii.   Mesut Kacmaz and his family – Pakistan
Mesut Kacmaz and his family, including his two daughters, were abducted in Pakistan on 27 September 2017. Mr. Kacmaz was an educator at a chain of 28 PakTurk Foundation schools that were allegedly linked to the Hizmet Movement. The schools were closed by local authorities last year following the request of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey. Even though the Turkish government asked for their return to Turkey, teachers and employees of the schools have remained in Pakistan under temporary court rules and protection of the United Nations claiming that they will be detained and might be tortured once set foot in Turkey.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the family was taken by “20 armed people in plain clothes.” A neighbor and a fellow friend of the family stated the family was “restrained, blindfolded and hustled into unmarked pickup trucks in Lahore.” Moreover, that he was also taken to a secret facility and released after several days only because he wanted to intervene. Pakistani police officers stated that they had no information regarding the family which directs suspicions to intelligence agencies.[7] Human Rights Watch highlighted that Kacmaz family was under the protection of the UNHCR with a valid certificate until 24 November 2017, thus cannot be extradited. The Pakistani government’s lawyer assured that the family would not be deported as per the UNHCR asylum seeker certificate.[8] Nonetheless, expected scenario happened. Pursuant to later news, the family was handed over to Turkish police and deported to Turkey presumably on 14 October 2017. According to their daughters’ statement, Mr. Kacmaz and his wife were taken into custody not suprisingly, which proves that the family’s fear of persecution was reasonably well-founded.[9] There are still many Turkish families in Pakistan under the UNHCR protection and they are afraid that they might be the next ones to be returned to Turkey through such illegal means.[10]

As the Human Rights Watch notes, the deportation violates both the Lahore High Court’s decision and international law. One might claim that Pakistan is not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention.[11] However, this cannot mean that the country is not under any obligation towards refugees as it is still bound by the customary international law. Accordingly, countries are prohibited to return people to their home countries where it is likely that they will face persecution such as torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. The deportation attracted attention of international journalists and politicians as well, for instance, Rebecca Harms, member of the European Parliament, criticized the Pakistani government strongly for deporting Kacmaz family on her social media account.[12]

iv.  Mustafa Emre Cabuk – Georgia
Mustafa Emre Cabuk, who has been living in Georgia since 2002, was detained on 24 May 2017 which was a day after Binali Yildirim, Turkish Prime Minister, visited his counterpart Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. He was sent to prison by the Georgian court’s provisional detention decision for three months. Police officers came to take him from his home said the operation was at the request of the Turkish government.[13] After his arrest, his family urged Georgian authorities not to extradite him to Turkey as his basic human rights would likely to be violated there. Furthermore, Amnesty International called for an urgent action to be taken to prevent his deportation before it was too late and stated “He could be extradited any minute and in Turkey he could be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment, unfair trial or other serious human right violations.”[14] Amnesty also remarked that Georgia was under obligation not to return Mr. Cabuk as per both international human rights law and its national legislation. Local non-governmental organizations were not silent about the issue as well. They voiced their concerns regarding Mr. Cabuk’s situation. They said in a statement

“[The] detention of Mustafa Chabuk in given context has [a] clearly pronounced political connotation and is indicative of political loyalty of Georgian authorities towards the Government of Turkey,” and continued his extradition “represents [a] gross violation of human rights and fundamental standards of supremacy of the law and will undermine the process of democratic development of the country.”[15]

Despite all these efforts, Mr. Cabuk was not quite lucky. His asylum application to Georgia was rejected on July 2017.[16] Moreover, the Georgian court extended his imprisonment for three more months on August 2017. It is yet expected whether Georgia will return him to Turkey. His wife right now can do nothing but trying to make her voice heard via the internet and social media.[17]

v.  Muhammet Furkan Sokmen – Myanmar (also known as Burma)
Similar to the previous individuals, Mr. Sokmen was working in Myanmar at Horizon International Schools (allegedly linked to the Movement). Sokmen family, including his wife and two-years old daughter, was detained in Yangon at an airport.[18] First, he was not allowed to board a plane and had a problem with Myanmarese immigration officers. In a video that was posted online, Mr. Sokmen said Turkish ambassador to Myanmar was pressuring local officers to seize the family’s passports. Human Rights Watch’s Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson called Myanmar to provide protection to the family. He highlighted the possibility of risk he could face when returned to Turkey and told that

“The Embassy of Turkey unilaterally revoked or limited their passports in some way to make them vulnerable, and then sought to compel Myanmar to deport them to Turkey. This is a nasty, rights abusing tactic that is illegal under international human rights law because it renders them stateless. But clearly, the increasingly dictatorial government of President Erdogan is prepared to run roughshod over rights and put pressure countries like Myanmar to go along.”[19]

Mr. Sokmen was reportedly arrested and sent to Thailand, he was taken into an immigration detention center to be deported to Turkey there.[20] After being held in detention for a day, he was extradited to Turkey where he was taken into custody and arrested again.[21] No further information could be received regarding his recent condition, but unfortunately it is highly likely that he would be facing ill-treatment. Brad Adams, Asia Director of the HRW, stated “It is deeply alarming that both Burmese and Thai authorities prioritized showing deference to rights-violating demands from Turkey over respecting the bedrock principle of non-refoulement.”[22] Adams also called Myanmar and Thailand to provide access to UN agencies to assess the situation of Turkish asylum seekers within their borders.

Similarly, Laurent Meillan, acting regional representative of the UN Human Rights office for South-East Asia, stated “We reiterate our call to all governments, including in this latest case the Thai and Myanmar governments, to put in place an effective system of review before deportation occurs.”[23] Like Pakistan, even though Myanmar is not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Mr. Sokmen should not have been deported under the customary international law.

vi. Turgay Karaman, Ihsan Aslan, Ismet Ozcelik, Tamer Tibik, Alettin Duman – Malaysia
Turgay Karaman and Ihsan Aslan (a teacher and a businessman) were reported missing to local police by their families who have been living in Malaysia for a long time. Mr. Karaman was on his way to a meeting with his lawyer when he was bundled into a car by four or five unknown plain clothed Malaysian men on 2 May 2017 as revealed by surveillance cameras in an underground car park. His wife and friends believed he was abducted to be returned to Turkey. Likewise, Mr. Aslan has gone missing as well which was reported to the police by his wife on the same day as Mr. Karaman’s. Families of the two men went to the police and they found out eventually that both were detained “for activities that threaten the safety of Malaysia” as per counter-terrorism legislation. Mr. Karaman’s lawyer specified that neither his client nor Mr. Aslan were not involved with any violent activities.[24] Fellow friends of both men indicated that they were not only worried for their friends but also for their own safety reminding the possibility that same thing would happen to them in the future. Similarly, within the same week, Ismet Ozcelik, former academic at the Mevlana University which was shut down by decree laws after the attempted coup, was abducted from his car. Similar to Kacmaz family in Pakistan, Mr. Ozcelik held a refugee card by the UNHCR.[25]

Human Rights Watch reflected on the situation and stated that men were held without any charge – which is allowed under the Law of Malaysia.[26] “The authorities should release these men from custody if they haven’t charged them with a credible offense” said Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director of the HRW in his statement.[27] The HRW and Amnesty International expressed their concerns that men would at risk of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and/or other serious human rights violations should they be returned to their home country of Turkey.[28] Both organizations have called the Malaysian government not to extradite three men to Turkey like they did in October 2016.[29]

Suspicions that these men were detained at the request of the Turkish government increased after their deportations, even though police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters the opposite. As expected, expulsions were not welcomed by human rights organizations. Robertson from the HRW affirmed that it was a clear violation of international human rights law. Comparably, Josef Benedict, Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific of Amnesty International, condemned the deportations pointing out the risk of “arbitrary detention, unfair trial and a real risk of torture.”[30] The UN raised its concerns as well that other Turkish nationals at the region might be in danger because of Malaysia’s action. Laurent Meillan, acting regional representative of the UN Human Rights Office in Bangkok, asserted that this might have cross border impact on other countries in Southeast Asia.[31]

Last but not least, Mr. Ozcelik’s son, who was with him when he was taken, and other members of Ozcelik family were able to arrive in a European country where they applied for asylum, however told that they still do not feel safe because of the “long arm of the Turkish state.”[32]

Tamer Tibik and Alettin Duman had gone through similar challenges in October 2016 as well. Both were reported missing by their wives who have searched everywhere possible to find them including police stations and hospitals. It was several days later when they guessed it was their husbands that the Turkish Foreign Minister at the time talked about when he announced Malaysia handed over “terrorists” cooperating with Turkey. Yet, they could not get any more news about their situation. Mr. Tibik’s mother was able to find them after searching through various police stations door-to-door. Mr. Tibik wrote in a letter to his wife that unknown men took him in Malaysia to a forest for interrogation using torture. What is worse, Mr. Duman’s mother learned from his son that the torture have not ended once they arrived Turkey but continued for weeks.[33]

2.     Violent Reactions by Pro-Government People
Whereas these abductions and extraditions have been taking place in non-European countries, supporters of the Movement cannot feel completely safe in other countries as well. Pro-government people and organizations around the world as well as Turkey’s representatives abroad have been constituting a threat. Especially after the so-called attempted coup, the government’s partisans became more aggressive. For instance, former member of the European Parliament Ozan Ceyhun wrote on social media “Gülenists in Germany will have many sleepless nights. We owe that to our martyrs.”[34] Individuals who are perceived to be Gulenist have been dealing with death threats and arson attacks, also receiving insults on the internet, all were reported to police. For example, head of one of the pro-Erdogan organizations Dursun Bas wrote on social media “How do you dare to go out on the streets? For you there will be no easy death.”[35] Some people said they cannot even go to mosques not to come across government supporters.[36] Pro-government people have also damaged the institutions deemed to be linked to the Movement across Europe, to exemplify buildings of associations inspired by the Hizmet Movement in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany were stoned, burned and/or attacked physically.[37] Whereas European governments show significant efforts to protect the supporters of the Movement – just like everyone within their borders, it would still be possible for individuals to damage the supporters. To exemplify, a Turkish businessman who reportedly had links with the Movement was killed on September 2017. Ali Ekrem Kaynak was shot in Amsterdam, who was targeted earlier in 2017 as well. Someone has tried to set his restaurant fire, and moreover, his partner in business was shot in August 2017. His partner survived after the first shooting but Mr. Kaynak could not. Witnesses told news agencies that both men had already arguments before with the supporters of the government and were beaten by them.[38]  Similarly, members of the Movement have been exposed to verbal attacks in the United States too by pro-government people.[39]

Government agencies abroad also have also been taking actions against Hizmet supporters. To illustrate, Turkish preachers from the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB)[40] have been collecting information regarding the supporters of the Movement at the government’s request. Even though these were initially claimed to be “false media claims,” Secretary General Bekir Alboga then admitted that “a few” imams provided information to the Presidency of Religious Affairs, which is operating under the Turkish Prime Ministry.[41] Furthermore, as per later news, German police’s investigations revealed that these accusations may only be the tip of the iceberg meaning that such efforts could be taking place across Europe such as in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium.[42]

3.     Recent Threats against the Gulen Movement
Turkey has been on the news with a slightly different topic recently. In a case before the District Court of New York in the United States, Turkish businessmen are on trial for breaching Iranian sanctions. The defendants are charged with “participating in a billion-dollar scheme to smuggle gold for oil in violation of the Iran sanctions.”[43] The case is relevant for this study in the sense that the Turkish government, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is claimed to be helping those businessmen covering up the transactions through bribes.[44] Meanwhile, the US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Mike Flynn was alleged to accept the Turkish government’s offer of 15 million dollars in exchange for delivering Mr. Fethullah Gulen to Turkey.[45] The case is still ongoing, therefore, there is no clear answer to the question of whether the government has tried something like this or not. However, what is evident is that the Turkish government has recently been mentioned and criticized in international news a lot by journalists, politicians and academics. Hence, it is speculated that the government will harshen its attitude even more against dissidents. Early signs of such assumptions have already started. The government announced its plans to build 228 new prisons in the next five years indicating that they are likely to arrest many more people.[46] Furthermore, at least 699 people were imprisoned last week because of their alleged links with the Movement.[47]

Other signals of such expectations are given by pro-government journalists and politicians as well. For instance, Aydin Unal, former speechwriter of President Erdogan and current deputy of the ruling party (Justice and Development Party), threatened supporters of the Movement explicitly in his column at a pro-government newspaper. Referring to the journalists in exile, he wrote “They should prepare for the extrajudicial organization executions approaching, rather than conduct an operation through the judicial theater.”[48] In his article, he claimed that the Movement would do something like this, because certain individuals’ living “does not serve the interests” of the Movement anymore. Nevertheless, it can be seen looking at recent news stories about Turkey that the Movement has turned into a scapegoat. To clarify, the government has been accusing the Movement of everything going wrong in Turkey. It does not matter if it requires to make radical changes in their statements, the government has dedicated itself to lay the blame on Mr. Gulen and his sympathizers. For example, very recently, Reza Zarrab, abovementioned businessmen who is on trial in the US, was declared as cooperating with the Movement by Ilnur Cevik, one of President Erdogan’s chief advisors.[49] This is unbelievable in the sense that the Movement has been in the target board of the government since December 2013 when Reza Zarrab and family members of the cabinet ministers were taken into custody for corruption claims by police officers claimed to be Gulenist. Erdogan was a prime minister at the time and he explicitly protected Zarrab and stated he was a philanthropist businessman.[50] Clearly, Erdogan’s such a clear sentence does not prevent Reza Zarrab to be declared Gulenist after conflicting interests arise.

Threat by Aydin Unal, who has been targeting the Movement in his other articles too,[51] attracted attention in the international community as well. Preet Bharara, former US attorney who started the investigation regarding Reza Zarrab, referred to his statement on his own social media account for awareness.[52] Furthermore, Carolyn B. Maloney, congresswoman representing the 12th District of New York, highlighted the importance of press freedom and called US Department of State to condemn such threats officially.[53]

Another shocking statement was made by Cem Kucuk, pro-government journalist who is devoted to President Erdogan. During a live television program, he suggested Turkish intelligence agencies to kill family members of people who were arrested over Gulenist links (or alleged links). He criticized public prosecutors to be soft against Hizmet followers and went further to the point that proposing arrestees to be tortured in jail, for instance that they must be “hanged out of the window by their legs”.[54]

Similar threats and statements have been made by different people one of which is Ahmet Zeki Ucok, retired colonel and military judge from air forces. In his social media account, he implied as if the Movement is in a preparation of assassination plots against politicians, religious officials, journalists, sports men and leaders of the civil society in Macedonia and Kosovo by special teams.[55] His statements are not surprising in the sense that it has become a cliché now to create conspiracy theories without any basis. It must be noted that many western countries are welcoming Turkish asylum seekers having links with the Hizmet Movement and that states do no believe in the government’s claims about the Movement being behind the coup attempt. Therefore, such claims by pro-government people would be aiming to create a perception of terrorist organization. So far, President Erdogan’s calls to declare war against the Movement are not responded positively by foreign governments in most states, however, such assassinations would serve the interests of the Turkish government.

Risks and threats Hizmet supporters might face are increasing day by day by the government’s and its supporters’ actions. According to German news agencies, Metin Kulunk, deputy from the ruling party, has allegedly been funding a Turkish gang named “Ottoman Germania” active in Germany. Surveillance cameras showed that Kulunk has been giving money to the members of this group which was then used to buy weapons. Research lead to the point that this gang has been assigned to attack the Turkish dissident groups in Germany.[56]

Last but not least, these concerns were voiced by a US magazine, Foreign Affairs, as well. The author of the article titled “Is Turkey Turning into a Mafia State?” mentioned different activities of the Turkish government implicating that the state is both neglecting and engaging with criminal activities such as illicit trading and smuggling, money laundering and corruption. Accordingly, Turkey has been creating fabricated stories targeting dissidents rather than fighting with real crimes. Statistics on the investigations against “conventional organized crime have dramatically decreased.”[57] These speculations are strengthened by the sudden release of Sedat Peker from prison, who is a notorious mafia boss, and photos of President Erdogan embracing him. The article puts forward reasonable suspicions to think that Turkey has started to withdraw the rule of law and democracy, but leaning towards an autocratic mafia state.

4.     Interviews with the Supporters
Considering all these, it is understandable why people deemed to be supporters of the Movement do not yet feel safe abroad. In an interview made by the AST, Bilal Eksili, partner at the Washington Diplomacy Group,[58] stated “The situation is quite worrying especially for the prominent people” and continued “It is not possible to estimate the government’s actions in such a desperate position.” He added that after all these threats if something happens to a supporter of the Movement, the government will be the first to blame and that it will be a breaking point after which the government will be considered as a terrorist state. He called all the security forces and states around the world to ensure security to the supporters of the Movement.[59]

In another interview with a human rights lawyer from Turkey, who talked on condition of anonymity as he is worried about his family members in Turkey, it was asserted that the government using the state’s opportunities for their own interests to target members of the Movement abroad. He specified “I cannot say we are absolutely safe even abroad” and said he cannot even go to the Turkish mosque in his city because religious officials keep records of people for purposes of blacklisting, just like they cannot go to the consulate buildings. He said the government’s partisans are mostly uneducated people who can easily be manipulated, thus might be provoked against the supporters of the Movement. Lastly, he asked foreign governments to watch especially employees of the Turkish embassies closely to prevent any possible harm.[60]

5.     Conclusion
Several United Nations and other multilateral human rights treaties, as well as UN treaty body jurisprudence is unambiguous when dealing with extraterritorial actions of a government in seizing their nationals in the territory of another country, without recourse to regular procedures and relevant judicial safeguards:

1. The abduction of citizens covertly and forcibly from the territory of another state is illegal and a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the concerned state.

2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance.

3. The perpetrator (Government of Turkey) should organize all State organs and governance structures through which public authority is exercised in a manner consistent with the need to respect international law and ensure the right to life, both in Turkey and abroad.

4. The perpetrator (Government of Turkey) is finally, under obligation, pursuant to article 2 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to provide effective remedies to the victims, including immediate release, permission to leave Turkey and compensation for the violations which he/she has suffered and to take steps to ensure that similar violations do not occur in the future.

To conclude, it is evident that the actions of the government have cross-border impacts putting even people abroad at risk. People that are perceived as linked to the Hizmet Movement are justifiably right to be afraid of the possible incidents. Therefore, we as the Advocates of Silenced Turkey urge foreign governments to take all the necessary steps to ensure safety to these people before it is too late. Security officers must be aware of the potential risks. Officials working for the government abroad must be watched closely, they must be prevented if they are in preparation of any harm. Lastly, both individuals and organizations that are deemed to be Hizmet participants must be provided extra protection when there is an imminent risk targeting them.

6.     Recommendations
We kindly request from the United States Government including the local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies as well as all the countries around the world caring about human rights to promptly:

1. Identify individuals in the country who are likely targets of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency and the Turkish government, and that is in danger of being threatened, abducted, tortured and/or killed or illegally extradited.
2. Investigate evidence of the Turkish government’s illegal activity, including potential perpetrators’ actions, behaviors and abductions; extrajudicial assassinations of targets; and the torture or illegal removal of person(s) from the country.
3. Urge the Turkish government to immediately dissolve the Office for Human Abduction and Executions.
4. Support Human Rights Defenders in Turkey and abroad, and prevent arbitrary deprivation of life and extrajudicial killings.

 

[1] “Sudan’da Türk işadamına gözaltı.” Aktif Haber, 8 Sept. 2017, aktifhaber.com/gundem/sudanda-turk-isadamina-gozalti-h103678.html.

[2] “Sudan arrests Gülen-Linked businessman at Turkey’s request.” Turkish Minute, 9 Sept. 2017, www.turkishminute.com/2017/09/09/sudan-arrests-gulen-linked-businessman-at-turkeys-request/.

[3] Gumrukcu, Tuvan. “Turkish, Sudanese intelligence agencies catch and return alleged coup suspect: Anadolu.” Edited by Dominic Evans and Mark Heinrich, Reuters, 27 Nov. 2017, reut.rs/2BqKVzD.

[4] Sudan has been party to the Convention since 1974.

[5] “Two Turkish nationals, abducted from plane in Kazakhstan, returned to Turkey: report.” Turkey Purge, 10 Nov. 2017, turkeypurge.com/two-turkish-nationals-abducted-plane-kazakhstan-returned-turkey-report; “Kaçırılan iki Türk’ün kayıtsız gözaltında tutulduğu ortaya çıktı.” Aktif Haber, 9 Nov. 2017, aktifhaber11.com/gundem/kacirilan-iki-turkun-kayitsiz-gozaltinda-tutuldugu-ortaya-cikti-h107173.html.

[6] Kazakhstan has been party to the Convention since 1999.

[7] For more detailed information about the case, see Khan, Haq Nawaz, and Pamela Constable. “A Turkish family has disappeared in Pakistan, and suspicion turns to intelligence agencies.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 11 Oct. 2017, wapo.st/2i2LnyK?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.b3f52d4f73e9; Sayeed, Saad. “Turkish family of PakTurk Schools director abducted in Pakistan: rights group.” Reuters, 28 Sept. 2017, reut.rs/2yaIe6H;

[8] Ijaz, Saroop. “Pakistan’s Deportation of Turkish Family Shows Many at Risk.” Human Rights Watch, 18 Oct. 2017, www.hrw.org/news/2017/10/18/pakistans-deportation-turkish-family-shows-many-risk.

[9] Hashim, Asad. “Missing Turkish teacher ‘deported from Pakistan’.” Pakistan News | Al Jazeera, 16 Oct. 2017, aje.io/wgf3m.

[10] Khan & Constable, Ibid.

[11] See fn. 8; Article 33 (1) of the 1951 Refugee Convention states “No Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” UN General Assembly, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 28 July 1951, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, p. 137, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3be01b964.html [accessed 6 December 2017].

[12] Harms, Rebecca (RebHarms). “How is this possible against high court decision and in spite of protection by @UNHCRPakistan @UNRefugeeAgency Any comment by UN? @hrw.” 15 Oct. 2017, 4:49 a.m. Tweet.

[13] “Gülen school manager arrested after Turkish PM’s Tbilisi visit.” OC Media, 25 May 2017, oc-media.org/gulen-school-manager-arrested-after-turkish-pms-tbilisi-visit/.

[14] “Urgent Action: Teacher at Risk if Extradited to Turkey.” Amnesty International, UA: 121/17 Index Eur 56/6372/2017 Georgia, 26 May 2017, https://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent-actions/urgent-action-teacher-risk-extradited-turkey-georgia-121-17/.

[15] “NGO’s appeal to the Government of Georgia regarding possible extradition of Mustafa Chabuk to Turkey.” EMC (Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center), 5 June 2017, emc.org.ge/2017/06/05/emc-298/.

[16] “Georgia refuses refugee status to detained ‘Gülen school manager’.” OC Media, 10 July 2017, oc-media.org/georgia-refuses-refugee-status-to-detained-gulen-school-manager/.

[17] A letter by Mr. Cabuk’s wife can be found here: Cabuk, Tugba. “Turkey Wants to Arrest My Husband. You Can Save Him.” The Globe Post, 6 June 2017, www.theglobepost.com/2017/06/06/turkey-wants-to-arrest-my-husband-you-can-save-him/.

[18] Goldberg, Jacob. “Myanmar-Based family abducted by Turkish embassy from Yangon airport | Coconuts Yangon.” Coconuts, 25 May 2017, coconuts.co/yangon/news/turkish-teacher-abducted-embassy-officials-yangon-airport/.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Lefevre, Amy Sawitta, et al. “U.N. expresses grave concern over Myanmar, Thai deportation of Turkish national.” Edited by Andrew Bolton, Reuters, 27 May 2017, reut.rs/2qZbEjt.

[21] “Burma/Thailand: Deported Turkish Man at Risk.” Human Rights Watch, 1 June 2017, www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/01/burma/thailand-deported-turkish-man-risk.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Lefevre, et al, Ibid.

[24] For more detailed information, see Dearden, Lizzie. “CCTV shows school principal being ‘abducted’ as post-Coup crackdown in Turkey spreads to Malaysia.” The Independent, 3 May 2017, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/turkish-principal-men-abducted-malaysia-kuala-lumpur-turgay-karaman-ihsan-aslan-gulen-hizmet-coup-a7716376.html; Latiff, Rozanna. “Malaysia arrests two Turks suspected of threatening national security.” Edited by Nick Macfie, Reuters, 3 May 2017, reut.rs/2pWSqf2.

[25] For more detailed information, see Latiff, Rozanna. “Malaysia detains third Turkish national citing security fears.” Edited by Nick Macfie, Reuters, 5 May 2017, reut.rs/2pfl1bp; “Police arrest third Turkish man.” Free Malaysia Today, 5 May 2017, shar.es/1MCZY9.

[26] “Malaysia: Longtime Turkish Residents Detained.” Human Rights Watch, 5 May 2017, www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/05/malaysia-longtime-turkish-residents-detained.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Holmes, Oliver. “Fears grow Turks held in Malaysia may face unfair trial or torture at home.” The Guardian, 3 May 2017, www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/03/fears-grow-turks-held-in-malaysia-may-face-unfair-trial-or-torture-at-home.

[29] “Malaysia has deported three Gülenists, says Turkish FM.” Hürriyet Daily News, 14 Oct. 2016, www.hurriyetdailynews.com/malaysia-has-deported-three-gulenists-says-turkish-fm–104984; “Urgent Action: Three Turkish men arrested and at risk of torture.” Amnesty International, UA 102/17: ASA 28/6180/2017 Malaysia, 5 May 2017, https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/2017-05/UA10217.pdf?5QWbhLChxi143jTm5gUX4hB_lBjYjOgG.

[30] “Malaysia: Extradition puts three Turkish men at risk of torture.” Amnesty International, 12 May

2017, www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/malaysia-extradition-puts-three-turkish-men-at-risk-of-torture/.

[31] Latiff, Rozanna, and Robert Birsel. “Malaysia deports three Turks amid U.N. fears of widening Turkish crackdown.” Edited by Nick Mackie, Reuters, 12 May 2017, af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN1880PE.

[32] Weise, Zia. “Long arm of Turkey’s anti-Gülenist purge.” Politico, 21 Aug. 2017, www.politico.eu/article/long-arm-of-turkeys-anti-gulenist-purge/.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Baume, Maïa de La, and Giulia Paravicini. “‘Sleepless nights’ for Gülen’s supporters in Europe.” Politico, 24 Aug. 2016, www.politico.eu/article/sleepless-nights-for-fetullah-gulen-supporters-in-europe-erdogan-turkey-coup/.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Wolf, Marthe van der. “Turks Seen as Sympathetic to US-Based Muslim Cleric Say They Face Threats.” VOA News, 29 Aug. 2016, www.voanews.com/a/turks-seen-sympathetic-us-based-muslim-cleric-face-threats/3485265.html.

[37] Ibid.

[38] “A Turkish businessman killed in Amsterdam over his alleged links to Gülen movement.” Stockholm Center for Freedom, 16 Sept. 2017, stockholmcf.org/a-turkish-businessman-killed-in-amsterdam-over-his-alleged-links-to-gulen-movement/.

[39] Roman, Gabriel San. “Turkish Trash Talk: Erdogan Backer Accosts Gulenist Vendor at OC Halal Food Festival.” OC Weekly, 7 Dec. 2017, www.ocweekly.com/news/video-erdogan-supporter-accosts-gulenist-vendor-at-muslim-food-festival-8605011.

[40] The DITIB is an umbrella organization active in Europe working for the Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey.

[41] Winter, Chase. “Turkish Islamic organization DITIB admits preachers spied in Germany” Deutsche Welle, 12 Jan. 2017, p.dw.com/p/2Vgzu?tw.

[42] Winter, Chase. “Turkish imam spy affair in Germany extends across Europe.” Deutsche Welle, 16 Feb. 2017, p.dw.com/p/2Xj3A?tw.

[43] Weiser, Benjamin. “Reza Zarrab, Turk at Center of Iran Sanctions Case, Is Helping Prosecution.” The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2017, nyti.ms/2icWFRu.

[44] For more detailed information about the case, see Weiser, Benjamin. “Reza Zarrab, Turk at Center of Iran Sanctions Case, Is Helping Prosecution.” The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2017, nyti.ms/2icWFRu, Weiser, Benjamin. “Reza Zarrab Testifies That He Bribed Turkish Minister.” The New York Times, 29 Nov. 2017, nyti.ms/2BygWWa, Weiser, Benjamin. “Erdogan Helped Turks Evade Iran Sanctions, Reza Zarrab Says.” The New York Times, 30 Nov. 2017, nyti.ms/2katZZL, Weiser, Benjamin. “At Iran Sanctions Trial: A Star Witness Revealed, and a Sleepy Juror.” The New York Times, 2 Dec. 2017, nyti.ms/2BG2qMs, Weiser, Benjamin. “Zarrab’s Take From Iran Sanctions Plot? ‘Maybe $150 Million,’ He Says.” The New York Times, 5 Dec. 2017, nyti.ms/2AUAtmf, “The Latest: Charges detailed in Turkish gold trader plea.” The Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2017, wapo.st/2hZS8Ou?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.37ad7e2afad3, Barrett, Devlin, and Erin Cunningham. “Gold dealer implicates Turkey’s president in corruption scheme.” The Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2017, wapo.st/2AmdApq?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.18c3e9148821.

[45] Grimaldi, James V., et al. “Mueller Probes Flynn’s Role in Alleged Plan to Deliver Cleric to Turkey.” The Wall Street Journal, 10 Nov. 2017, www.wsj.com/articles/mueller-probes-flynns-role-in-alleged-plan-to-deliver-cleric-to-turkey-1510309982.

[46] Demirkaya, Nergis. “Hükümetin 2023 planı: 5 yılda 228 yeni cezaevi – Nergis Demirkaya.” Gazete Duvar, 10 Dec. 2017, www.gazeteduvar.com.tr/gundem/2017/12/10/hukumetin-2023-plani-5-yilda-228-yeni-cezaevi/.

[47] Simsek, Yurdagul. “İçişleri Bakanlığı: Bir haftada 1323 operasyon düzenlendi, 4 bin 62 kişi gözaltına alındı.” Sputnik Türkiye, 11 Dec. 2017, sptnkne.ws/gkyG.

[48] Unal, Aydin. “’Smart’ Fetullahists.” Yeni Şafak, 4 Dec. 2017, www.yenisafak.com/en/columns/aydinunal/smart-fetullahists-2040235.

[49] “Cumhurbaşkanı Başdanışmanı’ndan Zarrab açıklaması.” CNN Türk, 20 Nov. 2017, www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/cumhurbaskani-basdanismanindan-zarrab-aciklamasi, “Erdoğan’ın başdanışmanı Zarrab’ı FETÖ’cü ilan etti.” Yeni Çağ Gazetesi, 20 Nov. 2017, www.yenicaggazetesi.com.tr/erdoganin-basdanismani-zarrabi-fetocu-ilan-etti-177682h.htm.

[50] “Erdoğan: Reza Zarrab ülkeye katkısı olan hayırsever biri.” T24, 26 Dec. 2013, t24.com.tr/haber/erdogan-reza-zarrab-ulkeye-katkisi-olan-hayirsever-biri,246961, Munyar, Vahap. “Zarrab hayırsever Aslan saf ve dürüst.” Hürriyet, 26 Dec. 2013, www.hurriyet.com.tr/zarrab-hayirsever-aslan-saf-ve-durust-25444886.

[51] For instance, he wrote “If the Zarrab case is used as a political attack against Turkey, the peace of FETÖ members in Turkey and all over the world will be more difficult than it is today.” Unal, Aydin. “Zarrab davasının sonuçları ne olur?” Yeni Şafak, 26 Nov. 2017, www.yenisafak.com/yazarlar/aydinunal/zarrab-davasinin-sonuclari-ne-olur-2041279.

[52] Bharara, Preet (PreetBharara). “Ladies and gentlemen, Erdogan’s deputy wants to kill Turkish journalists in exile, including those in America. https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/12/04/erdogans-deputy-threatens-journalists-with-extrajudicial-killings/ …” 4 Dec. 2017, 8:22 a.m. Tweet.

[53] Maloney, Carolyn B. (RepMaloney). “Freedom of the press is a vital part of any democracy and these threats are unacceptable. The US @StateDept needs to unequivocally and publicly condemn this.” 5 Dec. 2017, 7:57 a.m. Tweet.

[54] “Cem Küçük’ten canlı yayında işkence tavsiyesi: Havlu tekniği var, boğuyor.” Cumhuriyet, 12 Dec. 2017, www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/884749/Cem_Kucuk_ten_canli_yayinda_iskence_tavsiyesi__Havlu_teknigi_var__boguyor.html, “”Sallandır ayağından camdan aşağı”.” Odatv, 12 Dec. 2017, odatv.com/sallandir-ayagindan-camdan-asagi-1212171200.html, “Yandaş Cem Küçük’ün canlı yayında işkence öneren açıklamaları.” BirGun, 13 Dec. 2017, www.birgun.net/haber-detay/yandas-cem-kucuk-un-canli-yayinda-iskence-oneren-aciklamalari-rtuk-e-sikayet-edildi-195340.html.

[55] Ucok, Ahmet Zeki (ahmetzekiucok). “15 Temmuz darbe girişiminde başarılı olamayan FETÖ ve SAHİPLERİ,yeni bir kargaşa ortamı yaratmak amacıyla,Makedonya ve Kosova’da kurdukları özel timlerle siyasilere,din adamlarına,gazetecilere,spor adamlarına,sivil toplum liderleri vb karşı suikast planları yapmaktadırlar.Dikkat!” 5 Dec. 2017, 1:20 p.m. Tweet.

[56] “Vertrauter Erdoğans zündelt in Deutschland.” ZDF – zur Startseite, 12 Dec. 2017, www.zdf.de/politik/frontal-21/osmanen-germania-104.html.

[57] Gingeras, Ryan. “Is Turkey Turning Into a Mafia State?” Foreign Affairs, 30 Nov. 2017, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/turkey/2017-11-30/turkey-turning-mafia-state?cid=int-fls&pgtype=hpg.

[58] Washington Diplomacy Group is an independent government affairs firm active in Washington DC.

[59] Eksili, Bilal. Interviewed by the AST on December 2017.

[60] Interviewed by the AST on December 2017.

Download PDF: AST_Report_Threats_Gulen Movement

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URGING AUTHORITIES TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY STEPS FOR THE PROTECTION OF HIZMET PARTICIPANTS

Urging Authorities To Take All Necessary Steps For The Protection of Hizmet Participants

As it is known Turkish government has been taking strict measures to silence dissidents from various ideologies recently. Gulen 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. 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. Individuals linked to the Movement cannot feel safe abroad either.

It is evident that the actions of the government have cross-border impacts putting even people abroad at risk. People that are perceived as linked to the Gulen Movement are justifiably right to be afraid of the possible incidents. Therefore, we as the Advocates of Silenced Turkey urge foreign governments to take all the necessary steps to ensure safety to these people before it is too late. Security officers must be aware of the potential risks. Officials working for the Turkish government abroad must be watched closely, they must be prevented if they are in preparation of any harm. Lastly, both individuals and organizations that are deemed to be Hizmet participants must be provided extra protection when there is an imminent risk targeting them.

We, as the Advocates of Silenced Turkey, remind foreign security officers and relevant bodies of the foreign governments the risks Hizmet participants may face, and to request all necessary steps to be taken to provide sufficient protection ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms.

For more detailed information about these risks, 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: AST_Report_Threats_Gulen Movement

STEP 1:
Sign the petition. We will deliver the petitions to foreign security officers and relevant bodies of the foreign governments to request support in reducing risks Followers of the Gulen Movement face.

The petitions will be delivered to following addresses

U.S. Homeland Security
United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
International Court of Justice
The Federal Intelligence Service of Germany

Or

Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:
(Some of the institutions do not have an email address. You would need to submit it to them through their submission form on their websites)

Download sample statement as a word document: AST_Letter_Threats_Gulen Movement

1) U.S. Homeland Security
Email: https://www.dhs.gov/online-forms-and-email / hrv.ice@dhs.gov
Phone: 202-282-8000
Twitter: @DHSgov
Website: https://www.dhs.gov/

2) The Federal Bureau of Investigation
Email: (need to submit form online)
Phone: 202-278-2000
Twitter: @FBI
Website: https://www.fbi.gov/

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

4) U.S. Department of Justice
Email: https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice
Phone: 202-353-1555
Twitter: @TheJusticeDept
Website: https://www.justice.gov/

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

6) European Court of Human Rights
Email: http://appform.echr.coe.int/echrrequest/request.aspx?lang=gb
Phone: (+33) 0 3 88 41 20 18
Fax: (+33) (0)3 88 41 27 30
Website: http://www.echr.coe.int/pages/home.aspx?p=basictexts

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

8) European Union
Email: (need to submit form online)
Phone: 80067891011
Twitter: @EU_Commission
Website: https://europa.eu/european-union/index_en

9) Interpol
Email: https://www.interpol.int/Forms/CPO
Fax: +33 4 72 44 71 63
Twitter: @INTERPOL_HQ ‏
Website: https://www.interpol.int/

10) The Federal Government of Germany
Email: (need to submit form online)
Website: https://www.bundesregierung.de/Webs/Breg/EN/Homepage/_node.html

11) Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
Email: (need to submit form online)

12) Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
Email: (need to submit form online)
Phone: (+49) 911 9430
Twitter: @BAMF_Dialog
Website: http://www.bamf.de/EN/Startseite/startseite-node.html

13) The Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany
Email: https://www.bundestag.de/en/service/contactform
Phone: (+49) (0) 30 227-0
Fax: (+49)(0) 30 227-36878
Twitter: @INTERPOL_HQ ‏
Website: http://www.bundestag.de/en/

14) The Federal Intelligence Service
Email: zentrale@bundesnachrichtendienst.de
Phone: (+49) (0) 30 4 14 64 57
Website: http://www.bnd.bund.de/EN/_Home/home_node.html

15) Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Email: http://www.mfa.gr/en/contact/mfa-en-contacts/hellenic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs.html
Phone: (+30) 210 368 1000
Fax: (+30) 210 368 1717
Website: http://www.mfa.gr/en/

STEP 2:
Share with your friends.

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