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European Union

Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay should be immediately released

Amnesty International Orange County:

On January 11, 2018, Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled in a criminal case that Mehmet Altan and fellow journalist Sahin Alpay’s rights were being violated by pre-trial detention and ruled that they should be released, nut the 27th High Criminal Court in Istanbul declined to implement the Constitutional Court decision.

Following the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, and the imposition of a state of emergency, over 180 news outlets have been shut down under laws passed by presidential decree. There are now at least 148 writers, journalists, and media workers in prison, making Turkey the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.

Prof. Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay are only two of the hundreds of victims of this horrific violation of democratic values and principles within Turkey.

Mehmet Altan, the Faculty of Economics at Istanbul University since 1986, was also a journalist working in the daily Sabah (1987-2006) and worked as an editor-in-chief in the daily Star until 2012. He has been dismissed from his newspaper because of the government’s pressures on free media.

Sahin Alpay, faculty in Bahcesehir University since 2001, was arrested in 2016. He worked as a writer and editor for Cumhuriyet, Sabah, and Milliyet Newspapers. He directed the “Intellectual Perspective” a weekly program at Turkish CNN and he was a columnist at the now closed-down Zaman Newspaper. He also hosted a program, which aired on the now closed-down Mehtap TV channel.

In September 2016, Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay were detained as part of a wave of arrests of thinkers and writers following the failed July 2016 coup attempt. Arrested for allegedly giving “subliminal messages” to announce the coup on a television roundtable discussion show, Mr. Altan was charged with attempting to overthrow the “constitutional order”, “interfering with the work of the national assembly”, and “interfering with the work of the government” through violence or force.

Amnesty Orange County call the authorities in Turkey to respect and implement the ruling of the Turkish Constitutional Court for Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay to be released immediately alongside all the other journalists and writers, including Mehmet Altan’s brother Ahmet Altan who is also among the incarcerated writers and journalists.

We urge everyone to take action. Please sign the petition linked below: https://www.change.org/p/turkey-mehmet-altan-and-sahin-alpay-should-be-immediately-released?recruiter=841476427&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

This petition will be delivered to:
Turkey Consulate of Turkey in Los Angeles
Embassy of Turkey, Washington, D.C.
TURKEY MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

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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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It is high time for the European Court of Human Rights to step in!

Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on 15 July 2016. The 3-month State of the Emergency regime which was declared immediately after the coup attempt (21/07/2016) by the Cabinet “to preserve the democratic order” has since been extended for five times.Despite calls by the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the Venice Commission and numerous human rights institutions for the Turkish government to end it, the State of Emergency Regime remains in effect. In defiance of its purpose, The Turkish government has subversively used the State of Emergency Regime against the country’s democratic parliamentary system, the rule of law and human rights.

During the state of emergency, so far;
-28 deputies have been taken into custody, duly elected mayors of 90 different towns/cities have been removed from office,
-61,247 individuals, including 16 deputies, two members of the Constitutional Court, 193 members of the Court of Cassation, 2360 judges and prosecutors, 571 lawyers and 308 journalists have been arrested,
-As of today, a total of 128,998 people have been taken into custody for terrorism-related offenses (being the members of an armed terrorist organization. 100 people a day are being arrested on average.

With thirty different Emergency Decree Law, which is exempt from judicial review;
-146,713 public servants including 4463 judges and prosecutors, 8693 academics, 6687 doctors and paramedics 44,392 teachers have been dismissed from their jobs,
-3003 private hospitals, schools, student dorms and universities, 187 media outlets, 1,412 associations and 139 charities have been shut down, and their assets have been confiscated,
-1,020 private companies have been seized.

On the face of these human rights breaches, European Court of Human Rights is the ultimate hope of the victims. Yet, the ECHR has been consistently refusing applications on the grounds that the domestic remedies in Turkey is not yet consummated.In order to prevent conviction at the ECHR, the Turkish government instituted the Constitutional Court as an additional court of appeal for individuals and established a highly unproductive Commission on Statutory Decrees Under State of Emergency. Neither institution helps the victims.

Only last week, four separate criminal courts of the first instance have refused to implement an order of the Turkish Constitutional Court to release veteran journalist Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay:
-On 11 January 2018, the Turkish Constitutional Court decided that the detention of journalists Sahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan were unlawful and that it constituted a violation of their rights protected by both the Turkish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights,
-On the same day, Istanbul 13th and 26th High Penal Courts refused to release Altan and Alpay on the grounds that the decisions (of the TCC) have not yet been published in the Official Gazette,
-On 12 January 2018, Istanbul 13th and 26th High Penal Courts declined release of Altan and Alpay once again on the grounds that the TCC exceeded its authority as specified in the Constitution itself,
-On 15 January 2018, Istanbul 14th and 27th High Penal Courts turned down objections from the lawyers of Altan and Alpay that the decision of the TCC had to be implemented without delay and ordered their detention to continue.

In the light of the above, there is without a doubt no effective domestic remedy in Turkey and the judicial hierarchy as determined by the Turkish Constitution has been disrupted.

We, therefore, urge The European Court of Human Rights to reconsider its current view that the Turkish Constitutional Court offers an effective domestic remedy and start without further delay reconsidering applications brought by thousands of victims against Turkey.

It is high time for the European Court of Human Rights to step in!

We urge everyone to take action. Please sign the petition linked below:
https://www.change.org/p/the-european-court-of-human-rights-the-council-of-europe-it-is-high-time-for-the-european-court-of-human-rights-to-step-in?recruiter=735343625&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_twitter_responsive

This petition will be delivered to:
The European Court of Human Rights
The Council of Europe

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AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly Dec 4

Download as pdf: AST_Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly_Dec4

Turkey’s Human Rights Violations | 11/27/2017-12/4/2017

1-“Turkish Police Bar İstanbul Rally To Show Solidarity With Jailed Journalists, Lawyers”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-police-bar-istanbul-rally-show-solidarity-jailed-journalists-lawyers/

2-“Turkish Government Jails Another Journalist”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-government-jails-another-journalist/

3-“Turkish Gov’t Investigates All Members Of CHP Party Assembly Over Erdoğan’s Complaint”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-investigates-members-chp-party-assembly-erdogans-complaint/

4-“People Flock To Social Media For Zarrab’s Trial As Turkish Media Opts Auto Censorship”
https://stockholmcf.org/people-flock-social-media-zarrabs-trial-turkish-media-opts-auto-censorship/

5-“Turkish Court Sentences 82-Year-Old Türk For 10 Years Over Gülen Links, Releases Him From Prison”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-court-sentences-82-year-old-turk-10-years-gulen-links-releases-prison/

6-“Turkish Court Releases Hunger Striking Nuriye Gülmen From Prison”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-court-releases-hunger-striking-nuriye-gulmen-prison/

7-“Turkish Gov’t Confiscates Assets Of Zarrab, Close Relatives Amid His Confessions In US”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-confiscates-assets-zarrab-close-relatives-amid-bribe-confessions-us/

8-“The Door Of Alevi Family Marked With Nationalist/Islamist Phrases In İstanbul”
https://stockholmcf.org/door-alevi-family-marked-nationalist-islamist-phrases-istanbul/

9-” EU Cuts Funds For Turkey’s Membership Bid As A Solid Warning To Ankara Over Human Rights Violations”
https://stockholmcf.org/eu-cuts-funds-turkeys-membership-bid-solid-warning-ankara-human-rights-violations/

11-“Turkish Gov’t Detains Hundreds Of People, Mostly Military Officers Over Alleged Links To Gülen Movement”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-detains-hundreds-people-mostly-military-officers-alleged-links-gulen-movement/

10-“Turkish Gov’t Detains Nationalist News Portal’s Editor Over Alleged Links To Gülen Movement”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-detains-nationalist-news-portals-editor-alleged-links-gulen-movement/

12-“22-Year Jail Term Sought For Turkish Director Over Movie Showing Erdogan’s Execution”
https://stockholmcf.org/22-year-jail-term-sought-for-turkish-director-over-movie-showing-erdogans-execution/

13-“ECtHR Rejects CHP’s Application Against April 16 Presidential Referendum In Turkey”
https://stockholmcf.org/ecthr-rejects-chps-application-against-april-16-presidential-referendum/

14-“EU’s Counter-Terrorism Chief: EU Does Not Deem Gülen Movement As ‘Terror Organization’”
https://stockholmcf.org/eus-counter-terrorism-chief-eu-does-not-deem-gulen-movement-as-terror-organisation/

15-“Turkish Journalist Cuma Ulus Jailed For Retweeting ‘Journalism Is Not A Crime’”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-journalist-cuma-ulus-jailed-for-retweeting-journalism-is-not-a-crime/

16-“EUobserver: European Foundation Demands Release Of Turkish Journalist Parıldak”
https://stockholmcf.org/euobserver-european-foundation-demands-release-of-turkish-journalist-parildak/

17-“Turkish Gov’t Issues Detention Warrants For 333 Military Officers Over Alleged Links To Gülen Movement”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-issues-detention-warrants-for-333-military-officers-over-alleged-links-to-gulen-movement/

18-“Turkish Gov’t Sentences Former Deputy, HSYK Inspector, University Student In Prison Over Alleged Gülen Links”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-sentences-former-deputy-hsyk-inspector-university-student-in-prison-over-alleged-gulen-links/

19-“Another Turkish Woman Detained On Coup Charges One Day After Giving Birth”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-detains-hundreds-people-mostly-military-officers-alleged-links-gulen-movement/

20-“Turkish Author Perihan Mağden: I Feel Like A Jew In Nazi Germany”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-detains-nationalist-news-portals-editor-alleged-links-gulen-movement/

21-“Imprisoned HDP Leader Demirtaş Sues Turkish Interior Minister In Libel Case”
https://stockholmcf.org/imprisoned-hdp-leader-demirtas-sues-turkish-interior-minister-in-libel-case/

22-“Turkish Gov’t Issues Detention Warrants For 85, Including 10 Lawyers, Over Links To Gülen Movement”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-govt-issues-detention-warrants-for-85-including-10-lawyers-over-links-to-gulen-movement/

23-“Turkish Police Suggested To Use ‘German Model’ To Identify Sympathisers Of Gülen Movement”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-police-suggested-to-use-german-model-to-identify-sympathisers-of-gulen-movement/

24-“A 57-Year-Old Prisoner With Toothache Passes Away At Turkey’s Mersin Prison”
https://stockholmcf.org/a-57-year-old-prisoner-with-toothache-passes-away-at-turkeys-mersin-prison/

25-“Report: Turkey’s MİT Abducts Turkish Businessman From Sudan”
https://stockholmcf.org/report-turkeys-mit-abducts-turkish-businessman-from-sudan/

26-“Father of three released only after wife died following heart attack”
https://turkeypurge.com/father-three-released-wife-died-following-heart-attack

27-“Main opposition lawmaker faces life in prison in retrial for espionage charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/main-opposition-lawmaker-faces-life-prison-retrial-espionage-charges

28-“Alevi home in Istanbul marked with racist slur”
https://turkeypurge.com/alevi-home-istanbul-marked-attacked-racist-slur

29-“Zarrab case in US further imperils 1 million Gülenists, family members in Turkey: AK Party deputy”
https://turkeypurge.com/zarrab-case-us-imperils-1-million-gulenists-family-members-turkey-ak-party-deputy

30-“28-year-old lawyer detained while planning to flee Turkey to Rhodes”
https://turkeypurge.com/28-year-old-lawyer-detained-planning-flee-turkey-greece

31-“Turkey’s national intel established special unit to go after Gülen supporters abroad: state-run news agency”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-national-intel-established-special-unit-go-gulen-supporters-abroad-state-run-news-agency

32-“Uşak University’s former rector sentenced to 8 years in prison”
https://turkeypurge.com/usak-universitys-former-rector-sentenced-8-years-prison

33-“Erdoğan’s former speechwriter threatens Gülen movement over Zarrab case”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/28/erdogans-former-speechwriter-threatens-gulen-movement-over-zarrab-case/

34-“Elderly prisoner gets 11 days in solitary for expressing hope for release”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/28/elderly-prisoner-gets-11-days-in-solitary-for-expressing-hope-for-release/

35-“Gov’t trustee shuts down Kurdish-language audio library for disabled children”
https://turkeypurge.com/govt-trustee-shuts-kurdish-language-audio-library-disabled-children

36-“Businessmen who attempt to move assets abroad traitors: Erdogan”
https://stockholmcf.org/report-turkeys-mit-abducts-turkish-businessman-from-sudan/

37-“85 more military officers arrested on coup charges: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/85-military-officers-arrested-coup-charges-report

Türkiye tarafından işlenenen İnsan Hakları İhlalleri | 11/27/2017-12/4/2017

1-” Çocukları elinden alınan kadın feryat etti!”
http://aktifhaber.com/yasam/cocuklari-elinden-alinan-kadin-feryat-etti-h108413.html

2-“Reuters kareleriyle Gülmen’in tahliyesi”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/reuters-kareleriyle-gulmenin-tahliyesi-h108416.html

3-“Türkiye 2006-16 döneminde basın özgürlüğünün en çok zayıfladığı ülke oldu..”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/turkiye-2006-16-doneminde-basin-ozgurlugunun-en-cok-zayifladigi-ulke-oldu-h108409.html

4-“Yargıtay ByLock Kullanımı için: Suçun işlenmesine somut olayın koşullarına göre kuvvetli belirti ”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/yargitay-bylock-kullanimi-icin-sucun-islenmesine-somut-olayin-kosullarina-gore-kuvvetli-belirti-h108407.html

5-“Hapishane koşullarını protesto için kendini yaktı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/hapishane-kosullarini-protesto-icin-kendini-yakti-h108313.html

6-“Silivri Cezaevinde yalnız kalmaması gereken Epilepsi hastası tek kişilik hücrede tutuluyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/silivri-cezaevinde-yalniz-kalmamasi-gereken-epilepsi-hastasi-tek-kisilik-hucrede-tutuluyor-h108236.html

7-“Gökhan Açıkkollu’nun işkenceyle öldürüldüğü kesinleşti..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gokhan-acikkollunun-iskenceyle-olduruldugu-kesinlesti-h108211.html

8-“AKP döneminde mahkum sayısı en az 4 kat arttı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/akp-doneminde-mahkum-sayisi-en-az-4-kat-artti-h108187.html

9-“Ve AKP 90’ları aştı: İşkence sorulamayacak konu statüsüne girdi”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ve-akp-90lari-asti-iskence-sorulamayacak-konu-statusune-girdi-h108181.html

10-“Cezaevlerinde son 30 yılın en vahşi dönemi yaşanıyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/cezaevlerinde-son-30-yilin-en-vahsi-donemi-yasaniyor-h108180.html

11-“Tahliye oldu Tarsus Cezaevi işkencelerini anlattı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/tahliye-oldu-tarsus-cezaevi-iskencelerini-anlatti-h108110.html

12-” İşkence cezasızlık politikasıyla artırıldı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/iskence-cezasizlik-politikasiyla-artirildi-h108072.html

13-“Suçlama: Lüks sitelerde oturmak ve tutuklu ailelerine yardım etmek”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/suclama-luks-sitelerde-oturmak-ve-tutuklu-ailelerine-yardim-etmek/

14-“‘Sizi gördüğüme inanamıyorum’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/nuriye-gulmene-tahliye-icimizdeki-mecbur-kurdunu-yitirmeyelim/

15-“‘Gurur tablosu’: İsparta’da Gülenci suçlamasıyla 397 kişi tutuklandı”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/malatyada-alevi-ailelerin-evlerine-kirmizi-isaret/

16-“Avukat Selçuk Kozağaçlı 19 gündür tecritte tutuluyor”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/avukat-selcuk-kozagacli-19-gundur-tecritte-tutuluyor/

17-“Gülen’in yeğeni Mezher Gülen hakkında 22,5 yıl hapis cezası istendi”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/gulenin-yegeni-mezher-gulen-icin-225-yil-hapis-cezasi-istendi/

18-“MİT’ten ‘büyük operasyon’: Vergi rekortmeni işadamı Sudan’dan getirildi”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/mitten-buyuk-operasyon-tutuklu-isadami-sudandan-getirildi/

19-“‘400 dilekçe verdim, tek bir tutukluyu ziyaret edemedim’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/400-dilekce-verdim-tek-bir-tutukluyu-ziyaret-edemedim/

20-“Türkiye ceezaevlerindeki 700 bebege ve 17 bin kadina ozgurluk!”
http://www.tr724.com/turkiye-cezaevlerindeki-700-bebege-17-bin-kadina-ozgurluk/

21-“Anne Nesrin Oğuz bebeğiyle gözaltına alındı”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/anne-nesrin-oguz-bebegiyle-gozaltina-alindi-h108456.html

22-“Beraat ettiysem suçsuzum işime iade edin”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/erdogana-osman-kavalayi-serbest-birakin-cagrisi/

23-“’TSK’ya operasyonda 85 tutuklama”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/tskya-operasyonda-85-tutuklama-h108431.html

24-“Cezaevini bomba arıyoruz diye köpeklerle bastılar”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/cezaevini-bomba-ariyoruz-diye-kopeklerle-bastilar-h108429.html

25-“‘Varlıklarını yurt dışına kaçıran işadamlarına asla izin vermeyin’
http://www.kronos.news/tr/erdogan-bazi-isadamlari-varliklarini-yurt-disina-kaciriyor/

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