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rule of law

Set them free – International Day of the Girl Child

A young girl is behind bars with her mother in Istanbul one day while the mother was being searched before entering the courtroom. As the metal detector signaled and the officer ordered the mother to strip her clothes…

On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, Set Them Free launched a video on the violations of the girl children rights in Turkey.

The video was prepared by SetThemFree.com

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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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AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly Feb 19

Download as pdf: AST_Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly_Feb 19

Turkey’s Human Rights Violations | 2/12/2018-2/19/2018

1-“Turkey detained 666 people so far for opposing Afrin operation: data”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-detained-666-people-far-opposing-afrin-operation-dat

2-“568 people detained over Gülen links in past week: gov’t”
https://turkeypurge.com/568-people-detained-gulen-links-past-week-govt

3-“UK-educated computer science professor, jailed for 13 months, dies of liver cancer”
https://turkeypurge.com/uk-educated-computer-science-professor-jailed-13-months-dies-liver-cancer

4-“Turkish court sentences wife of alleged coup plotter to 18 years in prison”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-court-sentences-wife-alleged-coup-plotter-18-years-prison

5-“Turkey now demands 10 years for pro-Kurdish HDP co-chairperson”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-now-demands-10-years-pro-kurdish-hdp-co-chairperson

6-“Turkey hands down prison sentences to 205 alleged coup plotters in Ankara: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-hands-prison-sentence-205-alleged-coup-plotters-ankara-report

7-“Teacher, 2 children dead, 5 others missing in attempt to escape Turkey’s post-coup crackdown”
https://turkeypurge.com/teacher-2-children-dead-while-4-others-missing-after-failed-attempt-to-escape-turkeys-post-coup-crackdown-to-greece

8-“Purge-victim architect detained for refusing to stand for Turkey’s national anthem: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/purge-victim-architect-detained-refusing-stand-turkeys-national-anthem-report

9-“Opposition deputy gets 5 years, 10 months in prison: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/opposition-deputy-gets-5-years-10-months-prison-report

10-“73-year old human rights advocate detained for opposing Turkey’s Afrin operation: son”
https://turkeypurge.com/73-year-old-human-rights-advocate-detained-opposing-turkeys-afrin-operation-son

11-“Turkish police raid pro-Kurdish publishing house in Diyarbakır: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-police-raid-pro-kurdish-publishing-house-diyarbakir-report

12-“24-year-old Boğaziçi University student arrested over Gülen links”
https://turkeypurge.com/24-year-old-bogazici-university-student-arrested-gulen-links

13-“7 executives from exporters’ union under custody for depositing money in Bank Asya”
https://turkeypurge.com/7-executives-exporters-union-custody-depositing-money-bank-asya

14-“[VIDEO] Warrants issued for 9 more Boydak family members: 6 detained”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-warrants-issued-9-boydak-family-members-6-detained

15-“Folk band Grup Yorum members in ‘wanted terrorists’ list”
https://turkeypurge.com/folk-band-grup-yorum-members-wanted-terrorists-list

16-“Turkey’s top appeal court says Bank Asya depositors ‘terrorist’”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-top-appeal-court-says-bank-asya-depositors-terrorist

17-“Education Ministry cancels licenses of 1,272 educators on terror charges: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/education-ministry-cancels-licenses-1272-educators-terror-charges-report

18-“8,480 Turkish nationals sought asylum in Germany in 2017: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/8480-turkish-nationals-sought-asylum-germany-2017-report

19-“Turkish judicial board suspends another 17 judges, prosecutors”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-judicial-board-suspends-another-17-judges-prosecutors

20-“Turkey’s judiciary must protect rule of law, says Europe diplomat”
https://www.ft.com/content/11793664-12ac-11e8-940e-08320fc2a277

21-“Turkey blocks access to Furkan news portal on terror charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-blocks-access-furkan-news-portal-terror-charges

22-“HDP deputy to be stripped of parliamentary status for insulting Erdoğan”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/16/hdp-deputy-to-be-stripped-of-parliamentary-status-for-insulting-erdogan/

23-“CoE’s Jagland criticizes Turkish gov’t over human rights violations”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/18/coes-jagland-criticizes-turkish-govt-over-human-rights-violations/

24-“Yücel: I was released with a ruling ordering me to stay in prison”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/17/yucel-i-was-released-with-a-ruling-ordering-me-to-stay-in-prison/

25-“OSCE, UN representatives: Life sentences for Turkish journalists an attack on freedom of expression”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/17/osce-un-representatives-life-sentences-for-turkish-journalists-an-attack-on-freedom-of-expression/

26-“6 journalists including Altan brothers given aggravated life sentences”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/16/6-journalists-including-altan-brothers-given-aggravated-life-sentences/

27-“Slain general’s widow sentenced to 18 years”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/12/slain-generals-widow-sentenced-to-18-years/

28-“US politician describes her visit to Turkish refugees in Greece”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/12/us-politician-describes-her-visit-to-turkish-refugees-in-greece/

29-“EP’s Harms to visit jailed Turkish teacher in Georgia for second time”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/14/eps-harms-to-visit-jailed-turkish-teacher-in-georgia-for-second-time/

30-“Zaman employee says facing life sentence due to a TV commercial”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/14/zaman-employee-says-facing-life-sentence-due-to-a-tv-commercial/

31-“Altans’ lawyer tells judges ignoring top court’s ruling could lead to expulsion from post”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/16/altans-lawyer-tells-judges-ignoring-top-courts-ruling-could-lead-to-expulsion-from-post/

32-“Journalist recounts flight from post-coup crackdown in Turkey”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/12/journalist-recounts-flight-from-post-coup-crackdown-in-turkey/

33-“Syrian Kurdish Groups Claim Turkish Army Hit Village In Afrin With Suspected Gas”
https://stockholmcf.org/syrian-kurdish-groups-claim-turkish-army-hit-village-in-afrin-with-suspected-gas/

34-” Turkish Court Rules For Continuation Of Former HDP Co-Chair Demirtaş’s Imprisonment”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-court-rules-for-continuation-of-former-hdp-co-chair-demirtass-imprisonment/ulen-links/

35-“Jailed Turkish Air Forces’ Colonel Reportedly Losses His Life In İstanbul’s Silivri Prison Because Of Negligence”
https://stockholmcf.org/jailed-turkish-air-forces-colonel-losses-his-life-in-prison-because-of-negligence/

36-“Int’l Press And Human Rights Bodies Slam Turkish Court’s Rule Of Aggravated Life Sentences For Prominent Journalists”
https://stockholmcf.org/intl-press-bodies-slam-turkish-courst-rule-of-aggravated-life-sentences-for-prominent-journalists/

37-“Turkish Family Still Missing After Capsized Boat Incident On Turkish-Greek Border”
https://stockholmcf.org/members-of-dogan-family-who-were-on-the-same-boat-capsized-as-crossing-river-on-turkish-greek-border-couldnt-be-reached/

38-“Turkey Witnesses Yet Another Family Tragedy Under Rule Of Emergency Over Alleged Links To Gülen Movement”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkey-witnesses-yet-another-family-tragedy-under-rule-of-emergency-over-alleged-links-to-gulen-movement/

39-“Murat Belge, A Renowned Turkish Academic, Leaving Turkey As ‘Scholar At Risk’”
https://stockholmcf.org/murat-belge-a-renowned-turkish-academic-leaving-turkey-as-scholar-at-risk/

40-“15-Year Prison Sentence Sought For Turkish Journalist Who Founded Two National News Channel”
https://stockholmcf.org/15-year-prison-sentence-sought-for-turkish-journalist-who-founded-two-national-news-channel/

41-“Famous Turkish Businessman Hosta Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison Over His Alleged Gülen Links”
https://stockholmcf.org/famous-turkish-businessman-hosta-sentenced-10-years-in-prison-over-his-alleged-gulen-links/

42-“UK high court refuses Turkey extradition due to overcrowded prisons”
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/feb/15/uk-high-court-refuses-turkey-extradition-due-to-overcrowded-prisons

43-“Human Rights Watch sees no end to Turkish crackdown”
https://ahvalnews.com/press-freedom/human-rights-watch-sees-no-end-turkish-crackdown

Türkiye tarafından işlenenen İnsan Hakları İhlalleri | 2/12/2018-2/19/2018

1-“Türkiye’den Almanya’ya iltica başvuruları arttı”
http://www.dw.com/tr/t%C3%BCrkiyeden-almanyaya-iltica-ba%C5%9Fvurular%C4%B1-artt%C4%B1/a-42617056?maca=tur-rss-tur-pol-ger-3312-xml-mrss

2-“Boydak Ailesine soykırım!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/boydak-ailesine-soykirim-h112433.html

3-“Avrupa’dan gazetecilere verilen müebbete tepki: Türkiye’yi ekonomik olarak cezalandırın!”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/avrupadan-gazetecilere-verilen-muebbete-tepki-turkiyeyi-ekonomik-olarak-cezalandirin-h112432.html

4-“Cem Özdemir: Türkiye’de hiçbir şey doğru yürümüyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/cem-ozdemir-turkiyede-hicbir-sey-dogru-yurumuyor-h112427.html

5-“İşadamı Hidayet Kadiroğlu’na Bankasya’ya para yatırdığı iddiasıyla yakalama kararı”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/isadami-hidayet-kadirogluna-bankasyaya-para-yatirdigi-iddiasiyla-yakalama-karari-h112423.html

6-“Beştepe Sarayı’na komşu işkence merkezi”
http://aktifhaber.com/analiz/bestepe-sarayina-komsu-iskence-merkezi-h112414.html

7-“‘Niye çıktım, bir sene önce neden tutuklandım, bilmiyorum’”
http://aktifhaber.com/medya/niye-ciktim-bir-sene-once-neden-tutuklandim-bilmiyorum-h112413.html

8-“‘Niye çıktım, bir sene önce neden tutuklandım, bilmiyorum’”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/cezaevinde-insalik-disi-muamele-tutuklunun-sirtinda-sandalye-kirdilar-h112286.html

9-“Foto Muhabiri Çağdaş Erdoğan: 4 polis tarafından çırılçıplak soyulup işkenceye uğradım!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/foto-muhabiri-cagdas-erdogan-4-polis-tarafindan-cirilciplak-soyulup-iskenceye-ugradim-h112231.html

10-“Cemaat üyesi olmakla suçlandı; hamileyken cezaevine girdi ve ikizlerini kaybetti”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/cemaat-uyesi-olmakla-suclandi-hamileyken-cezaevine-girdi-ve-ikizlerini-kaybetti-h112187.html

11-“Polis’in tutuklattığı Selma Polat’a 7 yıl 7 ay 7 gün hapis cezası”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/polisin-tutuklattigi-selma-polata-7-yil-7-ay-7-gun-hapis-cezasi-h112178.html

12-“Erdoğan rejiminin cezaevinde kanser ettiği genç akademisyen hayatını kaybetti”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/erdogan-rejiminin-cezaevinde-kanser-ettigi-genc-akademisyen-hayatini-kaybetti-h112130.html

13-“Semih Terzi’nin eşi ‘Sippenhaft’ uygulamasıyla hapis cezasına çarptırıldı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/semih-terzinin-esi-sippenhaft-uygulamasiyla-hapis-cezasina-carptirildi-h112121.html

14-“Afrin operasyonundan dolayı mahkuma dayak attılar”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/afrin-operasyonundan-dolayi-mahkuma-dayak-attilar-h112094.html

15-“Erdoğan Türkiye’sinde siyah transportların sırrı ne?”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/erdogan-turkiyesinde-siyah-transportlarin-sirri-ne-h112395.html

16-“3. havalimanı inşaatında çoğu iş cinayeti sümen altı ediliyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/3-havalimani-insaatinda-cogu-is-cinayeti-sumen-alti-ediliyor-h112342.html

17-“Roboskililer 320 haftadır adalet bekliyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/roboskililer-320-haftadir-adalet-bekliyor-h112332.html

18-“Aram Yayınevi’nin ofisine polis baskınında kapılar balyozla kırıldı”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/aram-yayinevinin-ofisine-polis-baskininda-kapilar-balyozla-kirildi-h112312.html

19-“Bandırma Cezaevi’nde işkence: Dövülen tutsaklar kan kusuyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/bandirma-cezaevinde-iskence-dovulen-tutsaklar-kan-kusuyor-h112339.html

20-“Hapishanelerde büyüyen çocuklar ABD medyasında geniş yer buldu”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/hapishanelerde-buyuyen-cocuklar-abd-medyasinda-genis-yer-buldu-h112303.html

21-“Tutuklular, gardiyanlardan gördüğü şiddetten dolayı yürüyemiyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/tutuklular-gardiyanlardan-gordugu-siddetten-dolayi-yuruyemiyor-h112274.html

22-“AYM bireysel başvuru istatistiklerini açıkladı: Yargı var adalet yok”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/aym-bireysel-basvuru-istatistiklerini-acikladi-yargi-var-adalet-yok-h112269.html

23-“‘Türkiye’de kalmaktansa, Atina’da aç kalmayı tercih ettik’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/turkiyede-kalmaktansa-yunanistanda-ac-kalmayi-tercih-ettik/

24-“Washington Post’tan Yazıcı’ya destek”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/yabanci-meslektaslarindan-fevzi-yaziciya-dayanisma-mesajlari/

25-“Engelli oğlunu öldürüp intihar eden kadın toprağa verildi”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/engelli-oglunu-oldurup-intihar-eden-kadin-topraga-verildi/

26-“‘Meriç’te can verenler Tayyip Erdoğan’ın kurbanları’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/mericte-can-verenler-tayyip-erdoganin-kurbanlari/

27-“Darbe davasında gazetecilere ağırlaştırılmış müebbet”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/darbe-davasinda-gazetecilere-agirlastirilmis-muebbet/

28-“Meclis’te bir ilk: Erdoğan’a hakaret suçlamasıyla vekilliği düşürülecek”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/mecliste-bir-ilk-erdogana-hakaret-suclamasiyla-vekilligi-dusurulecek/

29-“63 harp okulu öğrencisi için müebbet istemi”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/63-harp-okulu-ogrencisi-icin-muebbet-istemi/

30-“TOMA’nın ezerek öldürdüğü vatandaş kusurlu bulundu”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/tomanin-ezerek-oldurdugu-vatandas-kusurlu-bulundu/

31-“Engelli oğlunu öldürüp intihar eden kadın toprağa verildi”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/engelli-oglunu-oldurup-intihar-eden-kadin-topraga-verildi/

32-“Erdoğan’dan partisinin ‘KHK eleştirileri’ne: Hayat risktir”
http://www.diken.com.tr/erdogandan-partisinin-khk-elestirilerine-hayat-risktir/

33-“Beş yaşındaki çocuk üzerine 500 kiloluk reklam panosu düşünce öldü, sorumlu yok!”
http://www.diken.com.tr/bes-yasindaki-cocuk-uzerine-500-kiloluk-reklam-panosu-dusunce-oldu-sorumlu-ortada-yok/

34-“AP’de Türkiye’ye insan hakları ve Afrin eleştirisi”
http://www.dw.com/tr/apde-t%C3%BCrkiyeye-insan-haklar%C4%B1-ve-afrin-ele%C5%9Ftirisi/a-42474407

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Turkey sentences journalists to life in jail over coup attempt

Sentencing over alleged role in failed coup in 2016 condemned as devastating precedent that shows disregard for rule of law.

A Turkish court has sentenced six defendants, including three prominent journalists, to life in prison over allegations of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt, in the first conviction of journalists in trials related to the failed putsch.

The harsh verdict was swiftly condemned by press freedom advocates as a “devastating precedent” that shows “utter disregard for the rule of law” in Turkey.

It came after a months-long trial during which it was alleged that the journalists sent “subliminal messages” via TV appearances and newspaper columns urging the overthrow of the government, and that they maintained contact with members of the Fethullah Gülen network, a movement widely believed in Turkey to have orchestrated the coup attempt.

The verdict constitutes a major defeat for press freedom in the Nato member state, which has cracked down on dissent in the aftermath of the coup. At least 73 journalists remain behind bars, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which ranks Turkey the world’s worst jailer of journalists, ahead of China and Egypt.

The journalists sentenced on Friday were the brothers Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan, who have been detained since 2016, and Nazlı Ilıcak. The conviction defies an order by Turkey’s highest court to release Mehmet Altan, after it found last month that his imprisonment had violated his constitutional rights.

Sarah Clarke, the policy and advocacy manager for the writers’ association PEN International, tweeted her dismay at the sentences.

The International Press Institute said it was “appalled” by the verdict.

The sentencing came on the same day another Turkish court ordered the release of Deniz Yücel, a German-Turkish journalist who spent just over a year in pre-trial detention without an indictment, in a case that tested relations between Ankara and Berlin and highlighted the precarious state of press freedom in Turkey.

A criminal court in Istanbul decided to release Yücel pending a trial after prosecutors said they had completed their investigation into the journalist. The court accepted the indictment filed by prosecutors, who are seeking an 18-year prison sentence over allegations of spreading propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organisation.

The order to release him was confirmed by the state-run Anadolu Agency, the German foreign minister, and Yücel’s lawyer, Veysel Ok, who tweeted a photograph of Yücel embracing his wife after he was freed.

The Die Welt correspondent was detained on 14 February 2017 after going to an Istanbul police station for questioning. He got married in prison and spent months in solitary confinement at Silivri maximum security prison outside Istanbul. He spent 366 days in detention without formal charges.

Yücel’s detention came amid a deep rift in relations between Germany and Turkey. Berlin barred Turkish ministers from holding rallies in Germany with Turkish citizens ahead of a referendum on presidential powers, and condemned growing authoritarianism under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who in turn has condemned rising Islamophobia in Europe. Talks on Turkey’s future membership of the EU have been stalled for years.

Source:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/16/turkey-sentences-six-journalists-life-imprisonment-failed-coup

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At Least 3 Victims Drowned While Trying to Cross Meriç/Evros River

Victims of Erdogan’s regime are increasing every day, as there has not been an effective mechanism to prevent him. On February 13, Turkish media reported that Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Organization (AFAD) found the bodies of three, including two children, near the Border between Turkey and Greece.

Eight Turkish nationals, including three children, two women, and three men tried to get to Greece by crossing the Meriç/Evros river using a rubber boat. The rubber boat was capsized, and two children, estimated to be around 11 and 3, and their mother drowned. The names of the dead were identified as Ayşe Söyler Abdurrezzak, and her children Abdulkadir Enes Abdurrezzak (11) and Halil Munir Abdurrezzak (3). The rest of the people that were in the same boat are missing. Ayşe Söyler Abdurrezzak, a 37-year-old teacher, and her husband were dismissed from their job due to crackdowns after the failed coup attempt.

Doğan family was also accompanying the Abdurrezzak family. The members of the family, Fahreddin Doğan, his wife Asli Doğan and their 2.5-year-old son, Ibrahim Selim Doğan are still missing.

Thousands of Turkish families have migrated to Greece from Turkey in recent year. Most of these families are sympathizers of the Gulen Movement. The Turkish government accuses the movement of being behind the 2016 failed-coup attempt. The movement denies alleged involvement.

Since the alleged coup attempt, which President Erdogan defined as a blessing from God, Turkish democracy, and justice have continuously deteriorated every day. More than 150,000 people have been detained and nearly 60,000 people, including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, and people from different backgrounds have been put in pre-trial detention.

In November 2017, Hüseyin Maden, a 40-year-old teacher, who was also dismissed in the crackdown after the failed coup attempt, drowned along with his wife and three children while trying to reach Greek island of Lesvos.

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

Download statement as a PDF: AST_Statement-Abdurrezzak-Family

Download flyer on Abdurrezzak family as a PDF: AST_Flyer_Abdurrezzak family

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Hundreds of young Turkish children jailed alongside their moms as part of a post-coup crackdown

It was a snowy January morning in Istanbul last year when Ayse, a 32-year-old primary school teacher and mother of two, kissed the kids goodbye at school and headed home.

She didn’t make it to her front door before she was surrounded by seven policemen, accused of membership in a terrorist organization, handcuffed and taken away. Two months after being jailed, Ayse was joined behind bars by her youngest son, Ali, then just 4 years old.

For another four months, she said, their lives unfolded like a horror movie. Built to hold 10 people, Ayse said, her cell was packed with 23 detainees. She remembers babies unable to get vaccines, and burning themselves with hot tea. She remembers, too, the traumatic cries at night.

“Loud music blared through our ward every morning, every morning I would wake up scared with my son,” she told Fox News in a recent interview from a refugee camp in Greece. “The ward was a very dangerous place for children. Our bunks were iron. One baby there was learning to walk and hit his head badly, other children were screaming. It was an incredibly difficult time.”

The case of Ayse and Ali is hardly unique. Based on monitoring government decrees and other reports from official sources, by the end of August 2017, advocacy groups had highlighted some 668 cases of children under the age of 6 being held in jails with their mothers. And 23 percent of those youngsters were infants less than a year old.

Several thousand children ages 6-18 are also being held.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry provided a somewhat lower figure, stating that a total of 560 children under the age of 6 were being held in Turkish prisons along with their mothers.

Mothers and their children continue to be rounded up with tens of thousands of other Turks following the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The country has, since that attempt, been in a legal “state of emergency,” one that allows the government to jail anyone believed to have ties to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen and his Hizmet movement.

Whatever the number of prisoners, “prison is no place for children in any civilized country,” said Dr. Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, a British foreign policy think tank, He called the policy of jailing mothers and children without charge “a travesty of justice” that will have “lasting effects on the lives of innocent children.”

Other critics of Turkey’s policy noted that the imprisoned women and children were victims of guilt by association.

“What is striking about detained women since the failed coup is that some of them are simply wives or children of suspects, but not suspects themselves. This amounts to collective punishment,” said Merve Tahiroglu, a research analyst with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based nonpartisan institute focusing on national security.

Ugar Tok, director of the Belgium-based Platform for Peace and Justice (PPJ), a human rights monitoring group focused on Turkey, said it can take six to 10 months of detention before the women in jail can stand in court. In the meantime, “the government prevents detainees from accessing lawyers and files in order to defend themselves.”

According to the World Prison Brief, as of October of last year, women comprised 4.4 percent of Turkey’s prison population. The official number of females behind bars is just under 10,000, but Tok estimates the numbers could be as high as 17,000.

Kam, a 34-year-old university teacher in İzmir Province at the time of her arrest in October 2016, said she was held for two months for investing – as thousands of other Turks have – in the Gulen-affiliated Bank Asya. She was kept in a cell with her 7-month-old son and two other babies, where they were prohibited from crawling on the floor. Toys were also prohibited, she said, and at times they could not access clean water.

“We were all treated like terrorists, we were isolated,” Kam told Fox News from Germany, where she and her family are now refugees. “We were all humiliated. … I don’t know what was worse, to have my baby in the prison or to have my other son, who was 11, outside the prison. When I saw him, he was changing.”

Case summaries and photographs viewed by Fox News, provided by international human rights investigators and lawyers, bring the grim statistics to life. They showed babies still on jail floors, with no play areas or facilities; women with chunks of hair ripped from their scalp in alleged prison mistreatment; and dozens of infants smiling before being whisked away to detention, where many are believed to remain.

Nurhayat Yildiz, 27, a housewife expecting twins, was arrested on Aug. 29, 2016, after boarding a bus from the northern Turkish province of Sinop, headed for her 14-week checkup. Nurhayat was detained and charged with Hizmet membership – because she allegedly had a popular encrypted messaging app, ByLock, on her phone. The Turkish government believes members involved in the coup attempt communicated through ByLock, and despite the app being commercially available to anyone, the government has systematically rounded up thousands of those who have it.

Yildiz’s supporters say she didn’t even have the app on her phone. In any case, at 19 weeks, on Oct. 6 that year, the first time mom-to-be suffered a devastating miscarriage behind bars.

“Nurhayat lost her dreams,” a prominent Turkish legal activist with Washington-based Advocates for Silenced Turkey (AST), who recently fled to California and requested anonymity for the safety of her relatives in Turkey, told Fox News. “And now she is suffering immense psychological problems, she barely talks. Her twins never got to live.”

Then there are stories like that of Filiz Yavuz, who was suddenly arrested – taken in a wheelchair – just eight hours after giving birth at a maternity hospital in the southeastern province of Mersin on Feb. 7, 2017.

“The police came for me at 3 in the morning. They said I was a terrorist because someone in my dormitory room from 2008 gave them my name,” Nur, 27, a human rights lawyer who was once a student at the Ankara University Faculty of Law, recalled of that frightful morning on Jan. 18, 2017. That’s when she was whisked from her home in the city of Eskisehir to a dark detention cell.

Nur considers herself one of the lucky ones. She was released by a judge after five days due to her severe asthma and a heart condition. She quickly boarded a smugglers’ boat. Today, Nur – from the safety of the United States – is trying to draw attention to the plight of other detained moms, their children and other of pregnant women who she says have suffered miscarriages amid the psychological ordeal of arrest and captivity.

Turkey’s Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Turkish officials have consistently defended the widespread arrest and detention of thousands of Turkish citizens, including women and children, as vital to national security. They also insist that the detainees are being held in compliance with international law.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which monitors the health and well-being of detainees in crisis spots around the world, confirmed it is not currently present in Turkey, and thus cannot monitor the situation.

But that situation remains a cause of concern for many human rights groups, which routinely spotlight the seemingly arbitrary detainment of Turkish citizens.

“ Following the coup attempt in July 2016, tens of thousands of people have been detained. The vast majority are not accused of participating in the events of the coup and in many cases that Amnesty International has examined there is no credible evidence of criminal acts,” a spokesperson for that group told Fox News.

Source:
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/13/hundreds-young-turkish-children-jailed-alongside-their-moms-as-part-post-coup-crackdown.html

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At Least 3 Victims Of Erdoğan’s Persecution Targeting Gülen Movement Drowned As Trying To Cross River Between Turkey And Greece

At least three victims of the massive post-coup persecution of Turkish government, led by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, have reportedly drowned on Tuesday morning as they were trying to cross the Meriç/Evros river between Turkey and Greece.

Eight Turkish citizens, including 3 children, 2 women and 3 man, have been missed after their rubber boat capsized in Meriç/Evros river on the border between Turkey and Greece on Tuesday. The bodies of the two drowned brothers, estimated to be aged around 11 and 3, and their mother were discovered.

The names of the victims are 37-year-old Ayşe (Söyler) Abdurrezzak from Havran district of Balıkesir province, her sons 3-year-old Halil Münir Abdurrezzak, who was born in Maltepe district of İstanbul and 11-year-old Abdul Kadir Enes Abdurrezzak.

It was learned that contact with the 8 people has been lost at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning as they were trying to fled from Turkey to Greece via Meriç/Evros river. Uğur Abdurrezzak, the bodies of his wife and his children were found, is still missing.

Ayşe Söyler Abdurrezzak, who was graduated from Turkish Language Department of İstanbul’s Marmara University in 2005 and used to work as a teacher. She and her teacher husband were dismissed by a government decree under the rule of emergency as they were working at a school in Kartepe district of Kocaeli province in the wake of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

It was also learned that Doğan Family was accompanying the Abdurrezzak Family on the rubber boat as they were crossing the Meriç/Evros river and the members of the family, Fahreddin Doğan, his wife Aslı Doğan and the couple’s 2,5-year-old son İbrahim Selim Doğan are still missing.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency (AA) has reported previously that the emergency services are searching for up to 10 migrants reported missing after a boat capsized in a river that flows along the Turkish-Greek border. According to the report, the emergency services were alerted on Tuesday by border guards who heard cries for help from the river, known as Meriç in Turkish and Evros in Greek.

The report said between eight and 10 migrants, including women and children, were trying to cross into Greece aboard the rubber boat, which was found punctured.

Thousands of refugees and migrants enter Greece every year from Turkey on their way to Europe. Most choose the sea crossing in flimsy smuggling boats to the eastern Aegean islands. However, Evros has also been used for passage from Turkey to Greece.

In recent years, beside of refugees from other countries using Turkey as a transit route, some Turkish citizens who had to fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against sympathizers of the Gülen movement in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, have also used the same route. Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government canceled their passports like thousands of others.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Source:
https://stockholmcf.org/two-child-migrants-die-others-reported-missing-during-river-crossing-between-turkey-and-greece/

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