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Turkey rule of law

Turkish government’s ‘Global Purge’ targeted opponents in at least 46 countries

Turkish government has pursued an aggressive policy to silence its perceived enemies in at least 46 countries across four continents, as part of its post-coup crackdown, a Foreign Affairs article noted Monday. The Turkish government has been hunting its opponents abroad, particularly the supporters of the Gulen movement since before and after the failed putsch on July 15, 2016, the article said adding that government’s alleged enemies were targeted at least in 46 countries.

Elaborating on the purge abroad, the magazine said: “Ankara has revoked thousands of passports, and achieved the arrest, deportation, or rendition of hundreds of Turkish citizens from at least 16 countries, including many who were under UN protection as asylum seekers. It has successfully pressured at least 20 countries to close or transfer to new owners dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Gulen movement schools.”

Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding the 2016 failed coup while the latter denies involvement. More than 150,000 has passed through police custody while over a one-third of those were remanded in prison over Gulen links in Turkey. More than 3,000 schools, dormitories, and universities were shuttered while over 1,000 companies were seized at home.

While the article presents an in-depth insight into the chronological relations between the movement and Turkey’s governments in the recent history, it says the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government labeled the group as a terrorist organization before waging an all-out war against it.

Deportations

“Since the failed coup attempt, Turkey has exerted diplomatic pressure on various governments to arrest or deport hundreds of individuals from around the world. By my count, 15 countries have arrested or deported various representatives of the movement, ranging from supposed financiers to schoolteachers. Those countries include Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkmenistan. …In at least three cases—Kazakhstan, Myanmar, and Sudan—individuals appear to have been turned over to Turkey without judicial proceedings, perhaps through the operation of a special National Intelligence Organization unit that Turkey’s state news agency says was established to track down “high-value” Gulenists. There have also been multiple cases in which those deported were apparently seeking asylum and thus had protected status at the time they were sent to Turkey: news reports say this was the case in Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Malaysia, and Pakistan. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov admitted that the August 2016 deportation of a software engineer who had applied for asylum before the coup attempt was “on the edge of the law.” In other cases, like in Angola, Pakistan, and Qatar, there were mass deportations following the closure of Gulen schools.”

Also, pro-government commentators, such as Cem Kucuk, have talked casually about how MIT should kill members of the Gulen movement abroad, the magazine reported.

Closure of schools abroad

“The movement’s schools are under extreme pressure in the global purge,” the article highlighted before detailing the pressure on Gulenists’ overseas facilities: “Since its falling-out with the Gulenist movement in 2013, the government has been pressing other countries to shutter the schools. The Gambia closed its Gulen schools in April 2014. Turkey’s close ally Azerbaijan followed soon thereafter and Tajikistan shut down its Gulen schools in 2015. But elsewhere in the world, these schools largely remained open until the coup attempt of July 2016, after which Turkey increased the pressure. The results were quick. Schools were almost immediately closed in Jordan, Libya, and Somalia. Angola, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Morocco, and Tanzania followed suit in early 2017. Before the year was out, Afghanistan, Chad, Georgia, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, and Tunisia had all closed or transferred schools.

Pressure extends beyond Gulenists

Not only the supporters of the movement have been targeted, the article said, adding that all alleged government enemies within and outside Turkey were affected.

“In fact, 31 percent of all those arrested in government operations under the state of emergency, which has been in place since October 2016, were associated with Kurdish or leftist groups, according to official figures compiled by iHop, a Turkish human rights monitoring group. Nearly 400 academics who signed a petition before the coup attempt calling for peace between the state and the PKK in January 2016 have also been fired, and some have left Turkey or remained abroad. Others who have been convicted or charged while outside the country now fear traveling because of the threat of detention due to Interpol notices.”

“The global purge has also touched Interpol. In December, the AP reported that Interpol representatives were examining up to 40,000 extradition requests, some perhaps from Turkey, for possible political abuse. The report came after a number of high-profile cases involving Turks abroad, including Dogan Akhanli, a left-wing writer with dual German and Turkish citizenship who was arrested and forced to remain in Spain for two months while Spanish authorities assessed Turkey’s extradition request.”

Sources:
https://turkeypurge.com/report-turkish-governments-global-purge-targeted-opponents-least-46-countries
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/turkey/2018-01-29/remarkable-scale-turkeys-global-purge?cid=int-fls&pgtype=hpg

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Turkish Police Torture Two University Personnel For Weeks In Antalya Over Their Alleged Links To Gülen Movement

Sedat Gökçen and Ahmet Gödük, two former personnel of the International Antalya University, which was closed by a government decree under the rule of emergency over its alleged affiliation with the Gülen movement, have reportedly been subject to heavy torture and maltreatments for weeks under the police custody in Turkey’s Antalya province.

According to information shared by a @Turkeydeiskence, a Twitter account focuses on the torture and maltreatment cases in Turkey under the rule of emergency, because of the severe torture in Antalya Police Department Ahmet Gödük has become unable to walk. The @Turkeydeiskence has reported that Gökçen and Gödük have been subjected to physical torture, maltreatments and psychological pressure to oblige them to make “confessions.”

It was reported that Gökçen and Gödük were detained on January 16, 2018 at Antalya Terra City Shopping Mall by a group of civil police officers. Police officers applied physical violence to Gökçen and Gödük even during the process of their detentions. Because of the violence applied to him, herniated disc problem of Gökçen has reemerged and he has experienced a severe loss in his hearing capability and he lost his balance. He has bruises and swelling in different parts of his body.

Ahmed Gödük, who has also herniated disc problem, has started to experience serious problem as he walks because of the heavy violence he has been a target.

It was also reported that the police have prevented Gökçen and Gödük from getting doctor reports in order to prevent the exposure of torture and maltreatments they applied. Therefore, the custody periods of Gökçen and Gödük were arbitrarily extended to 15 days so that the traces of torture that they had imposed on them to vanish.

Also during this long detention period, Gökçen and Gödük were subjected to maltreatments including threats, insults, starvation, deprivation of bathing, interfering with their worship. At the end of the detention period with torture and maltreatments, Gökçen and Gödük were arrested by a local court and sent to Döşemealtı Prison in Antalya.

Source:
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-police-torture-two-university-personnel-for-weeks-in-antalya-over-their-alleged-links-to-gulen-movement/

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Turkey rated among worst in world in WJP 2017-18 Rule of Law Index

Turkey has fallen to 101st place out of 113 countries in the World Justice Project’s 2017-18 Rule of Law Index, a comprehensive measure of adherence to the rule of law.

The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, US-based organization that aims to advance the rule of law around the world. Its Rule of Law Index is the most comprehensive dataset of its kind and the only to rely principally on primary data, measuring 113 countries’ adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of ordinary people and their experiences.

There has been widespread concern that fundamental rights and freedoms and the rule of law in Turkey have significantly eroded since a state of emergency was declared after a failed coup attempt in July 2016, as reflected in Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World 2018,” which downgraded Turkey’s status to “not free.”

Turkey slipped two places on the WJP list this year to 101st, below Myanmar, Nicaragua, Madagascar and Nigeria. Turkey was nine places above Egypt and just 12 higher than bottom-placed Venezuela.

The WJP’s report placed Turkey’s rule of law as the worst in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the second worst of upper-middle-income countries, above only Venezuela.

The WJP decides on their ranking by each country’s performance across eight aggregated factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.

Turkey was ranked in the bottom tercile in six of these eight areas. The two areas in which it achieved an average grade were absence of corruption and criminal justice.

Turkey’s constraints on government powers were marked particularly poorly by the WJP, coming in 111th place, ahead of only Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

Turkey’s record on fundamental rights, too, was near the bottom of the list, in 107th position, one place above China and one below Bangladesh. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression achieved particularly dismal results in this category.

Source:
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/02/01/turkey-rated-among-worst-in-world-in-wjp-2017-18-rule-of-law-index/

Read report:
https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/WJP_ROLI_2017-18_Online-Edition.pdf

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