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Democracy & Good Governance

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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70 Thousand Students Arrested in Turkey

The big arrest waves of students started with the Gezi protests in 2013, following with the 17-25 corruption scandals in 2013 and has now reached its peak with the July 15th failed coup attempt. Police and gendarmerie are strictly controlling young people. Students who use the right of objection and protest are immediately taken to and later arrested by the magistrates’ courts.

According to the Ministry of Justice’s response to the motion made by CHP MP Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, 69 thousand 301 students remain arrested since September 2017. Most of these arrests are arbitrary and does not have any substantial support. For instance, some students at the Adnan Menderes University were arrested for performing traditional Kurdish dances. Students arrested with decree-laws are taken away their right to study, read books and take exams.

Sources:
http://aktifhaber.com/egitim/turkiyede-70-bin-tutuklu-ogrenci-var-h111058.html
http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/egitim/856384/70_bin_ogrenci_hapiste.html

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Turkey: Media, Activists, Political Opposition Targeted

Turkey increased restrictions on the media, political opposition, and human rights defenders during 2017, on the back of a very narrow referendum, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. Turkey also introduced a presidential system with insufficient democratic checks and balances against the president’s abuse of power. “Everywhere you look, checks and balances that protect human rights and rule of law in Turkey are being eroded” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. Under the state of emergency, the government has failed to provide redress for the over 100,000 civil servants dismissed, as well as hundreds of media outlets, associations, and other institutions closed down.

Source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/18/turkey-media-activists-political-opposition-targeted

Report: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/turkey

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Watch of Shame at Delivery Room Entrance for Ayşe Ateş, A Mother Who Just Gave Birth

Ayşe Ateş, an accountant dismissed from her job due to the statutory decrees in Turkey, gave birth today. Despite the doctor’s advice, the prosecutor denied Ayşe Ateş’s mother to stay with her. Soldiers waited for Ayşe Ateş outside the delivery room entrance. After the delivery, Ayşe Ateş and her one-day-old baby were brought back to the prison. CHP Deputy and human rights activist lawyer Sezgin Tanrıkulu said, “History has not seen such unscrupulousness”.

Source: http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/boyle-vicdansizligi-tarih-yazmadi-1-gunluk-bebegiyle-tekrar-cezaevinde-h110813.html

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Ergun Babahan wrote about risk of torture for police chiefs

Yakub Saygılı and his coworkers, who carried out the December 17 corruption investigation, were taken into custody in the Silivri Prison where they were detained and taken to Istanbul Security Directorate on Vatan Caddesi. Many social media users have raised concern of risk of torture for Saygılı and his coworkers in the Vatan police station. Journalist-writer Ergun Babahan also wrote in regards to allegations of torture.

Names close to the Hizmet Movement launched an anti-torture campaign on Twitter. Yakup Saygılı, Yasin Topçu, and Kazım Aksoy, who were brought to the Police Department from the prison due to the ongoing Reza Zarrab case in America, can be subject to heavy torture. Babahan noted that members of the Hizmet Movement, minority and opposition groups are extremely polarized and demonized. Babahan indicated that “No one takes care of these people”. He concluded by saying “Torture is a crime against humanity. Everyone needs to stand up for the mistreated people and condemn torture”.

Source: http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ergun-babahan-polis-seflerine-yapilan-iskenceyi-yazdi-h110659.html

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Honorary President of Court of Cassation of Turkey, Sami Selçuk: Last Nail in the Coffin

Honory president of Court of Cassation of Turkey wrote on his latest piece for Cumhuriyet that the recent jurisdiction has made the reason for the existence of justice debatable. Sami Selçuk indicated that he is not optimistic, but wishes the legislative branch to prevent the judicial system from falling apart. Selçuk also stated “We have not experienced such significant interference with the judicial system for at least fifty years. It is a pity and very painful. As a former judge, these days are very lamenting and disgraceful.” He concluded by noting “those who hear and evaluate the cries of help are not doing anything…this can therefore only be solved by the parliament. We will see the resistance of the opposition, but I am not optimistic”.

Source: https://www.evrensel.net/haber/283205/yargitay-onursal-baskani-sami-selcuk-tabuta-son-civi

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Jailed father allowed to attend son’s funeral only with handcuffs

Jailed father of Berk Görmez, a 14-year-old boy who died of intestinal cancer last week, could attend his son’s funeral only with his hands cuffed during the ceremony. 14-year-old Berk Görmez qualified for a 97 percent disability rating and had 80 percent hearing loss as well as several other severe health problems. It was reported that he experienced two operations on his intestinal knot last year. He has lost a kidney and his health situation did not improve since then. His mother Fatma filed, to no avail, several requests for Bekir’s release so that he could boost their son’s morale during Berk’s time at the hospital.

Both Fatma and Bekir were fired from their jobs with a post-coup emergency decree which was issued by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a coup attempt in June 2016. Bekir Görmez used to work for Konya-based Mevlana University. Meanwhile, Fatma, a dismissed primary school teacher, has not been able to do her job as a teacher for the past four years as she also suffers from kidney insufficiency. Bekir Görmez is still behind bars over his links to the Gülen group, which the government accuses of masterminding the failed coup attempt. The group denies involvement in the failed takeover.

Source: https://turkeypurge.com/jailed-father-allowed-attend-sons-funeral-handcuffs

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Erdogan’s long shadow reaches Gülen’s schools in Afghanistan

On 12 December, four teachers from Afghan-Turk girls’ high schools disappeared in Kabul. Initially, the school (and even the Afghan interior ministry) had no information on the fate of these teachers. It was later revealed that the Afghan National Security Forces had detained and later released them. The attorney general’s office has not yet cited the reasons behind the detention. The intelligence agency’s decision to release the teachers of the Hizmet educational institution in Afghanistan was a result of strong social media reactions and vehement public opposition against the unlawful detection. Fazal Ahmad Manawi, a member of the school’s parents’ committee maintains that the government wants to hand over the teachers to Turkey’s President who is an archrival of the Turkish scholar, Fethullah Gülen, the founder of Hizmet’s educational, cross-cultural and multi-faith institutions across the world. There are many more detained Turkish teachers and scholars in Afghan jails who are yet to be released.

Remarkably, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education is supposedly gratified with the activities of these schools and has previously stated that their fate depended on the decision of the Afghan President.

Source: http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/12278-erdogan-s-long-shadow-reaches-g-len-s-schools-afghanistan

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