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ELDERLY SICK INMATE WITH CORONAVIRUS WAS PUT IN A CELL IN TURKEY’S PRISON

The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in Turkey’s prisons. As Advocates of Silenced Turkey, we spoke to the relatives of Namık Bingöl, a 57-year-old diabetic with high blood pressure inmate in the Gaziantep H-type closed prison after his COVID-19 test results turned out to be positive.

Close family members of Bingöl, incarcerated in Gaziantep Prison for about 4 years, claim that the prison administration did not provide them with accurate information about his status.

‘‘Today (September 10th), I went to see my father. While we were entering the prison, everyone who got there before us was upset saying that the inmates were sick. My father came when we arrived, he was barely standing. Her eyes were red, he was constantly sweating and coughing; his voice was hoarse” stated Bingöl’s daughter.

The family learned that Namık Bingöl’s coronavirus test was positive by chance. After returning home from prison, they received a phone call but they were not sure where the call was from, but they thought of it to be from the Ministry of Health. Bingöl’s daughter told AST that they wanted to talk to him and asked if he had contacted us. When she asked why they were asking these questions she was told that Bingol was tested for the COVID virus and the result was positive. They eventually gave the contact number of the jail.

Later on, the family learned that Namık Bingöl did not want to tell his family about the test in order not to upset them during the visit. However, he then stated that he had a test a few days ago and was waiting for the result. He also added that it was only him in the ward who was tested.

Following this situation, the family tried to reach the prison administration but could not get a satisfying response. They then contacted their lawyers when a guard told them “We don’t have time to deal with you, please hang up”. The relatives, who later managed to meet with the prison administration, learned that Namık Bingöl was taken into a single room.

The family believes that such a patient who has difficulty even with standing alone cannot meet their personal needs himself. They claim that 5 wards in the same prison are under the effect of virus spread and the life risk is rapidly increasing.

Another daughter of Namik Bingol shared a video on Twitter to call on the authorities for his conditional release.

You can access the video from this link.

Online Image of the document from the health department shows that imprisoned Namik Bingol’s Covid-19 test was positive.

Those who want to send us additional information on this subject can contact AST via help@silencedturkey.org.

NUR DOĞAN
Ladyjourno@gmail.com

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ERDOGAN’S LONG ARMS: ABDUCTIONS IN TURKEY AND ABROAD

 

The Origins of the Problem

Turkey’s struggle to draw the country more in line with the pillars of the European Union faced a long and accelerating slide. The country’s Freedom in the World score has been in free fall since 2014 due to an escalating series of assaults on the press, social media users, protesters, political parties, the judiciary, and the electoral system, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fought to impose personalized control over the state and society in a deteriorating domestic and regional security environment.

Turkey’s drift into the grip of authoritarianism began before the failed 2016 coup. The government’s heavy-handed response to nationwide Gezi Park protests in 2013, the start of a purge against members Gülen community after the corruption investigation in December 2013 paved the way for the emergence of an illiberal government. Many observers and experts pinpoint this year, 2013, as the major turning point for Turkey’s drift away from liberal democracy. The steady descent into an autocratic system leads to the full breakdown of the rule of law, judicial independence, and corrosion of the integrity of Turkey’s bureaucratic institutions following the sweeping purge after the failed coup attempt in 2016.

The signs of the conflict first came to surface after Erdoğan made clear his intentions to establish a more authoritarian rule with the powers vested by the 2011 referendum. The battle lines were drawn after the infamous graft operations of 17 and 25 December, in 2013, where prosecutors rounded up some politicians and businessmen who were under surveillance in a longitudinal investigation. Erdoğan said the corruption files were nothing but a sham, perpetrated by the Gülen movement as a soft coup in line with the interests of the foreign powers, which were envious of the Turkish rise as a global power.

Hizmet had long been hailed as the soft power for the country with its huge focus on education and humanitarian aid activities as well as interfaith dialogue efforts. “Gülen schools portrayed Turkey as a mystical but adaptable and open-minded country, and became a place for building intimate connections with elites and their children in dozens of countries.” Erdoğan used the movement’s international prevalence as a proof for his claim that it became the tool for the foreign powers.

When President Goes to War

Erdoğan has vowed on many occasions to uproot the Gülen Movement wherever it is. He did everything in his capacity, banking on the state power, and striking new partnerships with his old enemies against the Hizmet, which Erdoğan started calling the Parallel Structure. Erdoğan declared a “witch-hunt” against the movement, purging Gülen’s followers from public services, crippling its media power, erecting red-tape obstacles, cowing its institutions and companies with interminable inspections, etc. Finally, on July 15, 2016, a coup attempt, which Erdoğan declared Hizmet as the main perpetrator and used this argument to justify his undemocratic measures.

Erdoğan said: “Neither in the East nor in the West is a single member of this organization comfortable as before, nor will they be. If not today, then tomorrow, one day every member of the FETO traitors’ front will pay for his treason against the country and the nation.2 ” FETÖ, the abbreviation for the Fetullahist Terror Organization, was chosen by him to demonize the movement.

A Cultural Genocide

Erdoğan was not simply flapping his jaws. He has already been doing everything to make life unbearable for the Gülen followers inside the country. The coup attempt, which the Hizmet never claimed involvement in and renounced from the first moment, gave him an unquestionable and unchallenged excuse to completely disregard the current laws, as well as some international laws like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, under a state of emergency. What ensued was a witch hunt at an unprecedented frantic intensity.

According to the research conducted by the AST as of February 2020, investigations have been carried out on more than 610,000 people. The number of people arrested as a result of these investigations has already gone above 160,000 and counting. Currently, about 63,000 political prisoners are behind bars in the Turkish prisons. A total of 780 children are inside these overcrowded prisons, where their mothers endure agonizing troubles to raise them. 6,021 academics were expelled from their universities; whereas 15 private universities, which had affiliations with the Hizmet were shut down. 3,003 schools and dormitories were closed, millions of books were burned. Roughly 200 media outlets were seized and were either converted to pro-government mouthpieces or muzzled completely. 161 journalists were imprisoned. 4,463 judges or prosecutors were dismissed from public service and some were incarcerated. Tens of thousands of polices officers were axed. The licenses of 1,539 attorneys are currently under trial and 580 of them are in jail. 11 people died under arrest or during interrogation. 93 prisoners were killed due to torture and ill-treatment.

Globalizing the Theatre of War

Erdoğan also attempted to convince countries through carrot and stick policies or more diplomatic means to join his personal fight and do the same to the Hizmet members within their borders without heeding too much about what the rule of law by its very own nature requires. Various governments didn’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon and yielded to the diplomatic pressure from Erdoğan to arrest and deport members of the Gülen Movement active in their countries. Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkmenistan are some of these countries. In some countries, like Myanmar, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, and Sudan, the countries didn’t even follow their own laws while carrying out the deportations. In some countries, the local intelligence agencies cooperated to seize Gülen followers, while in some others, Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) didn’t even need to ask for permission to stage an operation.

In Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Malaysia, and Pakistan, the domestic authorities blatantly violated international laws by deliberately deporting or letting Turkish intel agents kidnap Erdoğan’s opponents, who had applied for asylum or had UN protection against persecution.

Vicious Methods Inside the Country and Abroad

Although ascertaining the exact number is not easy, an estimated total of 130 people (refer to AST’s research) were abducted inside and outside Turkey through nefarious methods, brushing away even the most basic rights to fair trial and defense. Some of these people whisked away abroad by clandestine operations, were under the protection of the United Nations. They were subjected to heavy tortures, made to sign fake testimonies, turned into the living dead, and even murdered. Ankara was even accused of exploiting the Interpol system by submitting extradition requests for over 40,0003 individuals with arbitrary terror charges, revoking passports of the dissidents who struggle to survive as expats, issuing arrest warrants on fake accusations, etc. MİT organized covert operations to abduct and bring to Turkey mostly people with alleged ties with the Gülen movement, sometimes in collaboration with the relevant authorities of the country and in some other cases without even bothering to inform them.

Inside the country, certain figures were abducted in broad daylight. 29 people (refer to AST’s research) were registered as victims of enforced disappearance. A majority of these people were released, while some are feared to have been killed since no news has been heard from them for years now. Some of the survivors found the courage to tell the gory details of the torture they had been subjected to. Almost all of the people who were turned over to the police and were arrested show signs of heavy physical and psychological damage.

The Scope of the Report

The report consists of three parts. The introductory part will first offer a consolidated approach towards the nature of the war Turkish State has initiated against the Gülen movement, with an emphasis on Erdoğan’s passion for vengeance which has exacerbated the conditions for the Gülen followers. A thorough discussion over the abductions and enforced disappearances within the framework of international law will also be presented in the first part.

The second part will shed light on how the Erdoğan administration extended its operations against the Gülen movement followers all around the world by stipulating and examining all known cases around the world. The third part will deal with the enforced abductions in Turkey, also called the Black Transporter cases.

Part 1- Introduction

It is no secret that Turkey’s authoritarian political Islamist regime, headed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ruler Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has long been suppressing opposition in the country. Hand in glove with the shady elements of the country’s former powerhouses, its fight against any kind of political dissent has been carried out through harsh measures that have often invoked the dark memories of the witch hunts of the Middle Ages.

As revealed in a myriad of incidents, the actions engaged by the Turkish state to squelch and muzzle the critics include a list of the most baleful forms of crimes against humanity. Hate crimes such as defamation and libel gush out in torrents every day from a colossal propaganda machine against any segment of the society that dares to position itself opposite the government. Once shunned as a despicable act even for the nation’s intelligence agency, profiling has become a daily routine of not only state institutions, but also some non-governmental organizations. The profiling files are published in national media outlets as if it is a most ordinary thing. Open or covert threats, physical attacks, and torture in the name of the state and for the “holy” purpose of saving the dignity of Erdoğan’s position are no longer counted as crimes. Nor is this all: those who use force towards this aim are revered and rewarded.

Among all these sinister crimes, this report will attempt to throw light upon one of the most contemptible, one that the state has been relentlessly committing recently under orders of Erdoğan: forced disappearances, abductions, and quid pro quo renditions of the dissidents in Turkey and abroad. It will also attempt to show how the autocratic regime has been employing state institutions as well as what appear to be non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as visible actors in the process of its persecutions.

Besides the fact that the magnitude of such efforts to silence, persecute the dissenting voices has not abated within the borders; the Turkish state has also escalated its cross-border operations against the dissenters. These unbridled and often reckless actions have caused in many cases problems in relationships with other governments since such engagements are a clear violation of international treaties. Such actions are considered a direct interference in other countries’ domestic affairs, as well as an unconcealed denial of their national sovereignty.

It goes without saying that these clandestine operations also pose a crime against humanity, and, as evident in the UN practices in similar cases, may become subject to international tribunal proceedings. Unfortunately, in this sense, Turkey has descended to become a part of the club of countries which hardly respect the foreign jurisdictions while conspiring against persons or communities they deem the enemy. North Korea stands out as a notorious example, as it uses enforced disappearances, abductions, renditions, and assassinations of political opponents as an ordinary practice to eradicate the figures it finds “inconvenient” for its stability. How unfortunate it is to see the public indifference in Turkey as Erdoğan steers the country, which had once been a regional model for its seemingly successful combination of Islam and democracy, towards the path of the most oppressive regimes of the world, with such despicable and inhumane actions of enforced disappearances, torture and murder.

An enforced or involuntary disappearance is a direct assault on human rights, which cannot be legitimized on any grounds in terms of international law. Neither can it be conceivably acceptable in terms of humanity and conscience. The Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance provides a satisfactory definition for this crime. Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992 as a body of principles for all States, the declaration defines an enforced disappearance as incidents in which “persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law”.4 How can one justify such a vicious act?

What is even worse is that the Turkish authorities have only rarely repudiated extreme and illegal measures to silence the opposition. On the contrary, the top government officials have boasted of them to win the favor of the masses for domestic political gains. Even bureaucrats from security and intelligence units have embraced such practices. The Turkish media, which has almost completely become a subservient tool of the government and a loyal amplifier to propagate Erdoğan’s messages to the masses, is brimming with success stories of how people are beaten and snatched in front of their children and wife or with “delightful” details of how these “bad guys” were whisked away from a foreign country — with or without the cooperation of the officials of that country — as if they were not talking about the devastation of real lives, but rather narrating fictional spy thrillers.

This report aims to put a particular focus on these devastated lives: to examine abductions and enforced disappearances by the Turkish state inside and outside its borders. It tries to include as many cases as possible by resorting to open resources, as well as by trying to get access to the personal accounts of those who survived.

Background

The Erdoğan’s regime has traditionally made the capital of such shady methods to attack its enemies and the groups it sees detrimental to its core establishment. The Kurdish opposition, for instance, has long been a usual target for surreptitious assaults and assassinations. Likewise, leftist groups, communists, and Alevites have also been subjected to similar underhanded actions. During its fight to exterminate the Kurdish separatist insurgency, thousands of victims were vanished, especially in eastern and southeastern Anatolia. Even today, two decades after their disappearance, the mothers of abducted and most likely killed children meet every Saturday in İstanbul to ask for at least a graveyard for their children. In recent years, however, the main victims of the extrajudicial practices have been the members of the Gülen movement or Hizmet.

Gülen movement’s supporters mostly agreed with AKP’s policies that strengthened the country’s democratic institutions while forcing the anti-democratic elements of the established state to retreat. However, as Erdoğan became increasingly more enthusiastic to fill the void left behind by the defeated ancient régime with his own dictatorial desires, the relations between the two groups deteriorated. Erdoğan accused Hizmet of perpetrating a plot to topple his government in December 2013 with two graft operations that implicated some businessmen close to him as well as a few members of his government and started a massive campaign against the movement.

Here, a paragraph must be inserted to briefly recall the dramatic overturn of the relations between the AKP and Hizmet, which also marks the time when the country started severing its already flimsy connections with the rule of law. When Erdoğan’s network of shady relations was laid bare by the corruption operations, the politician promptly declared that his government was under attack by the global powerhouses which didn’t want Turkey’s rise again as a regional actor and that these secret organizations assigned Hizmet to finish off his party, the only hope for the revival of the old magnificence of the country. His declaration paved the way to justify his undemocratic measures and dark propaganda against members of the movement. In just a couple of days, he changed his rhetoric utterly from praising how aloof a movement of sincerity and devotion the Hizmet is, to how fiendish a demon it actually is and that it is responsible for all evil in the country. Erdoğan said Hizmet volunteered to become a puppet of the nation’s foreign enemies and so it is also the enemy of the people and for this very reason, a total annihilation would be good for everyone. This reasoning, inspired suddenly by the corruption cases, interestingly convinced Turks, possibly owing to the extremely loyal media power Erdoğan has and to the general inclination of ordinary Turkish people towards accepting conspiracy theories. The further away the conspiracy theories are from reality, the more credible they become, especially when they are repeated by such a powerful figure as Erdoğan. The politician lost no time in hitting the roads and started public rallies all around Turkey, sometimes in three different cities in a single day, to tell the same lies to the masses, while every single message from his mouth was multiplied by the media to reach millions over and over again. At the same time, the prosecutors and law enforcement officers who had participated in the corruption operations were either demoted or assigned to insignificant units, contrary to current laws. Erdoğan’s next step would be to seek cooperation against the common enemy with the former actors of the deep state, who had been forced to retreat after their coup plans were exposed.

A systematic and sweeping purge of the critical figures in the state bureaucracy ensued; the victims were largely the people affiliated with the movement. Following the failed coup of July 15 in 2016, which Erdoğan blamed on Hizmet and its leader, the purge became even more widespread, and the methods turned more vicious.

Hizmet had been labeled as a terror organization by Erdoğan’s cabinet as per the recommendations of the National Security Council (MGK), a still powerful unit of the former regime, but a considerable portion of the domestic public opinion was still in favor of Hizmet, as the movement had always praised peace over violence, dialogue over conflict and education over everything else. Gülen had frequently maligned anyone resorting to terror in the name of Allah as non-believers and the most dangerous enemies of Islam; therefore, many were still shrugging off Erdoğan’s defamation campaigns and his continuous attributions of terror to Gülen and his followers. But after the July 15th botched coup attempt, with the help of a torrential flood of a one-sided narration of the coup details, it didn’t take long until public opinion completely turned against Hizmet and its leader, even though they were disavowing the coup repeatedly from the first moment on. With the help of an enormous public outrage against anything and anyone related to the Gülen movement, Erdoğan found the strength and excuse to disregard any obligation to stick to laws, fairness, and mercy. When he shouted in public rallies that all Hizmet followers must be exterminated, he got applause. When he ordered the plunder of the properties of Hizmet members, he got cheers. When he asked people to snitch on their relatives and friends from Hizmet, he got standing ovations.

Profiling and persecution of members of the Gülen movement was now not only a leisure pursuit of ordinary people, but also a task assigned to the state’s institutions, government agencies, AKP bureaus, and elected and appointed local administrators from governors to chiefs of villages.

Embassies were also commissioned with coordinating the profiling and spying activities on the expat members of the Hizmet movement. These missions included a variety of operations from mere intelligence gathering and stalking to threatening, harassing, and even physically assaulting the critics of Erdogan. It is quite likely that embassies have also been actively involved in the preparation and logistics phases of abductions and renditions. The mastermind and executer of the operations was Turkey’s main spy body, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). The Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), as well as the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), were also active participants in the covert intel operations around the world.

Ironically, the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) also joined the lynch party as a voluntary contributor to the assignment by the MİT to identify people critical of Erdoğan within expat communities, in clear contradiction to the obligatory assignment by the religion to help these people become brothers and friends.

Turkish preachers from the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) have been actively employed in these intelligence-gathering activities at the government’s request. Even though these were initially said to be “false media claims,” Secretary-General Bekir Alboğa later confessed that “a few” imams provided information to the Presidency of Religious Affairs.

Furthermore, as per later news, German police 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 the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium.

State-run news companies, Anatolia News Agency (AA) and Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), spared no effort to follow the dissenting figures and make sensational stories about them in the countries where they operated. The Yunus Emre Institute and the Maarif (Education) Foundation, which acted hand in glove with the Turkish government to forcibly seize the educational institutions built and operated by the Hizmet movement in various countries, were also active participants in the clandestine warfare against the Gülen movement across the world.

Last but not least, government-funded private think tanks and organizations like the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD), the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), and the Turkish Heritage Organization, must be counted among the essential actors. They organized panels, conferences, and events, as well as issued a variety of publications, to disseminate ideas designed to bleach the government’s extrajudicial, arbitrary, and inhumane actions as inevitable measures taken at extraordinary times. They have also vied to garner support for Erdoğan and his party among Turkish communities while at the same time collecting information about the owners of the voices against Erdoğan within these communities.

Based on such underhanded investigations and espionage, the Erdoğan’s regime would first ask the rendition of its critics from the countries they were lawfully residing in. Depending on the nature of its relations with them, Turkey first asks through legitimate channels for the deportation of the people it is seeking. If this step proves unsuccessful, Turkey then attempts to offer bribes or use its influence to pressure these countries to hand over the wanted persons. The different milestones of this path are formulated in a report by the EU’s Open Dialogue Foundation: “When non-democratic states do not succeed in attaining extradition by legitimate methods, extra procedural forced expulsions (case of the employees of the Turco-Moldovian lyceum Orizont) or abductions (case of Vladimir Yegorov, Aleksandr Frantskevich, Murdali Khalimov) of the wanted persons often take place. Such actions are implemented on the basis of cooperation between the law-enforcement agencies and special services of both states, in secret, without observing lawful procedures, thus depriving persons of the opportunity to defend their interests in court (cases of Abdullah Büyük, Aminat Babayeva, Yusuf İnan, Salih Zeki Yiğit, Alma Shalabayeva, Muratbek Tungishbayev, Zhaksylyk Zharimbetov).

Enforced Disappearances in International Law

Enforced disappearances have universally been categorized as some of the most heinous crimes that can possibly be committed by malicious state actors. All relevant instruments of international law expressly forbid enforced disappearances, given that the act entirely circumvents avenues of due process while inflicting undue trauma upon both the abducted and the relatives of the abducted.

In a straightforward definition of “forced disappearance”, the Convention on the Forced Disappearance of Persons states, “forced disappearance of persons is… a grave and abominable offense against the inherent dignity of the human being.” The Convention also adds, “forced disappearance of persons violates numerous non-derogable and essential human rights” and reaffirms that the systematic practice of disappearance “constitutes a crime against humanity.” The International Criminal Court expands upon this definition of enforced disappearance, detailing it as the “arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.”
Finally, one of the most recent instruments of international law, the 2006 Convention on Enforced Disappearance, Article 1, provides an indubitably worded right to all persons:

“No one shall be subjected to enforced disappearance.”

A signatory to the United Nations’ Conventions, the Republic of Turkey has violated international laws and the human rights of its victims in all countries detailed in this report. Furthermore, the Turkish administration has utilized baseless national security arguments to justify its egregious behavior across the world. The Turkish government’s unabashed attempts to terrorize Turkish nationals across the world has violated the sovereignty of states in 16 known cases detailed here. International law prohibits the use of enforced disappearance under all circumstances as follows:

“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.”

The Republic of Turkey, the current Turkish government is overseen by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and all relevant actors involved in the process of terrorizing, abducting, and transporting people around the world to further their objectives continually violate widely recognized international laws, national sovereignty of countries subject to such operations, and local rules and regulations of relevant countries. In sum, the Erdogan Regime and its constituent parts, especially members of the intelligence community taking part in worldwide operations have committed crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity have no statute of limitations.

Turkey’s extraterritorial incursions to kidnap dissidents and its similarly egregious actions in its own jurisdiction have been substantiated with many cases, and this report will attempt to shed light on as many cases as possible. Nonetheless, one needs to first examine the grounds the Turkish authorities base their actions on.

On April 17, 2014, the Turkish Parliament empowered the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) with the legal authority to conduct undercover missions outside Turkey’s borders with a critical change in Law number 2937. Another important change was introduced in 2017 with the decree-law number 694 that rendered the MİT subordinate directly to the presidency and the President was assigned as the chair of the National Intelligence Coordination Council (MİKK), which would become the main strategy-making body for MİT’s moves outside Turkey.11 MİT now became able to realize to-the-point operations without facing any impediments that could have arisen if parliament had not been bypassed by attaching the agency directly to the almighty presidential post.

As we will discuss in the proceeding parts, although the domestic reactions to the MİT’s covert operations inside and outside the country have been limited, they garnered huge repulsion from certain states and international organizations, as its actions were perceived as a form of deprivation of liberty.

An individual’s right to liberty can be compromised so long as it is in compliance with international law. Article 9 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights clearly defines the arbitrary deprivation of liberty as a lack of respect to grounds and procedures prescribed by law. Both articles provide in indisputable terms the conditions that any individual must be well informed, promptly or at the time of arrest, of the reasons for their arrest and of any charges against them in case of arresting. Furthermore, any individual must be brought before a judge or a similar judicial authority without delay.

However, in Turkey’s practice, people are abducted without even knowing what their crimes are or who exactly has captured them. They appear in court only after months of heavy tortures, if they are lucky to live long enough. Indeed, they can’t see even the faces of their abductors or torturers, much less their lawyers or families.

Turkey’s abduction operations abroad have in some cases been in cooperation with the hosting countries, while in others, the Turkish operational units simply utilized underhanded methods, drawing strong reactions from those countries. For example, the Mongolian Deputy Foreign Minister Battsetseg Batmunkh denounced the abduction attempt of the Turkish teacher Veysel Akçay on the grounds that “it is an unacceptable act of violation of Mongolia’s sovereignty and independence and Mongolia will strongly object it.” The Turkish Ambassador in Ulaanbaatar would, without a moment to spare, reject any kind of knowledge or involvement in the operation.

Another harsh backlash came from Kosovo after Turkey kidnapped five teachers and a medical doctor who had affiliations with the Gülen movement. Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj fired his interior minister and spy chief for their alleged complicity. Kosovo’s Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a stern statement in which it said, “the arrest and deportation of the Turkish citizens with a regular residence permit … is … in direct contradiction to international norms.”13 Erdoğan lambasted Kosovo’s PM, who had said the followers of the Gülen movement “were not deported but were stolen,” as if he was talking to one of his underlings or to any Turk who dared to question him, saying Haradinaj would “pay” for what he did. Enver Robelli, a prominent Kosovar journalist, told Al-Monitor about Erdoğan’s unbridled disparagement of the Kosovar PM: “People are irritated that Erdogan attacks the prime minister. Most [local] media [report that] Erdogan behaves as if he were the king of Kosovo.”

Nate Schenkkan from the Washington Post wrote, “The idea that Turkish intelligence would brazenly abduct its citizens from a country with which it has putatively good relations is a shocking offense against both international human rights standards and bilateral norms.”14 Schenkkan elaborated on Turkey’s flagrant “transnational repression.”15 He asserted that Turkey has pursued an aggressive policy to silence its perceived enemies in at least 46 countries.

Additionally, he recounted the allegations that it was abusing the Interpol as a political tool to target its opponents. “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 Gülen movement schools,” he wrote.

The regime’s blatant moves against the followers of the Gülen movement have also been registered in detail by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its annual country reports since 2017. The report wrote under the Torture and Ill-Treatment in Custody section in 2017: “Cases of torture and ill-treatment in police custody were widely reported through 2017, especially by individuals detained under the anti-terror law, marking a reverse in long-standing progress, despite the government’s stated zero tolerance for torture policy. 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.”17 The report mentioned the abductions by “unidentified perpetrators believed to be state agents” in at least six cases. The report for 2018 marked the continuation of allegations of torture, ill-treatment, and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment in police custody and prison and the lack of any meaningful investigation into them as a source of deep concern. Furthermore, it would also lambaste the lack of any effective investigations into these serious assertions by the judiciary.

The same report for the next year recorded only exacerbation in these sources of concern without any sign of progress.19 Different from the previous reports, it would point to a pervasive culture of impunity for members of the security forces and public officials implicated. The report would also criticize in harsh terms Turkey’s barring of the publication of reports on the findings of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) in their two visits to detention places in Turkey. “Turkish authorities continued to seek the extradition of alleged Gülen supporters, many of them teachers, from countries around the world. Countries that complied with Turkey’s requests bypassed legal procedures and judicial review. Those illegally extradited in this way were detained and prosecuted on return to Turkey,” the report asserted.

Confessing Abductions

Despite undeniable evidence that the enforced disappearances were carried out openly or covertly by several state institutions, mainly by the intelligence and the security units, different government representatives and bodies have vehemently rejected accusations in their official statements. Despite that, their deliberate or on-impulse confessions are available even in the sources that are publicly accessible. Although it is universally accepted as a heinous transgression of the basic human rights and is widely shunned, Turkish authorities have interestingly defended abductions of dissidents in Turkey or abroad, not in blurted-out blunders but in deliberately stated confirmations. In the following paragraphs, some examples of such remarks will be highlighted.

Before proceeding with its abductions, Turkey first tried to capture the dissidents through formal mechanisms and within internationally approved norms, such as requesting the extradition of Gülen movement members. But as its demands were turned down in some countries, especially in the democratic world where the supremacy of law is respected, the Turkish government started to use extrajudicial ways like abductions to bring these people back.

Thinly-Veiled Threats by the Politicians

Turkish president Erdoğan has encouraged his loyalists time and again to make life unbearable for Hizmet followers and ordered law enforcement units and intelligence officers to kidnap his critics and punish them, even hinting vaguely of their murders. For instance, in one of his speeches, he said: “Some countries eliminate terrorists whom they consider as a threat to their national security, wherever they are. This means they accept that Turkey has the same right.” He then hinted about his target: “This includes the terrorists they shake hands with and praise. I hope we will have good news for the nation on this matter soon.”

In one of his early statements in September 2016, he would say that “no country or region around the world will ever be a safe haven for FETÖ and its militants.” The Turkish autocrat described the members of the Gülen movement as cancer cells that must be exterminated, leaving no remnants. “Those who fled abroad before or in the murky atmosphere of the coup d’état should never feel safe. … The children of this country should return and tell whatever they know to the relevant authorities. If they don’t, they’ll pay for it. At any rate, we won’t support them as our citizens. … We will take due action wherever they are captured,” he said.

Similar comments would spill from Erdoğan’s mouth during a joint press conference with Kosovar President Hashim Thaçi in Ankara on December 29, 201624: “Our crackdown on them both at home and abroad is underway and will continue to be the case in the future. Wherever they flee, we will be hot on the heels of the leaders and militants of terrorist organizations.”

Former Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ nonchalantly admitted that Ankara’s spy agency “bundled up and brought back” 80 suspects against their will, as part of their global response to so-called threats to Turkey’s security from the Hizmet movement. He also called the capture of Turkish dissident s from Kosovo, which had caused a serious commotion in that country, as “a great success.”

Commenting on the Kosovo abductions on the state-run TRT radio, Erdoğan’s lawyer Hüseyin Aydın also said similar abductions by the Turkish intelligence would continue. The Kosovo operation was not marking any “paradigm shift” for the MİT, and it wasn’t the first of its kind, said Aydın. “Fugitive Gülenists will walk looking behind their backs all the time. The National Intelligence Organization will continue its operations everywhere. After the government’s success at home, there was a need to carry out operations targeting the movement’s overseas network,” he threatened.

Following suit, the other members of the Turkish government, as well as loyal followers of the president, have expressed similar thoughts. There have been repeated calls for kidnapping, killing and torturing of Gülen followers from these circles; nevertheless, even though these are heinous hate crimes, prosecutors simply turn a deaf ear to any such threats if they are leveled against Hizmet members. This is a public craze, an unfathomable intemperance that is hardly tolerated even under actual war conditions. Even warring sides try to avoid atrocities against civilians, especially children, the elderly and women. However, different units of the state and the civilians, chiefly Erdoğan himself and his zealot loyalists, have repeatedly called for abduction and torture, even murder, of any Hizmet member in Turkey or abroad — even if they are elderly or women — and the plunder of their properties.

Erdoğan’s son-in-law even publicly encouraged the AKP zealots to kill Gülen movement followers, saying he would butcher them wherever he sees them without even batting an eyelid.27 While talking to a group of students that were granted scholarships to study abroad, Berat Albayrak said, “This gang of traitors is now pouring their poison and treason in cooperation with a disgusting ‘diaspora network’ all around the world to smear and betray this nation and this religion abroad. … If I were you, I would not have been able to restrain myself, I would have butchered them wherever I saw them. … These fugitives, stateless traitors, live very normal lives,” he added.

Erdoğan’s spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, as he was answering questions from the press on September 21, 2018, said, “Now, look, it may be the US or some other places, other countries in which the FETÖ nested, or some other regions, the operations by our relevant units and institutions in these places will continue uninterrupted. Therefore, they will continue feeling the breath of the state of the Turkish Republic on their necks. No one must ever doubt about this. Of course, I am not able to give you any details as to which countries, here or there, but anything may happen at any place. Let me express that our president has a clear order on this matter and that our units have been conducting professional efforts at the fullest possible extent. There may be operations in other regions, too, similar to the one in Kosovo. The Turkish Republic will not allow FETÖ to inhale a peaceful breath, everyone must know this.”28 The Kosovo operation he was referring to had stirred a huge backlash in the Balkan country as its Prime Minister stepped up to sack the internal minister and the head of the security forces for their negligence, which tainted the country’s sovereignty and made Kosovo seem like an unchecked and unprotected field where the agents of other countries could freely do whatever they want.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on April 4, 2017, “We do not stop chasing after them [Gülen movement participants] at home and abroad. We are breathing down their necks. We won’t give these traitors and dishonorable people room to breathe.”29 He would repeat the same threats over and over again by using the exact same words in a venomous tone as he spoke in Antalya in February 2019: “We are breathing down their necks. We will grab their necks and bring them back to Turkey. We will make the whole world a dungeon for them. We are hot on their heels all across the world. We are closing their associations, schools. We are closing down them all, or we are making them closed down. Lastly, Pakistan Constitutional Court declared them a terror organization.”

In some other incidents, the Turkish authorities revealed their plans to resort to underhanded operations against the members of the Gülen movement. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, for example, asserted on March 2017 that the Turkish state units have plans to whisk away the opposition figures, who had escaped the AKP persecution and sought refuge in Germany as political asylees. “One day, these FETÖ terrorists may be shocked to see where they are located, you know. I’m telling you from here, it is not that easy.”31 In one of the most famous such incidents that also kicked up a row in the US, the US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Mike Flynn allegedly discussed with representatives from the Turkish government a $15-million offer in exchange for delivering Fethullah Gülen to Turkey.32 This single case alone depicts the exorbitant plots the Turkish government has schemed and ventured even in the US, much less the countries with less established democratic institutions. Within its own borders and abroad, the Turkish government will continue to round up and bring in the dissidents to fill its currently-under-construction 228 new prisons.

Threats From Loyalists

Pro-government figures not only from politics but also from the media, also encouraged abduction, torture, and killing of government dissidents in Turkey and abroad. Erdoğan’s former speechwriter Aydın Ünal, for instance, penned threats bluntly against the Hizmet members in his column in a pro-government media outlet. The following quote is taken verbatim from his column in Erdoğan’s Yeni Şafak newspaper: “Certain Fetullahists continuing to live does not serve the interests of neither Gülen nor U.S. intelligence. They should prepare for the extrajudicial organization executions approaching, rather than conduct an operation through the judicial theater.”34 When he wrote these lines, he was also an MP of Erdoğan’s party. He claimed that the Hizmet would do something like this to journalists in exile since their lives would no longer “serve the interests of the movement.” These lines, however, were nothing but providing an early excuse for the MİT’s covert operations to assassinate these dissidents.

Another pro-government journalist, Cem Küçük, made an even direr statement. During a live television program, he insisted Turkish intelligence agencies kill family members of people who were arrested over their (alleged) affiliations with the Gülen movement. He was very critical even about the prosecutors, who had notoriously been very tough on the followers of the Gülen movement, accusing these prosecutors of being excessively lenient. He suggested that instead of asking questions and taking answers in conventional ways, the detained people must be subjected to a variety of tortures during their enforced stays in prisons. One of his suggestions to effectively convince Hizmet members to confess their attributed crimes was to “to hang them out of the window by their legs.”

Unfortunately, the Turkish state is already executing much worse cruelty against the alleged members of the movement. There are innumerable grueling accounts of how Hizmet members are treated in prisons.

The threats that come from Erdoğan’s zealot followers must also be noted. There have been countless physical assaults against members of the Hizmet movement inside Turkey, but there are concrete signs that the acts of intimidation and cannonade are being deliberately organized in other countries as well. For example, some German press outlets reported that AKP MP Metin Külünk was ostensibly providing funds for the Turkish “Ottoman Germania” gangs. There are surveillance camera records showing this politician in contact with the gang members while allegedly giving them money. A ZDF news reported evidence that Ottoman Germania was indeed assigned to carry out attacks on the Turkish dissidents living in the country. A 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.” Likewise, Dursun Baş, the chairman of the German branch of the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD), addressed two members of Stiftung Dialog und Bildung via Twitter, saying, “How do you dare to go out on the streets? For you, there will be no easy death.”

Sedat Peker, a mafia leader who was released from prison by Erdoğan in 2014, openly threatened dissidents with death but was acquitted by the court without even a slight warning, much less due to punishment. Peker, who was embraced by Erdoğan on many occasions and has very close relations with the youth of Erdoğan’s party, said, “We will force into the jails after hanging all of whomever we catch on the trees, flag poles. We will hang them in the jails as well. We will hang them on the poles from their necks,” and the court accepted these words as nothing more than normal expression of one’s opinions. People quit attending mosques for regular prayers due to the fear of getting assaulted by partisans, and their buildings were stoned or burnt by arson even in major European countries. Turkish businessman Ali Ekrem Kaynak was killed in Amsterdam sometime after he was verbally and physically assaulted by Erdoğan loyalists over his proximity to the Hizmet movement. There have been similar incidents in the US as well.

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“SONGS SUNG FOR THE OPPRESSED” SONG CONTEST

Grievances in Turkey and other countries within the scape of human rights violations can be expressed with art as a powerful argument as it’s described with other materials.
In this context, AST is organizing a music and composition competition to raise awareness about Turkey’s unfair practices.
This competition aims to raise awareness with the power of art about political prisoners, torture, deprivation of fundamental human rights, innocent women, babies, and the elderly in prisons. Another goal of this competition is to bring individuals in the field of art to speak out unfair practices; reflect aesthetic skills, present the message clearly to the listener; to engage in artistic activities, and create appreciation.

* You can provide detailed information about the competition and the participation terms in the PDF link above.
* To participate in the competition, you can fill in your application form on the Participation link above.

We wish success to all our participants.

 

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SCIENTIFIC REGRESSION IN TURKEY IN THE AFTERMATH OF JULY 15th –1: ERCİYES UNIVERSITY

The alleged coup attempt of the July 15th struck the real impact in the field of education. The most important pillars of education, universities were closed, thousands of educated academics were discharged overnight without any reason, and even sent to prisons. This study analyzes the negative effects of the academic slaughter that took place in one of Turkey’s most reputable universities after the July 15th, The Erciyes University.

Erciyes University was founded in 1978 under the name of Kayseri University. It was renamed Erciyes University in 1982. Today, Erciyes University serves with 19 faculties, 1 college, 2 vocational schools, 7 institutes, 6 departments, 44 research centers, and an advanced practice hospital with 1350 beds. In addition to Gevher Nesibe Hospital, Cardiovascular Diseases Hospital, Organ Transplantation and Dialysis Hospital, Oncology Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Bone Marrow Transplant and Stem Cell Treatment Center are the most important health institutions of the region. Approximately 65,000 students receive education [1]. In addition, Melikşah University, which was closed unlawfully on 23 July 2016, was transferred to Erciyes University and the campus of MELİKŞAH University was named “Erciyes University, The July 15th Campus” [2].

The toll numbers reached 6070 just for public university academics in Turkey after the July 15th [3]. 2,808 academics in 15 terminated foundation universities were not included in this number. 144 people, namely 6% of the total academics, were discharged from the 2398 academics at ERCIYES University after the so-called coup attempt. The distribution of the discharged academics regarding their ranks has given in Table 1.

ACADEMIC TITLE   #of DISCHARGED
Professor 27
Assoc. Prof. 31
Assist. Prof. 35
Instructor 10
Research Fellow 40
Expert 1
TOTAL 144

Table 1 Academic ranking of the discharged professors at Erciyes University

Objective measurement of scientific contributions of academics is widely used to understand the quality of universities and countries in the world. Google Scholar [4] is an important open source where researchers can track their publications, citation numbers, and index values. In this analysis, the Google Scholar criterion was taken to examine the scientific contributions of the discarded academics. The average number of citations of the discarded academics was calculated as 891.83, which is quite impressive. For example, Professor SALİH ÖZGÖÇMEN has 10261; Assistant Professor KAZIM ZİYA GÜMÜŞ has 10159 citations.

In addition to that, an important demonstration of broad success to be underlined is that 24 academics have more than 500 citations, as well as 52 academics, have more than 100 citations. In addition to the number of citations, the index values of the dismissed academics were also examined. H-index is more reliable in measuring qualified scientific contributions since it measures the number of publications and citation efficiency together. Academic Data Management publishes the h-index numbers within the system. But instead of publishing all the academics, they list the first 20 with the highest citations in their field [5]. According to the current figures of the Academic Data Management System, the average h-index of 20 academicians with the highest h-index number of ERCİYES University is calculated as 14. The h-index average of the dismissed academics was found to be 13.10, which clearly shows their contribution to ERCIYES University.

Despite the fact that only 6% of the academics at ERCIYES University were discharged after the alleged coup of the July 15th, and all the facilities and infrastructure of MELIKSAH University were seized, a 17% dramatic decline in the ranking of the academic achievement in the world could not be prevented [10]. The above information shows clearly, how the alleged coup attempt impacted the scientific research in ERCIYES University and Turkey.

REFERENCES

1.https://www.erciyes.edu.tr/kategori/ERU -HAKKINDA/Tarihce/2/58
2.https://www.erciyes.edu.tr/Duyuru-Haber/ Kapatilan-Meliksah-UniversitesiYerleskesine-%E2%80%9CErciyes-Universitesi -15-/5579
3.http://bianet.org/bianet/ifadeozgurlugu/198990-akademide-ihraclar-6-bin81-e-yukseldi
4.https://scholar.google.com/
5.https://avesis.erciyes.edu.tr/raporlar/ atiflar/h-indeksi-en-yuksek-olanakademisyenler
6.https://www.haberler.com/40-yil-erzurum -da-hizmet-verdi-simdi-kayseri-nin-haberi/
7.http://drkuk.net/dr-kuk-hakkinda/
8.https://twitter.com/docmustafatutak/ status/1276919068621225984/photo/1
9.https://www.veteknoloji.net/haber/ elektromanyetik-dalgalara-etkili-kumas51455.html

 

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Joint Letter by the Human Rights Advocates on the Release of Political Prisoners in Turkey’s Jails

PROMINENT GROUP OF 205 SIGNATORIES CONSISTING OF ACADEMICS, JURISTS, JOURNALISTS, POLITICIANS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CALL ON TURKEY TO URGENTLY RELEASE POLITICAL PRISONERS IN THE MIDST OF PANDEMIC.

The notoriously overcrowded prisons in Turkey pose serious health threats to inmates during the coronavirus pandemic. The justice reform law passed by the Turkish Parliament that permanently released thousands of prisoners excluded inmates serving time for political crimes, so-called “terrorism.” As many prominent human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, acknowledged, those inmates are being held in pretrial detention or sentenced without evidence that they committed violent acts, incited violence, or provided logistical help to outlawed armed groups and their lives are at risk. As indicated in the complaints by the written and oral statements of their families, the inmates’ rights to life – which is among the most basic and universal human rights and is protected by the 10th amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey and the article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – are under clear, serious, and near threat. We are deeply concerned about the escalation of health issues of aforesaid prisoners since cancer and other severe illnesses have increased in Turkish jails. The undersigned jurists, academics, human rights activists, journalists, and politicians, who are concerned with human rights issues, call on the Turkish authorities to urgently release the political prisoners and the prisoners of conscience in Turkish jails before the risk of mass death hits.

SIGNATORIES FROM JURISTS, ACADEMICS, POLITICIANS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, AND JOURNALISTS

1- Mike O’neal, Attorney, O’neal Consulting, Kansas
2- Dr. James C. Juhnke, Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas
3- Rimsie McConiga, Journalist, Kansas 4- Laurie Dipadova-stocks, Park University
5- Tom Nanney, Visiting Associate Professor University of Missouri/Kansas City School of Law
6- Marcella Sirhandi, Emeritus Professor, Oklahoma State University
7- Doris Chang, Professor of History
8- Prof. Eve Levin, University of Kansas
9- Jude Huntz, Professor of Philosophy, Devry University,
10- Mary Gibson McCoy, Attorney, Missouri
11- Delores Chambers, Professor, Kansas State University,
12- Edgar Chambers, Professor, Kansas State University,
13- Deb Woodard, UMKC Associate Teaching Professor Emerita, Missouri
14- Sofia Khan, MD, Human right activist, founder of K.C. for Refugees, Kansas
15- Gulnar Eziz, Harvard University, MA
16- Stephanie Sabato, Professor Emerita, JCCC, Kansas
17- Judy Ancel, UMKC professor Emerita, Missouri
18- Vince Wetta, State Representative, Kansas
19- Arbana Xharra, Journalist, NY
20- Shruti Mukherjee, Scholar, Stony Brook Univ, NY
21- Steve Sunderland, Ph.D., Director of Cancer Justice Network
22- Gretchen Eick, Ph.D., Professor of History, Emerita, Friends University, Wichita, Kansas Visiting Professor, University of Dzemal Bijedic, Mostar, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
23- Kai Breaux, Scholar, Stony Brook Univ, NY
24- Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar / AEI, USA
25- Lucinda White, Attorney, Kansas
26- Valerie Moyer, Scholar, Stony Brook Univ, NY
27- Carlos Mondlane, Judge, Mozambique
28 – Former Canadian Senator Nancy Ruth.
29- Ruth Schowalter, Lecturer / Georgia Tech Language Institute, GA
30- Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Professor, Writer, Kansas Poet Laureate, Kansas
31- Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion Director, D.Min. Program Director, Hartford Institute for Religion Research, CT
32- Kari O’rourke, Human Rights Activist, Missouri
33- Wendi Lynn See, Attorney, South Carolina
34- Hakan Acar, LLB, LLM, CPLLM, Ph.D. Barrister and Solicitor Law Society of Ontario, Canada
35- Beth Murano, Attorney, Missouri
36- Curtis Smith, Professor Emerita, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas
37- Sheila Sonnenschein, Human Rights Activist, Community Volunteer, Kansas,
38- Rev. Jennifer Bryan, Human Rights Activist, Kansas
39- Martin Okpareke, Community Outreach and Refugee Family Strengthening Program Manager, Jewish Vocational Services, Missouri
40- Sister Celia Deutsch, Human Rights Activist and Interfaith Coordinator of Our Lady of Refuge Church, New York
41- Sally Hipscher, Human Rights Activist and Chair of Interfaith Coalition of Brooklyn, New York
42- Rabbi Heidi Hoover, Rabbi, Beth Shalom v’Emeth, Brooklyn- NY
43- Margaret Rausch, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, and Freelance Editor and Translator, Kansas
44- Kelly Hansen, Chaplain, Human Rights activist, Missouri
45- Delores Jankovich, Social Worker, Human Rights activist, Missouri
46- The Honorable Judy Sgro, Member of Parliament, Canada
47- Anca Dumitrescu Jelea, Lawyer, JAD Law, CANADA
48- Syndey Carlin, State Representative, Kansas,
49- Lebert Shultz, Attorney at Law, Sheridan at Overland Park, Kansas
50- Dennis Hill, Teacher, Human Rights Activist, Missouri
51- Sophia Pandya, Professor of Religious Studies, Department Chair, California State University at Long Beach, California
52- Kathleen Kirby, Human right activist, and Teacher New Hampshire
53- Josh Hoops, Associate Professor at William Jewell College, Missouri
54- Ed Chasteen, Professor, President HateBusters, Missouri
55- Zoey Shu-Yi Chu, Scholar, Stony Brook University, NY
56- Calvin Hayden, Johnson County Sheriff – Johnson County, KS
57- Shannon S Shaw, lecturer, Texas State University, TX
58- Nance Davies, Artist, Scholar at Massachusetts College of Art and Design
59- Anne Conger, Human Rights Activist, a student in Union Theological Seminary, NY
60- Ramou Colley, Executive Director, the Rahma Project, Sussex, ENGLAND
61- Marina Colorado, News Journalist, France 24 Espanol, Colombia
62- Mario Goico, Retired State Representative, Kansas
63- Sherry Dean Rovelo, Ph.D. Professor, Speech Communication Richland College, Dallas, TX
64- Dr. Ruben L.F. Habito/Professor of World Religions and Spirituality / Director of Spiritual Formation / SMU (South Methodist University) / Texas
65- Rosanne Marie Oates, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
66- Elena Chung, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
67- Cecilia McLaren, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
68- Yasmine Garay, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
69- Jodie Adams Kirshner, Research Professor, New York University, NY
70- Corliss Jacobs, Human Rights Activist, Vice President of Board, Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas
71- Melissa Stiehler, Human Rights Activist, Vice President of Board, Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas
72- Peggy Neal, Melissa Stiehler, Human Rights Activist, Board Member, Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas
73- Clara Irazabal, Professor, Director, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri
74- Marc Garcelon, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri
75- Joseph D Jacobs, Human Rights Activist, Missouri
76- G. Dale Mathey, Human Rights Activist, Board Member, Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas
77- Maeve Cummings, Professor, Pittsburg State University, Kansas
78- Lynne Vanahill, Director of International Student Support Services, Kansas
79- Theresa Torres, Professor, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri
80- Ronald A. Slepitza, President, Avila University, Missouri
81-Michael Poage, Human rights Activist, Author, Kansas
82- Manuela Gonzalez-Bueno, Professor, University of Kansas, Kansas
83- Gail Finney, State Representative, Kansas
84- Tyler A. Shipley, Ph.D. Professor of Culture, Society, and Commerce, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, CANADA
85- Morgan Phillips, City Editor of TulsaPeople Magazine, Oklahoma
86- Dr. Catherine Webster, Dean of Liberal Arts College, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma
87- Patrick Raglow, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma
88- Christopher Wright, Scholar / Montana State University, MONTANA
89- Lauren Petersen, Esq, immigration attorney, CT
90- Parvez Mohsin, Director of Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Nashville TN
91- Dr. Ron Massier, Emeritus Professor, Nashville TN
92- Rev. Ellen Sims, pastor, Mobile, AL
93- Kristen James, Chief Development Officer(Non-profit Leader), 29 Acres, TX
94- Styliani Markaki Attorney, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
95- Amanda Roche, Artist, Human Rights Activist, Nashville TN
96- Ellen Gilbert, Executive Director, Global Education Center, Nashville TN
97- Reverend (Rev.) Debra Loudin-McCann, TX
98- John O’Neil, Associate Superintendent, Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Newark
99- Nelda K. Latham, Mathematics Professor, Bergen Community College, NJ
100- Ruth Feigenbaum, Mathematics Professor, Bergen Community College, NJ
101- Valeria Correa, Human Rights Activist, Rutgers University, NJ
102- Asma Bawla, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
103- Edward E. Goode, Human Rights Activist, Missouri
104- Caroline Davies, Associate Professor, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri
105- Stu Shafer, Professor, Johnson County Community College, Kansas
106- Akash Patel, Human Rights Activist, Founder of Happy World Foundation Inc., Oklahoma
107- Shona Tritt, Ph.D., Clinical psychologist, Lecturer, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
108- Lisa Wolfe, Professor, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma
109- Rev. Dr. Richard Nelson, Scholar, Nashville TN
110- Honorable Phil Ramos Deputy Majority Leader. New York State Assemblyman, Brentwood NY-Honorable
111- Bob Sweney Former New York State Assemblyman, Lindenhurst, NY
112- Honorable Michelle Schimel, Former New York State Assemblywoman, Port Washington, NY
113- Tom Goodhue Executive Director Emeritus, Long Island Council of Churches, New York, NY
114- Rabbi Steven Moss, Chair Emeritus, Suffolk County Human Rights Commission, Oakdale, NY
115- Rev. William F. Brisotti Pastor, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, Wyandanch NY
116- Reverend JoAnn Barrett, The founder of Gathering of Light Interspiritual Fellowship. Huntington, NY Co-Chair, Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force, NY
117- Rev. Dr. Walter H. Wagner, Ph.D. Professor, Pastor and Author, Bethlehem, PA
118- Richard Koubek, Ph.D. Community Outreach Coordinator, Long Island Jobs with Justice, Suffolk County NY
119- Thomas Petriano, Ph.D. Professor of Religious Studies, St Joseph’s College Patchogue NY
120- Latifa Woodhouse and Colin Woodhouse Co-Chairs Shared Humanity of USA, New York
121- Soh Young Lee-Segredo, Former Nassau County Human Rights Commissioner, NY Multicultural Council of NY
122- Edward Andrew, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5s 3G3, Canada. Ed Andrew
123-Catherine Green, Professor, Missouri
124- Peter Milliken, Former Canadian Member of Parliament and the Speaker of Canadian Parliament from 2001 to 2010.
125- David Kilgour, Former Member of Parliament (M.P.) and Secretary of State. Canada
126- Ornela Bego, Lawyer, TX
127- Karman Kurban, Assistant Professor, North American University
128- Lisa DiCarlo, Professor & Human Right activist, Brown University, Rhode Island
129- Aesetou Hydara, Human Rights Activist, New York University
130- Jihad Elgouz, Human Rights Activist, New York University
131- Jenna Elshahawi, Human Rights Activist, Rutgers University
132- Miguel Isidoro, Human Rights Activist, Pace University
133- Benjamin S. Yost, Professor of Philosophy, Adjunct, Cornell University
134- Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Professor of History and Religion, Brown University
135- Johan Heymans, Lawyer, Belgium
136- Rev. Don Cottrill, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
137- Robert Mann, Professor, Manship Chair, Louisiana
138- Vicki Dauterive, Human Rights Activist, Together Baton Rouge, Louisiana
139-Jane Chandler, Professor, Louisiana
140- Sissy Stephans, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
141-Dauda Sessay, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants, Louisiana
142-Rev. Michael Habert, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
143-Alcibiades P. Tsolakis, Professor and Dean, College of Art and Design, Louisiana State University, Louisiana
144-Roxanne Stoehr, Professor, Southeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana
145-Sonny Marchbanks, Political Consultant, Mars De Banques, Louisiana
146-Vicki Brooks, Human Rights Activist, Together Baton Rouge, Louisiana
147-Al Gensler, Retired, Urban Development Director, City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
148-Marilyn Gensler, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
149-Dawud Sesay, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
150-Dr. Richard Webb, Professor, and Dean Emeritus, Southern University Baton Rouge, Louisiana
151-Christopher Gerdes, Professor of History, North American University, TX
152- Sherly Sullivan, Attorney, Oklahoma
153- Prof. Amy Remensnyder, Professor of History, Brown University
154- Laura Faria-Tancinco, Human Rights Activist, Rhode Island College
155- Sevdenur Cizginer, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Brown University
156- Mohammad Niamat Elahee Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of International Business, Quinnipiac University, CT
157- Naoko Shibusawa, Associate Professor of History, Brown University, RI
158- Bathsheba Demuth, Assistant Professor of Environment and Society & History, Brown University, RI
159- Lopita Nath, Ph.D., Professor, University of the Incarnate Word, TX
160-Martha Ann Kirk, Ph.D., Professor of Humanities, University of the Incarnate Word, TX
161-Armen Babajanian, Executive Director at World Affairs Council of San Antonio, TX
162-Simran Jeet Singh, Ph.D., Visiting Professor, Union Seminary, NY
163-Larry Hufford, Ph.D., Professor, St. Mary’s University, TX
164-Pastor Paul Ziese, Human Rights Activist, TX
165-John Comer, Professor Emeritus, Chair of Political Science Department, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska
166-Nancy Comer, Retired Teacher, Lincoln Public Schools, Vice Pres of Friendship Force, Lincoln, NE
167-Professor Thomas Dinapoli, Languages DepartmentLouisiana State University, Louisiana
168- Dr. Ahmet Sanic, Former Vice President Alatoo-International University, United Kingdom
169- Seyit Kaya, Information Communication Technology, Educator, United Kingdom
170- Rev. James C. Harrington, Human Rights Activist, Texas
171 Dr. Ramin Ahmadoghlu, Researcher, Emiry University, Georgia
172- Omer Kuru, Professor, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
173- Ali Yurtsever, Human Rights Activist and Executive Director, İslamic Society of Midwest, Illinois
174- Isaac Gold, Executive Director, Huddled Masses, Illinois
175- Mehmet Sayın, Professor, Texas
176- Kamaruddin Mohd Yusoff, Professor, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
177- Robert Adan Williams, Educator, California
178- Mehmet Karadayi, Ph.D., Educator, Colombia
179- Salih, Professor, Georgia
180- Avery Rollins, Retired FBI Agent, Mississippi
181- Catherine Freis, Emerita Professor of Greek and Roman Studies at Millsaps College, Mississippi
182- Richard Freis, Emeritus Professor of Greek and Roman Studies at Millsaps College, Mississippi
183- Jeremy Tobin, Priest and Human Rights Activist, Mississippi
184- Adele Crudden, Professor, Mississippi
185- Robert McElvaine, Professor of History at Millsaps College, Mississippi
186- Joan Mylroie, Retired Faculty at Mississippi State University, Mississippi
187- Steve Smith, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Millsaps College, Mississippi
188- Rims Barber, Mississippi Human Services Coalition, Mississippi
189- Judy Barber, Mississippi Human Services Coalition, Mississippi
190- James Bowley, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Millsaps College, Mississippi
191- Dr. Mark McLain, M.D., Mississippi
192- Sen. Hillman Frazier, Mississippi State Senator, Mississippi
193- Dr. David Breaux, Former Dean, College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, Mississippi
194- Ali Dag, Associate Professor, Creighton University, Nebraska,
195- Ferhat Ozturk, Ph.D., Biomedical Science Teacher, Texas
196- Thomas Dinapoli, Professor, Louisiana State University, Louisiana
197- Adv. Ashraf Muhammed, Former Chairman of Western Cape and Member of National Association of Democratic Lawyers(NADEL), Cape Town, South Africa
198- Amina Frense, Council Member of South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) and Chairperson at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, Johannesburg, South Africa
199- Kisten Govender, Elected Member of South African Legal Practice Council, Durban, South Africa
200- Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Founder of Gandhi Development Trust, Durban, South Africa
201- Judy Sandison, Founder Member of South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF), Former Provincial Editor of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Durban, South Africa
202- Dr. Huseyin DURU, Professor, Texas
203- Dr. Havva Simsek, Professor, United Kingdom
204-Howard Gordon, Presbyterian Minister, Activist, Arkansas
205-Mehmet Halidun, Assistant Professor, Arkansas Tech University, Arkansas

 

 

 

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“Müziğin Dili, Mazlumun Sesi” Beste (Şarkı) Yarışması

İnsan hakları ihlalleri kapsamında Türkiye’de ve dünyanın diğer ülkelerinde yaşanan mağduriyetler bir çok materyalle anlatılabildiği gibi sanat’ın dili de güçlü bir argüman olarak değerlendirilmektedir.
Bu bağlamda, AST, Türkiyede yaşanan adaletsiz uygulamalar hakkında farkındalık geliştirmek için bir Müzik ve beste yarışması düzenlemektedir.
Bu yarışma ile amaçlanan, siyasi tutuklular, işkence, temel insan haklarından yoksun bırakma, masum kadınlar, bebekler ve cezaevlerindeki yaşlılar gibi konularda sanatın gücüyle bir farkındalık oluşturmaktır.
Ayrıca amaçlanan, haksız uygulamaları dile getirmek konusunda sanat alanında bireyler geliştirmek; estetik becerileri yansıtmak; mesajı dinleyiciye net bir şekilde sunabilmek; sanatsal faaliyetlerde bulunmada alışkanlık ve beğeninin oluşmasına katkıda bulunmaktır.

*Yarışma ile ilgili detaylı bilgi ve katılım şartlarını yukarıdaki PDF linkinden ulaşabilirsiniz.
*Yarışmaya katılmak için aşağıdaki Katılım link’ine tıklayarak başvuru formunuzu doldurabilirsiniz.

Tüm katılımcılarımıza şimdiden başarılar dileriz.

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM TURKEY 2019 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT BY UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE

The United States Department of State released Turkey 2019 Human Rights Report which has critical points regarding human rights violations in Turkey.

For Example;

  • As many as 100 persons, including former members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dismissed under the 2016-18 state of emergency decrees due to suspected ties to the Gulen movement, were mistreated or tortured while in police custody.
  • 780 Children including children younger than six years of age were being held in prison with their mothers.
  • The government did not release data on its investigations into alleged torture. Some doctors would not sign their names to medical reports alleging torture due to fear of reprisal. As a result, victims were often unable to get the medical documentation that would help prove their claims.
  • On the three-year anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt, the government announced that 540,000 individuals had been detained since the coup attempt on grounds of alleged affiliation or connection with the Gulen movement.
  • There were 41,000 individuals in prison for terror-related crimes. Of these, 28,000 were Gulen movement-related.
  • The government exerts power in the administration of 90 percent of the most-watched television stations and most-read national daily newspapers.

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THE WOMEN WHO SURVIVED THE TURKEY PURGE

A Graphic Novel about the women who survived after the long journey in Turkey’s dictatorial regime.

After the alleged coup attempt of July 15, 2016, thousands of people lost their jobs and were subjected to court trials and proceedings on the grounds that they were Hizmet Movement followers. Hundreds of people, who do not have a hope to survive in this grueling atmosphere in Turkey, are striving to leave the country illegally by venturing into the risk of crossing the border and facing death in order to live freely. There were people who drowned in this difficult and harsh journey.

Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST), as a non-governmental organization that runs its activities on a voluntary basis, has made it a mission to champion the rights of Silenced Turkey until universal human rights and democratic governance are established and sustained as the utmost priorities of the Republic of Turkey.

This graphic novel was created by a high school student with inspiration from real stories on the APH project.

Graphic Novel PDF

Turkish Version PDF Link

 

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SRW TÜRKİYE’DE 2016-2020 YILLARI ARASI AKADEMİK BAŞARI DEĞİŞİM RAPORU

Bu çalışma, 2016 darbe teşebbüsü ile başlayan olağanüstü hâl yönetimi ve KHK’ların Türkiye’deki üniversitelerin başarı değişimini analiz etmeyi amaçlamaktadır.

Türkiye’de 15 Temmuz 2016’da meydana gelen sözde darbe teşebbüsünden sonra çıkan 11 KHK ile toplamda 6,070 akademisyenin 122 devlet kurumundaki işlerine son verildi [1]. Ayrıca 15 vakıf üniversitesinin de tamamen kapatılması ile 2,808 akademisyen daha bu sayıya eklendi [2] ve resmi rakamlara göre; toplamda 8,878 akademisyenin görevlerine son verildi. Türkiye’deki akademisyen sayısı 15 Temmuz öncesi 64,488 olarak görülmektedir ve eğitim sisteminde bir akademisyenin yetişmesi için lisans ve lisansüstü çalışmalar göz önüne alındığında ortalama 12 yıl gibi bir zaman ve emek harcanması gerekmektedir. OECD raporlarına göre ise bir insanın ilköğretimden başlayarak akademisyen olana kadarki harcama miktarı ise ortalama olarak 124,448 Amerikan doları seviyesindedir [3].

Universite Atilan Toplam Akademisyen Sayisi Toplam Akademisyen Sayisi Atilan Oran(%)
Abant Izzet Baysal 78 1333 5.9
Adiyaman 67 862 7.8
Adnan Menderes 54 1726 3.1
Afyon Kocatepe 93 1360 6.8
Akdeniz 115 2492 4.6
Anadolu 68 2188 3.1
Ankara 133 3732 3.6
Atatürk 152 2703 5.6
Balikesir 67 1032 6.5
Bülent Ecevit 71 1287 5.5
Çanakkale 18 Mart 205 1653 12.4
Celal Bayar 140 1651 8.5
Cumhuriyet 56 1858 3
Dicle 172 1935 8.9
Dokuz Eylül 46 3381 1.4
Dumlupınar 168 1239 13.6
Ege 45 3175 1.4
Erciyes 145 2398 6
Erzincan 54 916 5.9
Eskişehir Osmangazi 46 1542 3
Fırat 47 1741 2.7
Gazi 233 3982 5.9
Gaziantep 128 1644 7.8
Gaziosmanpaşa 59 1286 4.6
Gebze Teknik 19 154 12.3
Hacettepe 74 3720 2
Harran 68 1012 6.7
İnönü 58 1672 3.5
İstanbul 192 5445 3.5
İstanbul Teknik 32 2211 1.4
Kafkas 30 890 3.4
Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam 126 1305 9.7
Karabük 50 995 5
Karadeniz Teknik 44 2528 1.7
Kırıkkkale 74 1226 6
Kocaeli 57 2098 2.7
Marmara 102 3201 3.2
Mersin 33 1630 2
Muğla Sıtkı Koçman 38 1523 2.5
Mustafa Kemal 105 1060 9.9
Niüde Ömer Halisdemir 36 891 4
Ondokuz Mayıs 123 2347 5.2
Pamukkale 181 1995 9.1
Sakarya 97 2010 4.8
Selçuk 126 2732 4.6
Süleyman Demirel 271 2303 11.8
Trakya 29 1701 1.7
Uludağ 38 2474 1.5
Yıldız Teknik 114 1754 6.5
Yüzüncü Yıl 73 1705 4.3

Son olarak, sıralamadaki değişimin ihraç oranına bölünmesi ile oluşturulan kişisel başarı endeksi (atılanların akademik başarıya katkı endeksi) hesaplanmıştır. Buradaki amaç, ihraç edilen insanların üniversitelerin başarısına olan etkisini hesaplamaktır. Listenin en başında olan ve de en çok dikkat çeken Ege Üniversitesi’dir. Ege Üniversite’sinde toplam ihraç edilen akademisyen sayısı 45 ve oranı %1.4 olmasına rağmen, bu üniversitenin dünya çapındaki sıralaması 674’ten 913’e gerilemiştir ki, bu da akademik başarının %35 oranında düştüğünü göstermektedir. Ege Üniversitesi’nin söz konusu endeksi 25.33 olarak hesaplanmıştır. Benzer şekilde listenin üçüncü sırasında, İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi’nde toplam ihraç edilen akademisyen sayısı 32 ve oran %1.4 olmasına rağmen bu üniversitenin dünya çapındaki sıralaması ise %19 civarında düşüş göstermiş, endeksi 13.76 olmuştur. Bu endeksin en yüksek olduğu üniversiteler Şekil 4’te verilmiştir.

Daha fazla bilgiye sayfanın üstünde yer alan PDF Link’ine tıklayarak ulaşabilirsiniz….

References

  1. Kural, B., Adal, H. (2018, July). Haber Listesi : Akademide İhraçlar 6 Bin 81’e Yükseldi.
    Retrieved from: http://bianet.org/bianet/ifade-ozgurlugu/198990-akademide-ihraclar-6-bin-81-e-yukseldi
  2. Kural, B., (2016, August). Haber Listesi : Sayılarla Kapatılan Üniversiteler.
    Retrieved from: https://m.bianet.org/bianet/egitim/177442-sayilarla-kapatilan-universiteler
  3. University Ranking by Academic Performance.(n.d.)
    Retrieved from: http://tr.urapcenter.org/2019/index.php
  4. Country Note, (2014). Turkey–Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators.
    Retrieved from: https://www.oecd.org/education/Turkey-EAG2014-Country-Note.pdf
  5. Yuksek Ogretim Bilgi Yonetim Sistemi, (n.d.).
    Retrieved from: https://istatistik.yok.gov.tr/
  6. http://www.webometrics.info/en

 

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EXILIO

Tras el “supuesto” intento de golpe de Estado del 15 de julio de 2016, miles de personas perdieron sus trabajos y fueron sometidas a juicio por pertenecer al movimiento Hizmet. Cientos de personas que no tenían esperanza de vida alguna en esta desafiante atmósfera del país, intentan abandonar este territorio ilegalmente, arriesgando sus vidas a costa de vivir en libertad. Así, desgraciadamente, hubieron personas que, ahogados, perdieron sus vidas en este arduo viaje.

El presente texto, es una historia de vida real, en el que algunos nombres y lugares respectivos están reservados con el fin de resguardar la integridad de la víctima y la de su familia. Las imágenes utilizadas en la historia fueron dibujadas por un estudiante de secundaria que tuvo que abandonar su país debido a las mismas experiencias de injusticia persecutorias.

Agradecemos a todos los que pusieron un gran esfuerzo en la preparación de este trabajo, ya sea durante la fase de la entrevista, como en la edición del texto, y en la preparación de imágenes. Nuestro único anhelo es que las ilegalidades y las tantas injusticias lleguen a su fin lo antes posible junto al restablecimiento del Estado de derecho.

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