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Ahmet Altan

Human Rights Digest: February 2020 Articles

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TURKEY: MONTHLY HUMAN RIGHTS DIGEST February 2020

  1. The Lawless Judiciary: Philanthropist Osman Kavala Rearrested Hours After Acquittal

    [
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/02/turkey-kavala-case-may-lead-countrys-expulsion-from-europe.html]

    On February 18th, Istanbul’s 30th Heavy Criminal Court acquitted businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala who was one of eight defendants on trial for their alleged involvement in planning, managing and directing Gezi Park Protests. Kavala spent 840 days, or more than two years, in pretrial detention before the court acquitted him of all charges. Only a few hours after his acquittal, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office issued a new order for Kavala’s re-arrest, this time due to allegations of his involvement in the failed military coup of 2016. The Prosecutor’s politically charged warrant for Kavala provides a glimpse into President Erdogan’s unrelenting crackdown on all dissidents through the extensive use of loyalist judges and prosecutors. In the words of Emma Sinclair-Webb, the Turkey director of Human Rights Watch, detention of Kavala immediately after his release has shown the judiciary is “lawless and vindictive.”

  2. Former Legal Advisor to the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces: “I am Honored to Be in Prison”

    [https://www.tv100.com/fetonun-askeri-yargi-davasinda-karar-haber-482207]

    On January 24, as part of the ongoing failed military coup trials, Istanbul’s 25th Court of Assize found 17 defendants guilty. The Court sentenced 4 defendants to aggravated life sentences, 2 to life sentences, and 13 to varying sentences between 7.5 to 10.5 years. All defendants had been in custody for years awaiting a trial, a long wait which amounted to punishment on its own. More importantly, the court’s partiality and willingness to carry out the Erdogan administration’s vendetta against political enemies drew a vocal criticism from Muharrem Kose, one of the defendants, who described the situation as follows: “I am honored to be in prison in a judicial order where men like Ahmet Altan continue to be behind bars. I don’t believe you will deliver a fair judgment today. May God give judges sitting on this bench a long life so that you can be tried legitimately for your illegitimate actions.”

  1. 5 Months Pregnant Mother Imprisoned & Forced to Give Birth Under Police Supervision

    [https://tr.euronews.com/2020/02/21/elif-tugral-bes-aylik-hamileyken-cezaevine-girdi-tutuklu-dogum-yapti-anne-yogun-bakimda]

    On February 21st, Elif Tugral gave birth to her second child, a son, after spending the final four months of her pregnancy in Sakran Penitentiary in the city of Izmir. Sentenced for 6 years and 10 months, Elif Tugral was found guilty of maintaining a bank account with the now-defunct Asia Bank (“Bank Asya”). Taken into custody while five months pregnant, Elif Tugral was forced to carry out the rest of her pregnancy under duress in abysmal prison conditions while suffering from a multitude of health issues, including a potentially fatal chronic intravascular coagulation condition. In words of her husband, Nuri Tugral, “[Elif] gets hospital visits but it’s very grueling. She travels to the hospital in prisoner transport vehicles for nearly 2 hours with lots of shaking and wobbling on the road.” After four painful months, Tugrul was taken to the hospital by 10 police officers who refused to leave and adamantly supervised her during and after she gave birth. In his reaction to the tragic event, Parliamentarian Gergerlioglu tweeted: “10 male officers brought the mother to the hospital. They waited at the door. Why, how would she even escape?”

  2. Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Former Secretary-General Sentenced Due to $1 Bill

    [https://www.sabah.com.tr/gundem/2020/01/30/eski-askeri-yargitay-uyesi-mehmet-simseke-feto-uyeliginden-hapis-cezasi-verildi]

    On February 1st, the Turkish Court of Cassation’s Penal Chamber sentenced Mehmet Simsek, the former Secretary-General of the Military Court of Cassation, to 7.5 years for his alleged affiliation with the Hizmet Movement. In trial, Simsek complained that he faces major public prejudice because of his removal from office and imprisonment after the 2016 coup attempt. He argued that he not only had no affiliation with the coup attempt but he had already submitted his plans for retirement in August of that year. In line with all political imprisonments under the leadership of AK Party and Erdogan, the Court of Cessation found Simsek guilty of all charges, presenting the 1 US Dollar bill found in his apartment as evidence of supposed affiliation with the Hizmet Movement. Simsek’s case sheds light on the breakdown of the Turkish criminal justice system under the current government’s draconian crackdown on all voices of opposition.

  3. President Erdogan uses 3.5 Million Syrian Refugees for Barter with EU

    [
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51687160]

    On February 29th, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made an official statement after ordering the Turkish-Greek border gate to be opened. In his statement regarding 3.5 million Syrian refugees who were taken into the country by Mr. Erdogan’s own administration, Erdogan proclaimed “We will not close these doors in the coming period and this will continue. Why? The European Union needs to keep its promises. We don’t have to take care of this many refugees, to feed them.” At the time of publication, 18,000 refugees were allowed to cross the border as part of Erdogan’s plan to extract more money and resources from the EU.


 

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Free Political Prisoners in Turkey, 13×19

Free Political Prisoners in Turkey, 13×19

 

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Free Journalists in Turkey

Free Journalists in Turkey

 

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Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day

 

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Free Political Prisoners in Turkey

Free Political Prisoners in Turkey

 

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Free Ahmet Altan Poster

Free Ahmet Altan Poster 

Journalist Ahmet Altan is in jail for more than 1000 days in Turkey. Turkey top jailer of journalists in the world.

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PRESS RELEASE: TURKISH JOURNALIST AHMET ALTAN’S ARBITRARY IMPRISONMENT AND CALL FOR HIS RELEASE 8/29/2019

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FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

TURKISH JOURNALIST AHMET ALTAN’S ARBITRARY IMPRISONMENT AND CALL FOR HIS RELEASE

Ahmet H Altan is an acclaimed Turkish novelist with more than ten published books, columnist, journalist, editor-in-chief of a newspaper, and avid defender of democracy, civil rights and freedom of speech for all layers of the society. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole with the accusation of being a member of a terrorist organization, attempting to overthrow the government and the constitutional order, interfering with the work of the government and the national assembly. Turkish Supreme Court overturned the decision on him in January 2019. However,  the court denied Ahmet Altan’s petition for release. He was also convicted for insulting the president later in 2019.

Ahmet Altan had spent his career of more than 30 years by dissecting the visible and hidden fault lines threatening democracy and civil rights in Turkey. Throughout his career, Altan has always been subject to attacks and praises for lauding democracy, human rights, and civil liberties for all. He was sentenced to prison for 20 months in 1995 for defending the rights of Kurdish citizens  -his sentencing was later delayed on the condition of not repeating the same “crime”. He published documents obtained from military and bureaucratic sources much like “Pentagon Papers” and “Watergate scandal”. His leadership in enabling investigative journalism in Turkey and his stance on many subjects made him the recipient of more than 100 lawsuits instead of journalism awards. His stand-off with military and government and his principled defense of minorities remind us the likes of Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post (Watergate, Pentagon Papers) and Ralph McGill of Atlanta Constitution (Defending anti-segregation in Jim Crow era Georgia).

In December 2013, a graft probe by the prosecutors against five ministers and their sons as well as the son of the prime minister of the time, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was abruptly nipped in the bud by Erdogan. Altan’s defense of and emphasis on the justice system in a three-legged democratic system ruffled a lot of feathers and brought him the wrath of the government right after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Shortly after, he was detained and arrested. Though he was released on probation, his pseudo-freedom lasted only 24 hours. Upon leaving the courtroom, Ahmet spoke to the press, saying “This country is ours, we are not afraid. We’ll always defend law and democracy”.  During the trial, the prosecutors even claimed that he used his TV appearance the day before the coup attempt to give “subliminal messages” in support of the coup. He also shared the records of his experience during the trial with his lawyer to be made public for future generations. His notes were published and translated to English with the name “I WILL NEVER SEE THE WORLD AGAIN”.

 Snippets from Altan’s writings:

  • “We may die or be killed, be jailed or be tried in the courts, be left unemployed, be tortured or shot, but we may never be defeated. We are the defenders of life.
  • “How crowded is our loneliness! Wherever we turn, we bump into ourselves!”
  • “Love is like a sword wound! It heals but surely leaves its mark.”
  • “You can imprison me, but you cannot keep me here. Because, like all writers, I have magic, I can pass through your walls with ease.”
  • “I will never see the world again; I will never see a sky unframed by the walls of a courtyard. I am descending to Hades. I walk into the darkness like a god who writes his own destiny. My hero and I disappear into the darkness toge”

Today, we urge the Turkish government to enforce the rule of law and to immediately terminate Ahmet Altan’s arbitrary imprisonment! We also call on the international community to urge the authorities in Turkey for his immediate release and Ahmet Altan’s colleagues, friends, readers to speak out!

 

Hafza Y. GIRDAP

Spokesperson

directorhg@silencedturkey.org

 

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Free Journalist Ahmet Altan Flyer

TAKE ACTION TO FREE AHMET ALTAN

“We may never be defeated. We may die or be killed, be jailed or be tried in the courts, be left unemployed, be tortured or shot, but we may never be defeated. We are the defenders of life.”
#FreeAhmetAltan
#AhmetAltanaÖzgürlük
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TAKE ACTION TO FREE AHMET ALTAN

Ahmet Altan (born 1950) is a Turkish journalist, prominent novelist, and author. A working journalist for more than 20 years, he has served in all stages of the profession, from being a night shift reporter to editor in chief in various newspapers and he was the editor-in-chief of Taraf newspaper a liberal newspaper between 2007-2012. Ahmet Altan was arrested on September 10, 2016, in a dawn raid for allegedly giving subliminal messages the night before the failed coup on July 15, 2016. He was charged with attempting to overthrow the “constitutional order,” “interfering with the work of the national assembly,” and “interfering with the work of the government” through violence and sentenced to life in prison. Altan is among thousands of prisoners of conscience in Turkey. We urge the Turkish authorities to free Altan and stop human rights violations against him.

On Thursday, a press release will be made by AST on behalf of the release of journalist and intellectual Ahmet Altan.

Send a letter or video Message for ALTAN:

More details will be shared when the time approaches. You can share your letter and a video message to Ahmet Altan or other political prisoners via AST.

CAMPAIGN DETAILS

● A special video is being prepared by AST for the release of the political prisoners and will be published on Thursday.
● The press release will be made to the relevant places;
● Social Media campaign will be organized;
● The signature campaign for ALTAN will be launched;
● The issue will be transmitted to international institutions again;

ACTION ITEMS

● You can send a letter or video message to Ahmet Altan by yourself or through AST; You can send your message to help@silencedturkey.org
● You can support the campaign that will be held on Thursday;
● You can voluntarily support the work of AST or share your feedback through help@silencedturkey.org
● You can financially support the work of AST by donating to Www.silencedturkey.org/donatenow

 

Willing contributions of any size are always accepted and appreciated.

 

 

 

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AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly April 15

Download as pdf: AST_Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly_April 15

Turkey’s Human Rights Violations | 04/08/2019-04/15/2019

1-“Election authority says elected mayors not to be given mandate if they are purge victims”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/10/election-authority-says-elected-mayors-not-to-be-given-mandate-if-they-are-purge-victims/

2-“Turkey’s Erdoğan urges Sudan to operate under ‘normal democratic process”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/11/turkeys-erdogan-urges-sudan-to-operate-under-normal-democratic-process/

3-“Video game portrays opposition mayoral candidate’s quest for mandate”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/11/video-game-portrays-opposition-mayoral-candidates-quest-for-mandate/

4-“Wives of jailed police chiefs who exposed corruption given lengthy prison sentences”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/10/wives-of-jailed-police-chiefs-who-exposed-corruption-given-lengthy-prison-sentences/

5-‘’Jailed woman forced to go through labor for two days in handcuffs”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/10/jailed-woman-forced-to-go-through-labor-for-two-days-in-handcuffs/

6-“HRW: Turkey has arbitrarily jailed hundreds of lawyers since 2016 coup”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/10/hrw-turkey-has-arbitrarily-jailed-hundreds-of-lawyers-since-2016-coup/

7-“Turkey orders detention of 292 people over Gülen links: report”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/09/turkey-orders-detention-of-292-people-over-gulen-links-report/

8-European rights court orders Turkey to compensate citizen held in police custody when he was 8
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/09/european-rights-court-orders-turkey-to-compensate-citizen-held-in-police-custody-when-he-was-8/

9-“Convicted coup suspect says he was victim of that night”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/08/convicted-coup-suspect-says-he-was-victim-of-that-night/

10-“Erdoğan’s targeting of journalist goes unnoticed: ‘Public got used to it’ former editor says”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/07/erdogans-targeting-of-journalist-goes-unnoticed-public-got-used-to-it-former-editor-says/

11-“Ministry says purged staff cannot be reinstated unless family member is acquitted’”
https://turkeypurge.com/ministry-says-purged-staff-cannot-be-reinstated-unless-family-member-is-acquitted

12-“HRW: Bar associations in Europe, US, Canada should advocate for lawyers in Turkey”
https://turkeypurge.com/white-house-must-stand-up-to-erdogans-politically-motivated-detentions-us-senator-says

13-‘’Detention warrants issued for 292 people over Gulen links”
https://turkeypurge.com/detention-warrants-issued-for-292-people-over-gulen-links

14-“Wives of police chiefs who led 2013 corruption operations sentenced to 6 years in prison”
https://turkeypurge.com/wives-of-police-chiefs-who-led-2013-corruption-operations-sentenced-to-6-years-in-prison

15-“Pro-Erdogan mafia boss says will take to the streets if the government asks”
https://turkeypurge.com/pro-erdogan-mafia-boss-says-will-take-to-the-streets-if-the-government-asks

16-‘’Mayor-elect purged teacher denied certificate of election by electoral council: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/mayor-elect-purged-teacher-denied-certificate-of-election-by-electoral-council-report

17-“First-Ever Comprehensive Biography on Fethullah Gülen”
https://hizmetnews.com/24806/first-ever-comprehensive-biography-on-fethullah-gulen/#.XLClfLfYrnE

18. “300 purge victim judges, prosecutors barred from obtaining law licenses: report”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/11/300-purge-victim-judges-prosecutors-barred-from-obtaining-law-licenses-report/

19. “ 9 purge-victim mayor-elects denied mandate by Turkey’s election authority”
https://turkeypurge.com/9-purge-victim-mayor-elects-denied-mandate-by-turkeys-election-authority

20. “Berkin Elvan’ın vurulduğu yerde 6 yıl sonra keşif”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/berkin-elvanin-vuruldugu-yerde-6-yil-sonra-kesif-h130907

21. “Yandaşta kavga başladı: ‘Reis’çilere ‘Zübükzade’ benzetmesi”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/yandasta-kavga-basladi-reiscilere-zubukzade-benzetmesi-h130911.html

22. “Rabia Naz’ın babası akıl hastanesine yatırılıyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/rabia-nazin-babasi-akil-hastanesine-yatiriliyor-h130908.html

23. “Meriç Nehri’nde sonlanan genç, coşkulu ve neşeli bir hayat”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/meric-nehrinde-sonlanan-genc-coskulu-ve-neseli-bir-hayat-h130875.html

24. “Akın İpek’in iade davasında İngiltere’den Türkiye’ye ikinci ret”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/akin-ipekin-iade-davasinda-ingiltereden-turkiyeye-ikinci-ret-h130873.html

25. ‘’Gazeteci İbrahim Karayeğen, koğuş arkadaşı Ahmet Altan’ı anlattı”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/gazeteci-ibrahim-karayegen-kogus-arkadasi-ahmet-altani-anlatti-h130987.html

26. “Karikatürist Carlos Latuff, Türkiye’deki tutuklu hamile kadınları çizdi”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/karikaturist-carlos-latuff-turkiyedeki-tutuklu-hamile-kadinlari-cizdi-h130986.html

27. ‘’Babasında Bylock olduğu gerekçesiyle kızına 6 yıl 3 ay ceza verildi”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/babasinda-bylock-oldugu-gerekcesiyle-kizina-6-yil-3-ay-ceza-verildi-h130959.html

28. ‘’Hastanede skandal; tutuklu kadına, kelepçeli doğum!”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/hastanede-skandal-tutuklu-kadina-kelepceli-dogum-h130867.html

29. “KHK ile ihraç 59 polis hakkında daha gözaltı kararı”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/khk-ile-ihrac-59-polis-hakkinda-daha-gozalti-karari-h130850.html

30. “Erdoğan’ın yeni köşkü için inşaat başladı”
http://www.tr724.com/erdoganin-yeni-kosku-icin-insaat-basladi/

31. “Birçok ilde ‘cadı avı’ operasyonu: 288 gözaltı kararı”
http://www.tr724.com/bircok-ilde-cadi-avi-operasyonu-288-gozalti-karari/

32. “AKP gündeme getirdi; Büyükçekmece’de ‘sahte seçmen’ operasyonu başladı”
http://www.tr724.com/akp-gundeme-getirdi-buyukcekmecede-sahte-secmen-operasyonu-basladi/

33. “Profesyonel infazı böyle tarif etti: “Cinayet Türkiye için yeni bir Susurluk’tur”
http://www.tr724.com/profesyonel-infazi-boyle-tarif-etti-cinayet-turkiye-icin-yeni-bir-susurluktur/

34. “Tedavi için dışarıda olması gereken Avşin bebeğe mahkemeden ret!”
http://www.tr724.com/tedavi-icin-disarida-olmasi-gereken-avsin-bebege-mahkemeden-ret/

35. ”Türkiye genelinde 280 kişi için gözaltı kararı”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/turkiye-genelinde-280-kisi-icin-gozalti-karari-h130849.html

36. “Hekimlerle derdiniz ne?”
http://www.tr724.com/hekimlerle-derdiniz-ne/

37. “Zindana açık mektup: Hakkını helal et bacım!”
http://www.tr724.com/zindana-acik-mektup-hakkini-helal-et-bacim/

38. “Sippenhaft –aile boyu “suç”
http://www.tr724.com/sippenhaft-aile-boyu-suc/

39. “Çocuklarınız sizden utanacak”
http://www.tr724.com/cocuklariniz-sizden-utanacak/

40. “Mahir Mete Kul’un hikâyesi”
http://www.tr724.com/mahir-mete-kulun-hikayesi/

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