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Arbitrary detention

The Freedom House concludes Turkey is no more a free country. What is next?

The Freedom House concludes Turkey is no more a free country. What is next?

A new report released by the independent, non-profit and non-partisan watchdog organization Freedom House concluded that democratic principles such as election integrity and freedom of the press, political and civil rights have severely downgraded in Turkey that is no longer ‘a free country.’ The study added that Turkey’s status declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to a deeply flawed constitutional referendum that centralized power in the presidency, the mass replacement of elected mayors with government appointees, arbitrary prosecutions of rights activists and other perceived enemies of the state, and continued purges of state employees, all of which have left citizens hesitant to express their views on sensitive topics.

The Freedom House has been publishing annual reports since 1973 for assessing the condition of political rights and civil liberties around the world.

It has been a great source for scholars and academics since then. Their methodology is very strong and reliable. Their ranking provides a snapshot of the world and political circumstances in each state. It has always been interpreted seriously by international organizations and financial institutions as well.

The report noted that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan broadened and intensified the crackdown on his perceived opponents that began after a failed 2016 coup attempt. In addition to its dire consequences for detained Turkish citizens, shuttered media outlets, and seized businesses, the chaotic purge has become intertwined with an offensive against the Kurdish minority, which in turn has fueled Turkey’s diplomatic and military interventions in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

According to Freedom House, which analyzed data from 195 countries over the 2017 calendar year, Turkey’s passage over the threshold from Partly Free to Not Free is the culmination of a long and accelerating slide in Freedom in the World.

‘The country’s 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 fights to impose personalized control over the state and society in a deteriorating domestic and regional security environment. Erdoğan has pushed out his rivals and former allies within the ruling party, reshaped media ownership to fit his needs, and rammed through an unpopular constitutional referendum to create a “super-presidential” system without meaningful checks and balances.’

The study also noted that President Erdogan’s response to the July 2016 coup attempt has become a sprawling witch hunt, resulting in the arrest of some 60,000 people, the closure of over 160 media outlets, and the imprisonment of over 150 journalists. The leaders of the third-largest party in the parliament are in prison, and nearly 100 mayors across the country have been replaced through emergency measures or political pressure from the president. The government has even pressed its crackdown beyond. Turkey’s borders, triggering a flood of Interpol “red notice” requests to detain critics abroad, among other effects.

How will the report affect the Asylum seekers?

Since the controversial coup attempt, thousands of military officials, government officials, academics, and civilians have been detained, arrested or fired from their positions. The purge has led to a large number of these individuals to flee Turkey and seek asylum elsewhere.

It is safe to analyze that The Freedom House report will have major consequences on several issues especially asylum applications of thousands of people since the report extensively provided all the necessary data about the failure of democracy in Turkey. The report which confirmed Turkey’s passage over the threshold from ‘Partly Free to Not Free’ is considered both essential and useful for the court processes of the Asylum applications.

How should NATO respond?

A core principle of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is that member states adhere to democratic values. Here is how NATO defines its core principle and the purpose of its very existence:

‘NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. POLITICAL – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defense and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.’

As a democratic security organization, NATO should clarify its stance and policies towards Turkey, which is openly defined as a non-democracy and not-free? Can NATO promote democratic values while one of its biggest members is already defined a dictatorship by non-partisan international organizations?

The recent study by the Freedom House which reports the decline in Turkey’s human rights record may cause some U.S. lawmakers and decision makers to question the country’s NATO membership.

ECtHR appears as a new venue

The shocking lower court rulings of the last several days rejecting the authority of Turkey’s Constitutional Court to hear individual applications has also been considered as the end of the rule of law in Turkey. This new episode in Turkish judiciary will lead the Turkish citizens who seek legal recourse to violations of their rights at European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which still remains a proper venue that they should pursue. The recent study by The Freedom House can definitely be used as a source by the Turkish citizens to strengthen their cases at the ECtHR despite the fact that the ruling processes of the Court may take so long.


Download as a PDF File: AST_Turkey_is_no_longer_free_country_what_is_next

 

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

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

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

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AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly Jan 15

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

Turkey’s Human Rights Violations | 1/8/2018-1/15/2018

1-“Seized Gülen dormitory in Istanbul transferred to pro-gov’t Ensar foundation”
https://turkeypurge.com/seized-gulen-dormitory-istanbul-transferred-pro-govt-ensar-foundation

2-“Report: Police chief who fought against ‘Erdogan assassins’ during coup sentenced to 6 years in jail”
https://turkeypurge.com/police-chief-fought-erdogan-assassins-coup-sentenced-6-years-jail

3-“Diyarbakir man says cows seized by gov’t as part of post-coup crackdown”
https://turkeypurge.com/diyarbakir-man-says-cows-seized-govt-part-post-coup-crackdown

4-“Turkey’s pro-gov’t mayors ban theater play ‘Just Dictator’”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-pro-govt-mayors-ban-theater-play-just-dictator

5-“Local deeds officer suspended for insulting Erdogan on social media”
https://turkeypurge.com/local-deeds-officer-suspended-insulting-erdogan-social-media

6-“Pro-Erdogan hackers take over Der Spiegel editor’s Twitter account”
https://turkeypurge.com/pro-erdogan-hackers-take-der-spiegel-editors-twitter-account

7-“7,655 dismissed, 243 others suspended at Health Ministry so far: minister”
https://turkeypurge.com/7655-dismissed-252-others-suspended-health-ministry-far-minister

8-“Prison warden commits suicide after being dismissed on coup charges — claim”
https://turkeypurge.com/prison-warden-commits-suicide-dismissed-coup-charges-claim

9-“Turkey’s prize-winning author Aslı Erdoğan: University students in Turkey are being jailed over tweets”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-prize-winning-author-asli-erdogan-university-students-turkey-jailed-tweets

10-“Imprisoned Kurdish leader Demirtaş makes first appearance in court in 14 months”
https://turkeypurge.com/imprisoned-kurdish-leader-demirtas-makes-first-appearance-court-14-months

11-“2 media outlets closed, 262 dismissed in new gov’t decree”
https://turkeypurge.com/2-media-outlets-closed-262-dismissed-new-govt-decree

12-“Teacher, three others caught in attempt to flee to Greece”
https://turkeypurge.com/teacher-three-others-caught-attempt-flee-greece

13-“Warrants issued for 70 teachers in Turkey’s capital”
https://turkeypurge.com/warrants-issued-70-teachers-turkeys-capital

14-“Pro-Kurdish deputy gets 8 years, 1 month in prison on terror charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/pro-kurdish-deputy-gets-8-years-1-month-prison-terror-charges

15-“Turkey strips another pro-Kurdish deputy of parliamentary status”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-strips-another-pro-kurdish-deputy-parliamentary-status

16-“[VIDEO] 25 teachers detained in Turkey’s Samsun”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-25-teachers-detained-turkeys-samsun

17-“Jailed writer Ahmet Altan fined TL 7,000 for insulting Erdogan”
https://turkeypurge.com/jailed-writer-ahmet-altan-fined-tl-7000-insulting-erdogan

18-“French writers, journalists ‘adopt’ Turkish colleagues in solidarity”
https://turkeypurge.com/french-writers-journalists-adopt-turkish-colleagues-solidarity

19-“Report: Ankara investigating 60 businessmen for stock market selloff ahead of 2016 coup attempt”
https://turkeypurge.com/report-ankara-investigating-60-businessmen-stock-market-selloff-ahead-2016-coup-attempt

20-“24 former Bank Asya shareholders put in pretrial detention”
https://turkeypurge.com/24-former-bank-asya-shareholders-put-pretrial-detention

21-“Father of cancer patient boy denied release from prison”
https://turkeypurge.com/court-denies-request-release-father-cancer-patient-child

22-” Journalist, writer and 28 others detained in Istanbul”
https://turkeypurge.com/journalist-writer-28-others-detained-istanbul

23-“Turkey issues detention warrants for 56 more military members over coup charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-issues-detention-warrants-56-military-members-coup-charges

24-“[VIDEO] Dismissed air force pilot detained while selling waffle in Konya: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-dismissed-air-force-pilot-detained-selling-waffle-konya-report

25-“Jailed father allowed to attend son’s funeral only with handcuffs”
https://turkeypurge.com/jailed-father-allowed-attend-sons-funeral-handcuffs

26-“Theater play on dictatorship not allowed to be staged in Turkey’s Artvin”
https://turkeypurge.com/theater-play-dictatorship-not-allowed-turkeys-artvin

27-“Jailed engineer to judge: You will stand trial when democracy comes to this country!”
https://turkeypurge.com/jailed-engineer-judge-will-stand-trial-democracy-comes-country

28-“[VIDEO] 8 including pharmacists, lawyers detained over Gulen links”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-8-including-pharmacists-lawyers-detained-gulen-links

29-“[VIDEO] 5 children, 8 others detained while on way to escape to Greece”
https://turkeypurge.com/video-5-children-8-others-detained-way-escape-greece

30-“President Erdoğan once again sues Turkey’s main opposition leader over ‘insult’: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/president-erdogan-sues-turkeys-main-opposition-leader-insult-report

31-“Turkish gov’t uses emergency rule to suppress dissent: opposition leader”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-govt-uses-emergency-rule-suppress-dissent-says-opposition-leader

32-“Imprisoned teacher dies of cancer in Balıkesir — claim”
https://turkeypurge.com/imprisoned-teacher-dies-cancer-balikesir-claim

33-“Turkey’s post-coup State of Emergency to be extended for another 3 months: gov’t”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkeys-post-coup-state-emergency-extended-another-3-months-govt

34-“262 more dismissed, 1,828 reinstated with new gov’t decree”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/262-more-dismissed-1828-reinstated-with-new-govt-decree/

35-“20 more detained in Bursa, Antalya over Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/20-more-detained-in-bursa-antalya-over-gulen-links/

36-“Jailed police chiefs who led 2013 corruption ops taken to police HQ”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/14/jailed-police-chiefs-who-led-2013-corruption-ops-taken-to-police-hq/

37-“Int’l NGOs slam lower courts’ failure to free jailed journalists Altan, Alpay”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/intl-ngos-slam-lower-courts-failure-to-free-jailed-journalists-altan-alpay/

38-“Former President Gül expresses support for top court ruling on Altan, Alpay”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/former-president-gul-expresses-support-for-top-court-ruling-on-altan-alpay/

39-“Gov’t slams top court for decision on Altan and Alpay”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/12/govt-slams-top-court-for-decision-on-altan-and-alpay/

40-“German-Turkish footballer says shot at on highway in western Germany”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/01/08/german-turkish-footballer-says-shot-at-on-highway-in-western-germany/

41-“Turkey warned of judicial crisis over jailed journalists”
https://www.ft.com/content/048dc200-f932-11e7-9b32-d7d59aace167

42-“Turkish writer Asli Erdogan: ‘Thousands of students are in jail for one tweet'”
http://www.france24.com/en/20180112-interview-asli-erdogan-turkey-trial-crackdown-students-human-rights-eu-macron

43-“A new refugee flow to Europe: Turkish refugees”
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/01/turkey-turkish-refugee-flow-to-europe.html

44-“Turkish courts reject jailed journalists’ request to be released”
https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/turkish-courts-reject-jailed-journalists-request-to-be-released/

45-“Biggest prison for journalists: Turkey prepares for election year”
https://eadaily.com/en/news/2018/01/09/biggest-prison-for-journalists-turkey-prepares-for-election-year

46-“Ergun Babahan wrote about risk of torture for police chiefs”
https://silencedturkey.org/ergun-babahan-wrote-about-risk-of-torture-for-police-chiefs

47-“Honorary President of Court of Cassation of Turkey, Sami Selçuk: Last Nail in the Coffin”
https://silencedturkey.org/sami-selcuk-last-nail-in-the-coffin

Türkiye tarafından işlenenen İnsan Hakları İhlalleri | 1/8/2018-1/15/2018

1-“Türkiye’de hukuk nasıl ayaklar altına alındı nasıl zulüm aracına dönüştü!”
http://aktifhaber.com/analiz/turkiyede-hukuk-nasil-ayaklar-altina-alindi-nasil-zulum-aracina-donustu-h110682.html

2-“17 Aralık polis şeflerine emniyette işkence mi yapılıyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/17-aralik-polis-seflerine-emniyette-iskence-mi-yapiliyor-h110681.html

3-“ByLock kullanmadığı tespit edilmesine rağmen 16 ay tutuklu kalan vatandaş isyan etti”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/bylock-kullanmadigi-tespit-edilmesine-ragmen-16-ay-tutuklu-kalan-vatandas-isyan-etti-h110680.html

4-“‘Erdoğan’a suikast timi’ ile çatışan polis Bylock’tan tutuklandı”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/erdogana-suikast-timi-ile-catisan-polis-bylocktan-tutuklandi-h110672.html

5-“Gözaltına aldıkları anneyi 4 aylık bebeğinden ayırıp Bayburt’a götürdüler”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gozaltina-aldiklari-anneyi-4-aylik-bebeginden-ayirip-bayburta-goturduler-h110669.html

6-“Kahramanmaraş Emniyeti’ndeki işkenceci polisler ortaya çıktı”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/kahramanmaras-emniyetindeki-iskenceci-polisler-ortaya-cikti-h110667.html

7-“Spiegel’in genel yayın yönetmeninin Twitter hesabı hacklendi”
http://aktifhaber.com/dunya/spiegelin-genel-yayin-yonetmeninin-twitter-hesabi-hacklendi-h110665.html

8-“Eski AKP’li Osman Can: Mahkemelerin tahliyeye direnmesi hukuken yanlış”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/eski-akpli-osman-can-mahkemelerin-tahliyeye-direnmesi-hukuken-yanlis-h110663.html

9-“Rektör Erdöl’den Soylu’nun ‘ayak kırın’ talimatına destek”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/rektor-erdolden-soylunun-ayak-kirin-talimatina-destek-h110661.html

10-“Ergun Babahan polis şeflerine yapılan işkenceyi yazdı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ergun-babahan-polis-seflerine-yapilan-iskenceyi-yazdi-h110659.html

11-“Alpay ve Altan’ın tahliye edilmemesine büyük tepki!”
http://aktifhaber.com/medya/alpay-ve-altanin-tahliye-edilmemesine-buyuk-tepki-h110645.html

12-“Hukukçu Varol ByLock’la ilgili: Dosyalar boş ama 9-10 yıl ceza veriliyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/hukukcu-varol-bylockla-ilgili-dosyalar-bos-ama-9-10-yil-ceza-veriliyor-h110632.html

13-“Gözaltına aldıkları anneyi 4 aylık bebeğinden ayırıp Bayburt’a götürdüler”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gozaltina-aldiklari-anneyi-4-aylik-bebeginden-ayirip-bayburta-goturduler-h110669.html

14-“İhraç edilen savaş pilotu, kumpir satarken kıskıvrak(!) yakalandı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ihrac-edilen-savas-pilotu-kumpir-satarken-kiskivrak-yakalandi-h110459.html

15-“Bebekli kadınların tutuklanmasının Türk hukukunda da İslamda da yeri yok!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/bebekli-kadinlarin-tutuklanmasinin-turk-hukukunda-da-islamda-da-yeri-yok-h110449.html

16-“AKP’nin OHAL’i 3 kişinin daha hayatını kararttı..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/akpnin-ohali-3-kisinin-daha-hayatini-karartti-h110427.html

17-“Berk Görmez’in cenazesine babasını kelepçeyle getirdiler!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/berk-gormezin-cenazesine-babasini-kelepceyle-getirdiler-h110411.html

18-“Cinsel istismarı kamera ile kayıt altına alındı; yine de red etti..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/cinsel-istismari-kamera-ile-kayit-altina-alindi-yine-de-red-etti-h110401.html

19-“OHAL’in suç karnesi: 126 suç türü!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ohalin-suc-karnesi-126-suc-turu-h110347.html

20-“Geç kalan adalet, bir öğretmenin daha hayatını kararttı..”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gec-kalan-adalet-bir-ogretmenin-daha-hayatini-karartti-h110328.html

21-“Gergerlioğlu: Berk’i kaybettik, bari Eray babasını görmeli”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gergerlioglu-berki-kaybettik-bari-eray-babasini-gormeli-h110289.html

22-“Emekli Hakim Kardaş: ByLock’ta sadece isim bildiren listeler delil kabul edilemez”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/emekli-hakim-kardas-bylockta-sadece-isim-bildiren-listeler-delil-kabul-edilemez-h110633.html

23-“Alman Freie Presse Gazetesi: Hizmet Hareketi mensuplarının mağduriyetlerini yer verdi”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/alman-freie-presse-gazetesi-hizmet-hareketi-mensuplarinin-magduriyetlerini-yer-verdi-h110607.html

24-“Türkiye Barolar Birliği Başkanı Feyzioğlu: AYM’nin kararı bağlayıcıdır”
http://aktifhaber.com/politika/turkiye-barolar-birligi-baskani-feyzioglu-aymnin-karari-baglayicidir-h110603.html

25-“Emniyet Müdürü’nden Soylu’ya mesaj: Yeri gelirse kafalarını kıracağız”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/emniyet-mudurunden-soyluya-mesaj-yeri-gelirse-kafalarini-kiracagiz-h110573.html

26-“TÜRGEV ve Ensar Vakfı’nın 3 yurdunda öğrencilerin hayatı hiçe sayıldı”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/turgev-ve-ensar-vakfinin-3-yurdunda-ogrencilerin-hayati-hice-sayildi-h110559.html

27-“Yargıtay Onursal Başkanı Sami Selçuk: Tabuta son çivi”
https://www.evrensel.net/haber/283205/yargitay-onursal-baskani-sami-selcuk-tabuta-son-civi

28-“Mevcut rejim bakimindan anayasa mahkemesi’nin Alpay ve Altan kararlari ”
http://www.tr724.com/mevcut-rejim-bakimindan-anayasa-mahkemesinin-alpay-altan-kararlari/

29-“15 Temmuz’da erdoğan’i korumak için çatişan polise Bylock’tan 6 yil 3 ay hapis”
http://www.tr724.com/15-temmuzda-erdogani-korumak-icin-catisan-polise-bylocktan-6-yil-3-ay-hapis/

30-“Bayraktar’a ‘ben dilenci değilim’ diye isyan eden lenf kanseri hastasi Dilek Özçelik hayatini kaybetti”
http://www.tr724.com/bayraktara-ben-dilenci-degilim-diye-isyan-eden-lenf-kanseri-hastasi-dilek-ozcelik-hayatini-kaybetti/

31-“TBMM’nin önünde kendini yakan işçiye fiili gözalti!”
http://www.tr724.com/tbmmnin-onunde-kendini-yakan-isciye-fiili-gozalti/

32-” Yok böyle bir “taniklik”: mahkemede gerçekleri söyleyince segbis’i dondurdular, davayi ertelediler!”
http://www.tr724.com/yok-boyle-bir-taniklik-mahkemede-gercekleri-soyleyince-segbisi-dondurdular-davayi-ertelediler/

33-” OHAL’de cezaevlerindeki sağlik hakki ihlalleri artti: her yil 215 kişi hayatini kaybediyor”
http://www.tr724.com/ohalde-cezaevlerindeki-saglik-hakki-ihlalleri-artti-her-yil-215-kisi-hayatini-kaybediyor/

35-“16 Temmuz sabahi köprüde ilk kez yayinlanan görüntüler: 4 tanesini öldürdük…”
http://www.tr724.com/16-temmuz-sabahi-koprude-ilk-kez-yayinlanan-goruntuler-4-tanesini-oldurduk/

35-“Avrupa parlamentosu’ndan aym kararina uygulamayan mahkemelere tepki ”
http://www.tr724.com/avrupa-parlamentosundan-aym-kararina-uygulamayan-mahkemelere-tepki/

36-“Freedom House: ‘Bazı devlet görevlileri cezadan muaf gibi davranıyor’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/freedom-house-bazi-devlet-gorevlileri-cezadan-muaf-gibi-davraniyor/

37-” ’11 bin 480 ByLock mağduru buz dağının görünen yüzü’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/11-bin-480-bylock-magduru-buz-daginin-gorunen-yuzu/

38-“HÖH’ten soruşturma açıklaması: Memnuniyet duyduk, gururluyuz”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/hohten-sorusturma-aciklamasi-memnuniyet-duyduk-gururluyuz/

39-“Çöpe atılan kitapta parmak izi çıkan üniversite öğrencisi gözaltına alındı”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/cope-atilan-kitapta-parmak-izi-cikan-22-yasindaki-genc-kizi-gozaltina-aldilar/

40-“Açlığın 310’uncu günü: ‘Bir komisyon var mı’ emin değiliz”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/acligin-310uncu-gunu-bir-komisyon-var-mi-emin-degiliz/

41-” Savcılık: ‘Muharrem’in cenazesinin çuvalda taşınmasında ihmal yok’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/cenazesi-cuvalda-tasinan-muharremin-olumunde-ihmal-gorulmedi/

42-” AYM ‘hak ihlali’ yorumu: ‘Doğru kararı ilk derece mahkemesi verir’”
http://www.kronos.news/tr/mahkemeler-feto-ile-mucadeleyi-zaafa-ugratmamali/

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Ergun Babahan wrote about risk of torture for police chiefs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Without evidence, ByLock cannot be used as a reason to arrest!”

Prof. Izzet Özgenç, who is one of the founders of the Turkish Penal Code, emphasized that the Bylock arrests made without revealing any evidence are unlawful. Özgenç said, “Depriving thousands of people of their rights and sentencing them to punishment without properly researching if these people have actually used Bylock, how they have used it, whom they have communicated with, and collecting evidence that proves that they are guilty, is a situation that can never be passed by an excuse.” Recently, Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that close to 11 thousand people have been mistakenly investigated for use of ByLock.

Murat Akkoç, a lawyer who researches Bylock, said that “11 thousand people will be removed from the list, in a similar manner to how 113 thousand people were removed from the list of 215 thousand people on September 2016. Bylock user list, which was announced as 215 thousand on September 2016, 113 thousand people will be removed from the list of 11 thousand people from the same reasons. The 91 thousand people remaining on the list is as innocent as the 124 thousand people released in the 16 months period.”

Source: http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/delil-olmadan-bylockla-tutuklamanin-mazereti-olamaz-h110515.html

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There are 624 children under the age of six in prison

The Justice Ministry announced that there are 624 children under the age of six staying in prisons with their mothers. There are 111 babies under age of one in prisons, and 157 children aged between one and two years old. This number increased by 20% compared to last year. It is also reported that 51 of the children in prison are non-Turkish nationals.

Source: http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/cezaevlerinde-alti-yas-altinda-624-cocuk-var-h110536.html

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CPJ announces Press Oppressors awards

CPJ, which is one of the significant promoters and defenders of press freedom and the rights of journalists, recognized world leaders that have significantly harmed the press, undermined norms supporting freedom of the media in their countries and gone beyond to silenced critical voices. Following are the ranking of leaders in five categories:

Most Thin-skinned

Winner: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey

Turkish authorities have repeatedly charged journalists, news outlets, and social media users for insulting Erdoğan, insulting other Turkish leaders, and insulting “Turkishness” in general. Over the course of 2016, the Turkish judicial system handled 46,193 cases of “insulting the president” or “insulting the Turkish nation, the Republic of Turkey, the parliament, the government, or the institutions of the judiciary,” the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet reported in June 2017, citing figures from the Justice Ministry.

Runner-Up: President Donald Trump, United States

In response to media coverage critical of him, Trump has threatened to “open-up” U.S. libel laws, sue news outlets, and subject their broadcast licenses to review. He regularly attacks outlets and individual journalists on Twitter and in speeches, calling them “sad,” “failing,” or “garbage.” Since declaring his presidential candidacy in 2015, Trump has posted about 1,000 tweets critical of the press. CPJ research shows that when public figures and political leaders lob insults at the media, they encourage self-censorship and expose journalists to unnecessary risk.

Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press

Winner: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey

Turkey is the world’s worst jailer of journalists, with at least 73 behind bars when CPJ conducted its most recent prison census on December 1. Every journalist jailed for their work in Turkey is under investigation for, or charged with, anti-state crimes — in most cases for belonging to, aiding, or making propaganda for an alleged terrorist organization.

Runner-Up: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt

Of at least 20 journalists jailed in Egypt at the time of CPJ’s latest prison census, 18 were charged with, or convicted of, anti-state crimes such as aiding or inciting terrorism or belonging to banned groups. In 2017, Sisi’s government passed a new anti-terrorism law that furthered its crackdown on the press by, among other things, enabling authorities to put journalists acquitted of terrorism-related charges on a watch list that restricts their financial and other rights, according to news reports.

Tightest Grip on Media

Winner: President Xi Jinping, China

Beijing, under the increasingly iron grip of Xi, uses a combination of traditional censorship and internet controls to keep the news media in line. China is consistently one of the world’s worst jailers of the press; in 2017 it was the second worst globally, with at least 41 journalists in prison. Most traditional media is controlled by the government, and journalists risk losing their jobs or being banned from traveling if they push the boundaries of censorship directives at their news outlets or in personal blogs. Reporters’ sources and international journalists are also harassed and obstructed. Internet controls include the Great Firewall, human and automated censors, and pressure on technology companies to comply.

Runner-Up: President Vladimir Putin, Russia

Under Putin, independent media has been all but eradicated as journalists experience threats of violence or imprisonment and other types of harassment. His government recently ordered international news outlets including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to register as foreign agents (in response to a parallel move by the U.S.), and blocked their journalists from entering Parliament. Russian authorities have tried with varying success to emulate the Chinese model of internet censorship.

Biggest Backslider in Press Freedom

Winner: State Counselor and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar

CPJ listed Myanmar in 2015 as the ninth most censored country worldwide, but after Suu Kyi’s party took power in 2016, the last five journalists in jail were pardoned and hopes for media freedom were high. However, most of the legal structure that has long restricted the press remains in place and journalists continue to be imprisoned. Security officials obstruct and harass journalists trying to cover what the U.N. has termed “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” by authorities in the country’s northern Rakhine State. On December 12, two Reuters reporters covering the crisis were arrested on suspicion of violating the Official Secrets Act and held incommunicado for two weeks before being allowed to see their lawyer and families. Reuters reported that if convicted, the pair could face up to 14 years in prison.

Runner-Up: President Andrzej Duda, Poland

Under Duda, the conservative-nationalist government led by the Law and Justice party has dramatically changed the reputation of Poland, which for decades was a symbol of democracy for its peaceful journey from communism to European Union membership. The independent media was a pillar of that transition. More recently, the government has taken direct control of public media and announced plans to change regulations in a way that would force foreign owners of news outlets to give up their majority stakes, according to news reports. Government offices have canceled subscriptions to pro-opposition news outlets, while state-owned companies redirected advertising money to friendly media, according to U.S. watchdog Freedom House. In December, Poland’s media regulator levied a 1.5 million zloty ($415,000) fine on leading news broadcaster TVN24 in relation to its coverage of protests in parliament in 2016, according to news reports which cited critics as saying the government is trying to warn journalists to self-censor. The government’s parallel moves to reform the judiciary prompted the European Commission in December to take the unprecedented step of launching a process intended to suspend the country’s voting rights in the European Union.

Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom

Winner: President Donald Trump, United States

The United States, with its First Amendment protection for a free press, has long stood as a beacon for independent media around the world. While previous U.S. presidents have each criticized the press to some degree, they have also made public commitments to uphold its essential role in democracy, at home and abroad. Trump, by contrast, has consistently undermined domestic news outlets and declined to publicly raise freedom of the press with repressive leaders such as Xi, Erdoğan, and Sisi. Authorities in China, Syria, and Russia have adopted Trump’s “fake news” epithet, and Erdoğan has applauded at least one of his verbal attacks on journalists. Under Trump’s administration, the Department of Justice has failed to commit to guidelines intended to protect journalists’ sources, and the State Department has proposed to cut funding for international organizations that help buttress international norms in support of free expression. As Trump and other Western powers fail to pressure the world’s most repressive leaders into improving the climate for press freedom, the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high.

Source: https://cpj.org/blog/2018/01/press-oppressor-awards-trump-fake-news-fakies.php

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