1-646-504-2088
help@silencedturkey.org

purge

Turkish Media Worker Zafer Özsoy Faces 3 Life Sentences With No Evidence

A Turkish media worker, who has been behind bars for 478 days, faces three consecutive life sentences and additional 15 years in jail on fabricated terrorism and coup plotting charges.

Zafer Özsoy, 44-year-old media professional who specializes in broadcasting network and satellite uplink services, is charged under Turkey’s abusive anti-terror laws when his company FİA was found to have provided infrastructure services to critical media outlets.

The company does not get involved in editorial policies of the clients that it provided services yet he stands accused of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, the Turkish government and the Turkish Parliament without any evidence to back up any of the charges.

Özsoy started his media career at Cihan News Agency in 1995 right after he graduated from İstanbul University’s Radio and Television department. He had worked almost for 20 years at the same company’s various departments. Thanks to his experience and extensive network of contacts, he became one of the best media professional in his field of expertise.

Starting in 2014, Erdoğan’s government intensified pressure on Cihan news agency and its clients, forcing the company to downsize a year later to survive by shedding some of its assets and laying off workers.

Özsoy and his colleagues who worked together for years decided to establish their own production company FİA that would serve live streaming, broadcasting and digital video content for businesses. FİA purchased some of the technical equipment from the Cihan news agency under a deal that included negotiated fee for severance and compensation payments.

However, on March 7, 2016, Turkish government unlawfully seized both the Cihan news agency and FİA as part of the escalating crackdown on critical media outlets in Turkey. Özsoy and his partners were the first ones who were fired by the government appointed trustees who took over the management of these companies.

After working 20 years in media industry, Özsoy’s dream to run his own company with a selected team of his own was over but the worst was yet to come.

He was detained on July 27, 2016 at his home in İstanbul following detention warrants were issued for 47 journalists on dubious charges. He was formally arrested on August 4, 2016 over alleged links to FETÖ, a hoax terror organisation that was fabricated by the regime of autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to defame the civic Gülen movement. He was sent to notorious Silivri Prison pending trial.

During the interrogation, Özsoy was asked why he continued to work for “Zaman Newspaper” when Turkey’s biggest corruption investigations incriminating cabinet ministers and President Erdoğan’s family members were made public at the end of 2013. Erdoğan, then prime minister, presented graft probes as a coup attempt against his government and accused critical media outlets, which covered the graft scandal, of being traitors and coup plotters against his government. Özsoy told his interrogators that he has never worked in Zaman newspaper.

The police even asked Özsoy whether he made any contribution to a piece written by Today’s Zaman former editor-in-chief Bülent Keneş who forewarned that a coup would be terrible for Turkey’s future, in an article Keneş wrote on July 8, 2016. Özsoy replied “I heard about the article for the first time here.” Keneş has also been indicted over absurd terrorism charges in several cases and remain at large. Ironically, this question was asked to all suspects who were detained along with Özsoy on July 27, 2016.

Özsoy appeared before judges for the first time in 14 months after he was arrested on September 18, 2017. The most difficult moment of the hearing was that he had to defend himself against the indictment that included no direct accusation on him. The public prosecutor mentioned his name twice in 64-page indictment. The first citation of him is recorded among the list of defendants in the first part of the indictment. The second and the last was in the list of suspects for whom the prosecutor demanded severe punishment for him. The prosecutor did not bother to present any evidence against the suspect whom he asked for sentencing that amounted to three life sentences and additional 15 years in prison.

As expected the court ruled for the continuation of his arrest pending next hearing which will be held on December 8, 2017.

Özsoy who is married with two children and known for his Formula-1 passion is looking forward to being free one day and reuniting with his loved ones.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the SCF has showed that 256 journalists and media workers are in jails as of November 21, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 230 are arrested pending trial, only 26 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 135 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Souce: https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-media-worker-zafer-ozsoy-faces-3-life-sentences-with-no-evidence/

Read more

Detention warrants issued for 79 teachers on Teachers Day

As Turkey celebrates the Teachers Day, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday issued detention warrants for a total of 79 teachers due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to the report, all of the 79 teachers were dismissed by the government following a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Teachers Day in Turkey is celebrated on Nov. 24, which marks the day when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, was declared the nation’s head teacher 86 years ago.

The Gülen movement is accused by the Turkish government of mounting the attempted coup last year, but the movement strongly denies any involvement.

Amid an ongoing witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Nov. 16 said 48,739 people had been jailed and eight holdings and 1,020 companies seized as part of operations into the movement.

The Turkish Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup on July 15, 2016.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15 of last year through government decrees issued as part of a state of emergency.

Source: https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/24/detention-warrants-issued-for-99-teachers-on-teachers-day/

Read more

Erdogan’s Government Established Political Control over Turkish Judiciary and Selective Application of Law

ERDOGAN’S GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED POLITICAL CONTROL OVER TURKISH JUDICIARY AND SELECTIVE APPLICATION OF LAW

Following the attempted coup, very extensive suspensions, dismissals and arrests took place in Turkey. There are numerus reports of extremely serious human rights violations, including alleged widespread ill-treatment and torture of detainees.


Download PDF File: Political Control over Turkish Judiciary and Selective Application

Read more

AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly Nov. 6

Download as pdf: AST_Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly_Nov6

Human Rights Violations committed by Turkey | 10/30/2017-11/06/2017

1-“1,025 in poor health in Turkish prisons, 357 seriously ill: rights group”
https://turkeypurge.com/1025-turkish-prisons-poor-health-357-seriously-ill-rights-group

2-“Tearful Balıkesir Mayor Uğur resigns in the face of threats to his family”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/tearful-balikesir-mayor-ugur-resigns-in-the-face-of-threats-to-his-family/

3-“759 detained in operations targeting Gülen movement in past week”
https://turkeypurge.com/759-detained-operations-targeting-gulen-movement-past-week

4-“İzmir police detain 6 lawyers on terror charges: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/izmir-police-detain-6-lawyers-on-terror-charges-report

5-“12 journalists detained, 4 arrested, 11 imprisoned in Turkey in October”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/12-journalists-detained-4-arrested-11-imprisoned-in-turkey-in-october/

6-“31 more sought for detention over alleged Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/31-more-sought-for-detention-over-alleged-gulen-links/

7-“3,158 detained in October over Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/3158-detained-in-october-over-gulen-links/

8-“EP’s Harms calls on EULEX to look into Turkish teacher case”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/eps-harms-calls-on-eulex-to-look-into-turkish-teacher-case/

9-“Local businessman gets 42.5-year jail time plus $35,000 fine”
https://turkeypurge.com/local-businessman-gets-42-5-year-jail-time-plus-tl-130000-fine

10-“Academics Flee Turkey for Germany as Erdogan targets teachers”
http://www.dw.com/en/academics-flee-turkey-for-germany-as-erdogan-targets-teachers/a-41181311

11-“Letter reveals visually impaired journalist can barely survive in prison”
https://turkeypurge.com/letter-reveals-visually-impaired-journalist-can-barely-survive-prison

12-“Turkey detains four more journalists over coup charges: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-detains-four-journalists-coup-charges-report

13-“Turkish court orders 81-year-old man to stay behind bars on coup charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-court-rules-81-year-old-man-stays-behind-bars-coup-charges

14-” Detention warrants issued for 112 over links to gov’t-closed writers foundation”
https://turkeypurge.com/detention-warrants-issued-112-links-govt-closed-writers-foundation

15-” Cumhuriyet daily journalists to remain in jail following Tuesday hearing”
https://turkeypurge.com/cumhuriyet-daily-journalists-remain-jail-following-tuesday-hearing

16-” Turkish activist charged with trying to overthrow government: media ”
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-arrest/turkish-activist-charged-with-trying-to-overthrow-government-media-idUSKBN1D13NV

17-“3,158 detained in October over Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/3158-detained-in-october-over-gulen-links/

18-“Historian Armağan sentenced to 15 months for insulting Atatürk”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/31/historian-armagan-sentenced-to-15-months-for-insulting-ataturk/

19-” Turkish Government Imprisons One More Mother With Her Baby Over Links To Gülen Movement”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-government-imprisons-one-more-mother-with-her-baby-over-links-to-gulen-movement/

20-“Opposition deputy being investigated for calling Erdoğan ‘a fascist dictator’”
https://turkeypurge.com/opposition-deputy-investigated-calling-erdogan-fascist-dictator

21-” Municipal worker commits suicide following investigation over Gülen links”
https://turkeypurge.com/municipal-worker-commits-suicide-following-investigation-gulen-links

22-“All demonstrations, public gatherings banned for 3 months in capital Ankara”
https://turkeypurge.com/demonstrations-public-gatherings-banned-capital-ankara

23-” Anonymous witnesses fail to identify suspects they earlier tipped off as Gulenist”
https://turkeypurge.com/anonymous-witnesses-fail-identify-145-suspects-earlier-tipped-off-gulenist

24-” Court rules to keep award-winning human rights lawyer in jail”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/03/court-rules-to-keep-award-winning-human-rights-lawyer-in-jail/

25-” Man with speech, hearing impairment gets 3-year jail time for ‘chanting terror slogans’”
https://turkeypurge.com/man-speech-hearing-impairment-gets-3-year-jail-time-chanting-terror-slogans

26-” Famous baklava maker says under arrest for 15 months over a book seized at workplace”
https://turkeypurge.com/famous-baklava-maker-says-arrest-15-months-book-seized-workplace

27-“Journalist Hidayet Karaca gets 31-year jail time over 2013 TV series”
https://turkeypurge.com/journalist-hidayet-karaca-gets-31-year-jail-time-2013-tv-series

28-“EU calls on Turkey to respect standards of European Convention on Human Rights
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/03/eu-calls-on-turkey-to-respect-standards-of-european-convention-on-human-rights/

29-“Detention warrants issued for 41 including comedian Demirci”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/03/detention-warrants-issued-for-41-including-comedian-demirci/

30-“Yet another child put behind bars along with jailed mother”
https://turkeypurge.com/yet-another-child-put-behind-bars-along-jailed-mother

31-“Turkey seizes another company on coup charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-seizes-another-company-coup-charges

32-“Dozens take to Parliament Hill to protest Turkish human rights violations”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/parliament-hill-protest-turkey-human-rights-violations-1.4388041

33-“Purge In Turkey Worries KC Emigres”
http://www.flatlandkc.org/commentary/kc-turkish-community-fears-repression-home/

34-“Report: Torture inflicted by founding member of new Turkish party exposed”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/05/report-torture-inflicted-by-founding-member-of-new-turkish-party-exposed/

Türkiye tarafından işlenenen İnsan Hakları İhlalleri | 10/30/2017-11/06/2017

1-“Hapisteki 668 bebek için dünya nasıl ses verdi?”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/hapisteki-668-bebek-icin-dunya-nasil-ses-verdi-h106594.html

2-“Gizli tanık, “sanıkları” tanımadı””
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/gizli-tanik-saniklari-tanimadi-h106579.html

3-“Tahliye edildiği cezaevinde gözaltına alınan öğretmen Nazife Onay tutuklandı”
http://www.diken.com.tr/tahliye-edildigi-cezaevinde-gozaltina-alinan-ogretmen-nazife-onay-tutuklandi/

4-“100 barış akademisyenine terör davası!”
http://aktifhaber.com/egitim/100-baris-akademisyenine-teror-davasi-h106593.html

5-“‘Muayeneye giden tutuklulara kamerayı kapatttığı gerekçesiyle dayak'”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/muayeneye-giden-tutuklulara-kamerayi-kapatttigi-gerekcesiyle-dayak-h106652.html

6-“70 bin öğrenci hapiste”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/70-bin-ogrenci-hapiste-h106618.html

7-” 3 gazeteci daha gözaltına alındı!”
http://aktifhaber.com/medya/3-gazeteci-daha-gozaltina-alindi-h106723.html

8-” Gazeteci Çetinkaya işkence nedeniyle böbreklerini kullanamaz halde”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gazeteci-cetinkaya-iskence-nedeniyle-bobreklerini-kullanamaz-halde-h106692.html

9-” Tekirdağ Cezaevi’nde tutuklulara sistematik işkence!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/tekirdag-cezaevinde-tutuklulara-sistematik-iskence-h106669.html

10-“Gazeteci Arat cezaevinde yaşadığı mağduriyetleri mektupla paylaştı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gazeteci-arat-cezaevinde-yasadigi-magduriyetleri-mektupla-paylasti-h106686.html

11-“Kazakistan’ta kaçırılan öğretmenlerin eşlerinden yeni açıklama”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/kazakistanta-kacirilan-ogretmenlerin-eslerinden-yeni-aciklama-h106776.html

12-“Tahşiye davasında karar açıklandı”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/tahsiye-davasinda-karar-aciklandi-h106826.html

14-“Bir anne daha bebeğiyle tutuklandı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/bir-anne-daha-bebegiyle-tutuklandi-h106835.html

15-“Atalay Demirci yeniden gözaltına alındı”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/atalay-demirci-yeniden-gozaltina-alindi-h106828.html

16-“Terör gazisi Belediye işçisi intihar etti!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/teror-gazisi-belediye-iscisi-intihar-etti-h106786.html

17-“Şahitler gelmedi diye serbest bırakılmadı!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/sahitler-gelmedi-diye-serbest-birakilmadi-h106790.html

18-“Ölseniz de hastaneye götürmeyeceğiz”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/olseniz-de-hastaneye-goturmeyecegiz-h106807.html

19-“Ali Türkşen’in ifadelerdeki işkencelerini yazdı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ali-turksenin-ifadelerdeki-iskencelerini-yazdi-h106890.html

20-“Bursa’da işkence Adli Tıp raporuna girdi!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/bursada-iskence-adli-tip-raporuna-girdi-h106877.html

21-“Konya Emniyeti’nde işkence yapılıyor!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/konya-emniyetinde-iskence-yapiliyor-h106873.html

22-“Cezaevleri ölüm evi oldu; her yıl 215 kişi hayatını kaybediyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/politika/cezaevleri-olum-evi-oldu-her-yil-215-kisi-hayatini-kaybediyor-h106909.html

23-“Cezaevinde cinayet gibi ihmal: Hamile kadın ve karnındaki bebeği hayatını kaybetti”
http://www.tr724.com/ohalde-cezaevinde-cinayet-gibi-ihmal-hamile-kadin-karnindaki-bebegi-hayatini-kaybetti/

24-“Tutuklu Tuğgeneral Ankara’da hayatını kaybetti”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/tutuklu-tuggeneral-ankarada-hayatini-kaybetti-h106968.html

Read more

Turkey: A Prison for Journalists

In 2016, Turkey became the world’s leading jailer of journalists, imprisoning at least 81 reporters, editors, and producers- a record number. This is a crackdown unlike any before, a crackdown that has ultimately wiped out all opposition media.

Read more

Turkey defies UN on abductions with cases of disappearances piling up

Turkey defies UN on abductions with cases of disappearances piling up

Mustafa Özben, a Bar registered lawyer, was last seen on May 9 when he took his daughter to school. His wife indicates that she is concerned for his life.

Read more

Claims of torture after Turkey’s coup

http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/38126581/claims-of-torture-after-turkey-s-coup

After the coup attempt, came the purge; where more than 125,000 were sacked and 45,000 arrested. There are many worrying testimonies of torture. The UN’s special investigator on torture has arrived in Turkey following allegations of rape and abuse by the country’s security forces.
 

Read more

Demise of Turkish Judiciary

Erdogan’s Government Established Political Control over Turkish Judiciary and Selective Application of Law

Following the attempted coup, very extensive suspensions, dismissals, and arrests took place in Turkey. There are numerous reports of extremely serious human rights violations, including alleged widespread ill-treatment and torture of detainees. The crackdown has continued since and has been broadened to all opposition voices. The measures affected the whole spectrum of society, with a particular impact on the judiciary, police, gendarmerie, military, civil service, local authorities, academia, teachers, lawyers, the media and the business community. Human rights authorities across the World are gravely concerned about the degradation of the rule of law and democracy unfolding in Turkey.

Under the rule of law, everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty. In Turkey, it’s now the opposite. People from all across the ideological spectrum have been baselessly charged with crimes and expected to prove their innocence. If there is no rule of law, then there is neither order nor democracy. Turkey is, unfortunately, moving away from democracy and heading toward
authoritarianism.

Turkey ranked among the Worst 15 among 113 Countries on Rule of Law Index published in 2016 by the World Justice Project, trailing Iran and Russia.
Source: https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/RoLI_Final-Digital_0.pdf

WJP Rule of Law Index
The WJP Rule of Law Index provides original, impartial data on how the rule of law is experienced in everyday life in 113 countries around the globe. It is the most comprehensive index of its kind. To date, more than 270,000 citizens and experts have been interviewed worldwide. Index findings have been referenced by heads of state, chief justices, business leaders, public officials, and the press, including media outlets in over 125 countries worldwide.

“No Rule of Law” brings “Absolute Human Rights Violations”
The following are excerpts from expert comments and watchdog reports on the establishment of political control over Turkish judiciary by Turkey’s ruling party:

U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Report 2014:
Impunity and weak administration of justice: The judiciary and law enforcement agencies were politicized, giving the appearance of impropriety and bias. The government reassigned thousands of police and prosecutors in response to an anti-corruption investigation they were conducting of a number of senior government officials and their families, and the prosecutors who initiated the investigation were suspended. The government closed the investigation and destroyed evidence that was gathered; many police officers involved in the investigation were accused publicly of a conspiracy to overthrow the government. Very few police were prosecuted for excessive force that led to dozens of deaths and scores of injuries among demonstrators in 2013 and 2014. The executive branch took greater control over the bodies responsible for judicial appointments and discipline and created a new set of courts in which single judges wield extraordinary powers and to which it assigned politically sensitive cases, which had a chilling effect on potential future investigations of politically connected persons. Wide leeway granted to prosecutors and judges contributed to inconsistent court verdicts. Authorities applied the broad antiterror law extensively with little transparency and continued to engage in arbitrary arrests, hold detainees for lengthy and indefinite periods, and conduct extended trials.
Source: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/236798.pdf
http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/ – wrapper

Human Rights Watch, World Report 2015, Chapter on Turkey:
“In the name of reducing the alleged influence of the Gülen movement in the justice system, the government took steps to bring the police, prosecutors, and judges under greater executive control. The government oversaw the mass reassignment or demotion of judges, prosecutors, and police, including all those involved in the corruption investigations. It adopted a law in February to restructure the Higher Board of Judges and Prosecutors (Hâkimler ve Savcılar Yüksek Kurulu, HSYK) responsible for the administration of the judiciary, to tie it closer to the executive, and created in July a new category of criminal judges of the peace responsible for key decisions at the criminal investigation stage.
In April, the Constitutional Court partially quashed key provisions of the HSYK law concerning enhanced powers for the Minister of Justice on the grounds that they violated the separation of powers in important respects, threatened judicial independence, and opened the way to political pressure on the judiciary.”
Source: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/turkey

Amnesty International: Annual Report 2015/16, Chapter on Turkey
“Politically motivated appointments and transfers of judges and prosecutors continued throughout the year, wreaking havoc on a judiciary already lacking independence and impartiality. Criminal Courts of Peace – with jurisdiction over the conduct of criminal investigations, such as pre-charge detention and pre-trial detention decisions, seizure of property and appeals against these decisions – came under increasing government control.”
Source: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/europe-and-central-asia/turkey/report-turkey/

European Union Progress Report
“Independence of the judiciary and the principle of separation of powers have been undermined since 2014 and judges and prosecutors have been under strong political pressure.”
Source:http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/10/turkey-criticised-over-media-freedoms-and-judicial-independence-in-eu-report

British Legal Experts Lord Woolf, Sir Jeffrey Jowell, Sir Edward Garnier:
“Since December 2013, the government has taken unprecedented steps to exert executive control over Turkey’s judiciary, to interfere with and derail the corruption investigation, to stifle criticism in the media and on the Internet.“
“The government has brought the main institution responsible for the judiciary, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, under its control by purging its members of anyone suspected of opposing the AKP government.”
Source:http://www.onebrickcourt.com/files/REPORT_ON_THE_RULE_OF_LAW_FINAL_FINAL_240815_27622.pdf

Ergun Ozbudun, Professor of Political Science and Constitutional Law at Sehir University:
“AKP government’s establishment of its control over the judiciary will certainly lead to a wider use of selective application of the law”. In Pending Challenges in Turkey’s Judiciary, January 2015 Policy Brief published jointly by Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, Italy.
Source: http://www.iai.it/en/pubblicazioni/pending-challenges-turkeys-judiciary

Hasim Kilic, Former Chief Justice at Turkey’s Constitutional Court:
Constitutional Court chairman Hasim Kilic, who announced he was retiring a month early, said the government’s “extraordinary interest” in the court’s affairs was undermining judicial independence. “Everybody knows the political views of judges and prosecutors, even in the remotest villages of the country. We cannot move forward with such a judiciary,” Kilic said. “The judiciary is not an instrument of revenge, it is not anyone’s tool to achieve their aims,” he told a news conference in Ankara.
Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/11/turkish-courts-being-turned-into-revenge-instruments-says-outgoing-top-judge

Hikmet Sami Turk, Former Minister of Justice:
“The judicial system that the government is trying to establish is unconstitutional and against the basic principles of law.”
Source: http://www.todayszaman.com/anasayfa_pm-erdogan-confesses-to-creating-super-judges-for-anti-hizmet-plot_353671.html

Riza Turmen, a Former Judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR):
“Turkey has a serious regime problem; it is not a democracy – you can probably call it ‘elected authoritarianism.’ It is a majoritarian and hegemonic system,”
“There is a structural problem regarding the establishment of magistrate courts (penal courts of peace or criminal justices of peace, or sulh ceza hakimlikleri in Turkish) that was created with Law No. 6545, “The law amending the Turkish Criminal Code and other laws” adopted on June 18, 2014, with an omnibus law that was adopted in 2014. The creation of such special courts is incompatible with the principle of natural justice enshrined in Article 37 of the Constitution [which states: “no one shall be put to trial before a body other than the court he/she is legally subject to. No extraordinary judicial bodies shall be established that would lead to putting a person to trial before a body other than the court he/she is legally subject to.”]
These special magistrate courts have extensive powers to take all decisions related to the conduct of criminal investigations, such as detention, arrest, release and seizure of property. It is almost impossible to appeal their decisions because there is a closed-circuit system contrary to fair trial principles. Only another special magistrate court can review their decisions. As long as those magistrate courts exist, the chaotic judicial decisions will continue.”
Source: http://www.todayszaman.com/anasayfa_former-ecthr-judge-turmen-journalist-police-officers-should-have-been-released_379690.html

Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights:
The top human rights official at a pan-European body has added his voice to critics of newly adopted legislation tightening government control over Turkey’s legal system, even though Ankara defended its move and said it had no alternative.
“This will significantly increase the influence of the executive, raising more concerns about undue political interference on the judiciary,”
Source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6e6b4b0e-97fa-11e3-8c0e-00144feab7de.html

“Defend Lawyer’s” Statement on The Independence of Judiciary in Turkey:
Source: https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/turkeyusa-resolution-of-abaesq-american-bar-association-and-massbar-on-independence-of-judiciary-mass-arrest-and-dismissal-of-judges-and-lawyers/https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/

American Bar Association’s (ABA) Resolution on Mass Detention
Source:https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/abanews/2016%20Annual%20Resolutions/10b.pdfhttp://www.abajournal.com/news/article/aba_condemns_mass_detentions_and_arrests_of_turkish_legal_community/

“Defend Lawyer’s” Statement on Mass Arrests and Dismissal of Judges in TR
Source: https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/turkeyusa-resolution-of-abaesq-american-bar-association-and-massbar-on-independence-of-judiciary-mass-arrest-and-dismissal-of-judges-and-lawyers/

Law Magazine of Boston College on Turkey
Source: http://lawmagazine.bc.edu/2016/08/bc-law-community-calls-for-rights-of-detainees-after-turkish-coup/

“International Commission of Jurists” Report on Turkey Judiciary
Source: www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Turkey-Judiciary-in-Peril-Publications-Reports-Fact-Findings-Mission-Reports-2016-ENG.pdf

Washington Post’s report on Turkey Judiciary
Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/turkeys-suspension-of-thousands-of-judges-marked-the-start-of-a-widespread-purge/2016/07/20/dbf79e18-4c50-11e6-bf27-405106836f96_story.html?utm_term=.0df19a75cd0c
https://www.rferl.org/a/turkey-us-judge-says-erdogan-took-over judiciary/28076774.htmlhttp://www.rechtersvoorrechters.nl/english/

Texas Bar Associations Statement on Turkey Judiciary
Source:https://www.texasbar.com/Content/NavigationMenu/NewsandPublications/TexasBarJournal1/OnlineMaterial/Pena.pdf

Joint Statement by European Judges, Journalists, Lawyers
Source: http://europeanjournalists.org/blog/2017/04/05/joint-statement-by-lawyers-judges-and-journalists-on-the-ongoing-crackdown-on-the-rule-of-law-in-turkey

“Where-ever law ends, Tyranny begins”
John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, 168

Download pdf version: Factsheet Political Control over Turkish Jud. Updated 10.29.2017

Read more