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Key Human Rights Concerns in Turkey since the Failed Coup

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Following the coup attempt on the 15th of July 2016, the Turkish government under the authoritarian leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken a wave of oppressive actions against not only the alleged coup plotters but also those that are perceived as critics of the regime. Currently, as part of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown, more than 170,000 people including judges, academics, teachers, journalists, police and military officers, and other public servants were dismissed from their jobs. In correlation, more than 217,000 were detained and 80,000 were arrested. Amnesty International reports that detainees were “being held arbitrarily” with “no evidence establishing reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior” and that “only a tiny minority of them were accused of taking part in the actual events of the attempted coup”.
Amid the massive crackdown of hundreds of thousands of dissidents, human rights organizations and the U.N. Human Rights Council have noted that human rights are violated on a large scale by the Turkish government. Arbitrary killings, suspicious deaths of people in custody, forced disappearances, tortures, ill-treatments, injustice, and threats – mostly against the followers of the Gulen movement, Kurds, and the Leftists – were reported widespread during this large-scale witch-hunt.
As people continue to be arrested and many more tortured and abducted, the present brief of Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST) highlights some of the key human rights concerns that took place in Turkey during this on-going period.

Unprecedented scale of dismissals: More than 130,000 civil servants, with their names attached in lists to emergency orders, were dismissed by emergency decrees. These civil servants included over 4,200 judges and prosecutors, 7,000 academics, 6,000 health-care professionals, 33,500 teachers, and 44,500 police and military officers. Not only were people dismissed arbitrarily but also banned permanently from working in the public sector – many were even banned to practice their profession.

Collapse of judiciary system: With approximately 4,200 judges and prosecutors (including two judges from the Turkey’s highest court) dismissed permanently, over one-fifth of Turkey’s judiciary has been removed. Of those dismissed, at least 2,200 were jailed with their assets frozen due to their alleged links to the Gulen movement. Consequently, the climate of fear paralyzed the judges and prosecutors who still have their positions. The fear combined with the heavy government influence in the court system led to the collapse of the judiciary system and the deterioration of human rights in the country. As a result, Turkey ranked 109 out of 126 countries in 2019 on the rule of law index of World Justice Project.

Victimization of lawyers: Lawyers are among the many groups affected by the post-coup crackdown in Turkey. They were unlawfully associated with their clients’ alleged crimes. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that many lawyers were targeted with criminal investigations with little or no evidence. According to the Arrested Lawyers Initiative, over 1,500 lawyers were persecuted over the past three years including 14 lawyers who were presidents of provincial bar associations – of those persecuted lawyers, one third remained imprisoned before and during their trials, and 274 were convicted of membership of armed terrorist organizations and sentenced to long prison sentences. Furthermore, approximately 34 bar associations were shut down by presidential decree with alleged affiliations to terrorist organizations.

The media purge following the attempted coup: In the aftermath of the failed coup, the government closed down 179 media outlets – including 53 newspapers, 37 radio stations, 34 TV channels, 29 publishing houses, 20 magazines, and six news agencies – with accused links to the Gulen movement, Kurdish opposition, or Leftists groups. Consequently, a total of 2,308 media workers and journalists have lost their jobs. The government cancelled hundreds of press accreditations and revoked passports of an unknown number of journalists and their family members to ban them from traveling abroad. In addition, the government imprisoned a record-breaking number of journalists in the wake of the coup attempt – with that, Turkey became the world’s largest prison for journalists. The Platform for Independent Journalism (P24) reported that at least 126 journalists and media workers were in prison in Turkey as of October 2019 – among them, many were put in long solitary confinement.
The absence of freedom of expression is not only a recurring problem for journalists but for citizens as well. In 2018, the Ministry of Interior reported that more than 7,000 individuals were detained for their social media posts after investigating 631,233 digital materials. In relation to the censorships and content restrictions in the country, Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey since April of 2017. Currently, out of the 180 countries, Turkey ranks 157 th on the Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders and are listed among ‘not free’ countries by the Freedom House.

Persecuting academics: Following the coup attempt, 1,043 private schools and 15 universities linked to the Gülen movement were closed by a presidential decree. Eventually resulting in the displacement of over 60,000 students across the country. Over 8,500 academics reportedly lost their jobs either due to direct dismissals or university closures since September 2016 – and many of them were imprisoned. Large-scale dismissals of academics and teachers significantly damaged the education sector thus diminished the right to education.

Crackdown on health care sector: Turkish government has shut down 14 hospitals and 36 medical centers after the coup attempt on the pretext of alleged ties to the Gülen movement. Therefore, an estimated 21,000 health care professionals were laid off – including doctors, academics, nurses, mid-wives, and other hospital staff. Of those, 5,261 are medical doctors and academics who specialize in the medical sciences. The figures of how many health care professionals have been detained, arrested or currently in prison are estimated in the thousands. Given the longstanding issue of hospital and staff shortages in the country, the dismissal of health care professionals and closure of hospitals left many patients in despair of medical care.

Prison conditions: With persecution of tens of thousands of critics, Turkey’s prisons have never been fuller – the prison population has increased from 171,267 inmates in 2015 to 260,144 in 2018. Given the capacity of 211,766, inmates are forced to remain in overcrowding cells. In order to free up space for more political prisoners, the government released nearly 34,000 convicts from prisons. The inadequate provision of heath care to prisoners also remains a serious problem. Officially reported by the Ministry of Justice Prison and Correctional Facilities, there were 271 doctors serving nearly a quarter million of the prison population – of whom, only eight were full-time. Insufficient access to fresh water, proper heating, ventilation, and lighting are other concerns for prison conditions.

Torture and ill-treatment: Despite the government’s stated zero tolerance for torture policy, human rights groups reported widespread and systematic use of torture and ill-treatment in police custody following the coup-attempt-including severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks, water boarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions, long solitary confinement, and depriving of food and water. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated acts of torture and ill-treatment aimed “at extracting confessions or forcing detainees to denounce other Individuals” in its report on Turkey in 2017. The Human Rights Association (HRA) reported that the number of incidents where prisoners were subjected to torture and ill-treatment in
detention centers and prisons was 2,178 in 2016, 2,415 in 2017, and 1,505 in 2018. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) reported a total of 126 suspicious deaths and suicides since the coup attempt – most of those occurred in detention centers and prisons, seemingly a direct result of torture and ill-treatment.

Abduction and enforced disappearance: In the aftermath of the coup attempt, forced disappearances made a comeback in Turkey. Opposing politicians and respected human rights groups claimed at least 28 abductions or possible enforced disappearances of individuals. Most of the victims were identified as dismissed public servants with alleged ties to the Gulen movement or critics of the government. Allegedly, victims were abducted outside detention facilities and illegally questioned and tortured by Turkey’s intelligence agency. Moreover, Turkey’s intelligence agency reportedly snatched over more than 100 alleged Gulen affiliates from 18 countries – individuals often deported by cooperative governments without due process.

Women and children in prisons: The prison conditions for women and children are exceedingly alarming. According to the Justice Ministry, as of 2017, nearly 10,000 women and 3,000 children under 18 are in Turkey’s prisons. The inhumane prison conditions also hold weight in women prisons. They face additional issues of the male security staff frequently obstructing their privacy during hospital visits, often times leading to incomplete examination. Among the prisoners, there are pregnant women or women who just gave birth and 677 children under 6 years old imprisoned along with their mothers – including 149 infants under 1 year old. Pregnant women were forced to stay with other inmates in overcrowded cells, also denied access to proper prenatal care – posing serious risks to their well-beings.
Likewise, mothers with children were also forced to share a cell with inmates.

Restrictions on right to travel: Another unlawful activity being pursued during this period is revoking the passports of government critics with perceived affiliations to the Gulen movement, Kurdish opposition, Leftists groups and their family members. On this ground, the Turkish government put restrictions on approximately 155,000 passports, reported by the SCF. Since their passports are restricted, many people, with the fear of persecution, use smuggler routes to flee from the country.
Unfortunately, many died in the Evros River and the Aeagean Sea. Turkey revoking its citizens’ passports also causes travel struggles for those across the world.

Seized the critics’ assets: The Turkish government abuses laws to seize assets of its critics. As of March 2018, the government had seized the assets of approximately 1,124 businesses and 127 individuals. According to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey, the net worth of the seized assets is an estimated 49.4 billion liras ($9.4 billion) since the 2016 coup attempt. Moreover, in most cases, the government freezes the assets of those on trial, financially crippling them and their families.


 

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PRESS RELEASE: CRUCIAL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TURKEY AND VIGIL FOR DECEASED PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF THE PERSECUTION

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FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

CRUCIAL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TURKEY AND VIGIL FOR DECEASED PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF THE PERSECUTION

On July 15, 2016, Turkey witnessed an attempted but failed coup which made an accelerating impact on Turkey’s already fraying democratic mechanisms and allowed the administration to launch a sweeping purge to cleanse public service and security bureaucracy of his political opponents and critics. More than 150,000 public workers, including generals, admirals, judges, prosecutors, doctors, teachers, police officers and etc., have been summarily sacked by emergency decrees without due process. For more than 3 years we have been facing ruthless human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of people – from arbitrary deprivation of the right to work and to freedom of movement, to torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary detentions and infringements of the rights to freedom of association and expression. As a result of those inhumane operations of the authorities and also during escapes through the Evros River and the Aegean Sea, so many deaths have occurred. Recently 7 people including 5 young children lost their lives while trying to flee the persecution by boats like other thousands of people did. Today we are gathered to commemorate those deceased people whether directly murdered by being tortured, denied medical treatment, or indirectly killed by being forced to dangerous ways of escapes. As we always do, today once more again, we call on the Turkish government to ensure human rights all over the country and follow the rule of law. We also urge the international community to take action to stop these crucial human rights violations in Turkey.

 

Hafza Y. GIRDAP
Spokesperson
directorhg@silencedturkey.org

 

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TAKE ACTION ; Vigil in remembrance of those who died in the Aegean Sea while fleeing from the persecution in Turkey.

On Friday, September 27, 2019, the boat carrying desperate people fleeing persecution in Turkey sank. Seven out of 19 people on the boat passed away.

Mustafa Said Zenbil, 12 years old
Meltem Zenbil, 40 years old
Kevser Sezer, 58 years old
Mahir Isik, 4 months old
Ibrahim Isik, 3 years old
Mustafa Kara, 6 years old
Gulsum Kara, 8 years old

Funerals were held and 2 of the deceased were buried on the slope of Chios with the help of Greek citizens.

While the Greek media published the news as, “The angels escaping from Erdogan lost their lives in the Aegean Sea,” about the unfortunate event, the Turkish media used inappropriate name-calling.

Please join us on Saturday, October 26, 11:00 am -1:00 pm in Bryant Park, New York in remembrance of those who died in the Aegean Sea.

After the collective prayer for those who passed away, flyers with information about this sad event will be distributed.  Cookies will be shared for the benefit of those who passed away.

In Turkey, 278 people have already died due to not being able to stand the persecution, having heart attacks and other serious medical conditions, from torture, while fleeing from persecution, after car accidents, or by the struggle for survival under difficult conditions.

Don’t be silent about this persecution! Take action and come to Bryant Park on Saturday, Oct. 26!

For more information and to find out about all of our activities, please follow us @silencedturkey

Send us an email if you want to participate

Willing contributions of any size are always accepted and appreciated.

 

 

 

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Office of the United Nations high commissioner of human rights report on TURKEY-2018- part2

Office of the United Nations high commissioner of human rights report on TURKEY-2018- part2

 

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Re: Urge Turkish Authorities to stop torture and bring perpetrators to justice on INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE JUNE 26 th

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INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE, JUNE 26TH

     Gokhan Acikkollu, the 42-year-old history teacher with diabetes, was dismissed from his job, subsequently detained and tortured for 13 days under police custody in Turkey. He ultimately died from a heart attack. Two years later, after his death, authorities found him not guilty and reinstated him to his teaching post; however, no real justice has been given.

Since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, democratic and fundamental human rights have been suspended in Turkey. The Turkish government has disregarded basic human rights, equality, and respect for human dignity. It has completely broken its ties with the western world, the European Union in particular. It is stated in Human Rights Watch October 2017 report that people accused of terrorism or of being linked to the July 2016 attempted coup are at risk of torture in police custody. There has been a spate of reported cases of men being abducted, some of whom were held in secret detention places, with evidence pointing to the
involvement of state authorities. 

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for UN Human Rights, declared that during the state of emergency period about 160,000 people were detained in Turkey; 152,000 state officials, including teachers, judges, and lawyers were arbitrarily expelled or investigated; over 200 journalists were arrested, 201 media outlets and hundreds of websites were shut down. There were many cases of torture, rape, and kidnapping, which were only partially reflected in the reports.

According to a report released by the United States Department of State on human rights practices in Turkey in 2018 between July 2016 and July 2018, Turkish Ministry of Justice reported that “investigations” were opened into 612,347 persons, the majority of whom were affiliated with the Gulen movement. Authorities prosecuted 1,519 lawyers and dismissed 7,257 academics and more than 4,000 judges and prosecutors. After the coup, the government operated prisons became filled with people who were detained and awaiting trial and began to work over capacity. 28 individuals disappeared, some kidnapped in broad daylight in front of their families.

Reports of torture, mistreatment, and abuse skyrocketed from tens in 2017 to more than 2,500 in 2018. 51 people lost their lives under suspicious circumstances in official custody.

The most recent torture incidents took place at Police Headquarters in Ankara against detained six ex-diplomats of Turkish Foreign Ministry on May 26th which were documented by the Ankara Bar Association. HDP MP Omer F. Gergerlioglu; Erinc Sagkan, President of Ankara Bar Association, and CHP MP Sezgin Tanrikulu spoke out about the allegations immediately.

We urge all the international bodies and human rights organizations along with Turkish judiciary to take all necessary steps to STOP TORTURE in TURKEY and bring all the perpetrators to justice.

Advocates of Silenced Turkey
help@silencedturkey.org
www.silencedturkey.org
Twitter: @silencedturkey
Facebook: @silencedturkey

 

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PRESS RELEASE ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2019

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WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2019

It is acknowledged in UNHCR’s Global Trends 2018 Report that the number of forcibly displaced people increased by 2.3 million people in 2018. By the end of the year, almost 70.8 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, states:

“What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict, and persecution.”

Since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government has targeted individuals and groups opposing the government. Through a mass witch-hunt, hundreds of thousands of people have been faced with arrest, imprisonment, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, denial of fair treatment, labeling, confiscation, and passport seizure. Turkish prisons became filled with people who were detained and awaiting trial and began to operate over capacity. 28 individuals disappeared, some kidnapped in broad daylight in front of their families. Reports of torture, mistreatment, and abuse skyrocketed from tens in 2017 to more than 2,500 in 2018. 51 people lost their lives under suspicious circumstances in official custody. Consequently, thousands of people were forced to leave the country for freedom and to live in humane conditions.

Migration is not easy for those who migrate as well as those countries who receive them. The activist poet Warshan Shire’s words about forced displacement summarize the refugee issue very concisely: “No one puts their children in a boat unless the boat is safer than the land.”

We, as AST (Advocates of Silenced Turkey), are dedicated to support refugees as well as to defend their rights and be a voice for them.

Hafza Y. GIRDAP
Spokesperson
directorhg@silencedturkey.org

 

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SEND A LETTER: STOP TORTURING DIPLOMATS

SEND A LETTER: STOP TORTURING DIPLOMATS

Send a letter to Congressman Hastings, the chair of Helsinki Commission or Hon. CHRIS SMITH- NJ from Lantos Commission to urge them to take action against Turkish authorities involved in torturing 6 Ex-MFA Diplomats in Turkey.

Sample letter to send Congressman Alcee L. HASTINGS.  & Congressman Chris SMITH

Dear Hon. Rep. Alcee L. HASTINGS
Washington, D.C.
2353 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Tel: (202) 225-1313
Fax: (202) 225-1171
https://alceehastings.house.gov/contact/

Urge Turkish Government to investigate the serious torture allegations to ex-diplomats in the capital Ankara, Turkey

Dear Honorable Congressman,

I deeply concerned about the torture allegations documented by the Ankara Bar Association. 6 ex-diplomats of Turkish Foreign Ministry have been detained at Police Headquarters in Ankara.  HDP MP Omer F. Gergerlioglu; Erinc Sagkan, President of Ankara Bar Association, and CHP MP Sezgin Tanrikulu spoke out about the allegations immediately..

According to the Ankara Bar Association’s report, 5 detainees were harshly beaten, knocked unconscious and sexually abused (anally raped with batons). The detained diplomats were forced to sign a statement of confession. A tortured diplomat lost his consciousness due to severe beatings and was hospitalized. However,  he was refused to be given a medical report. According to the UN report on March 2018, 263 incidents of torture in detention occurred in Turkey. Grave human rights violations like torture cannot be tolerated.

I will greatly appreciate if you urge the Turkish government to investigate these serious allegations and to bring the perpetrators of the horrible torture incidents to justice and If you share your thoughts about torture on your social media.

Thank you for your support to persecuted and oppressed innocent people in Turkey.

Yours Sincerely.

Or

Dear Hon. Rep. Chris SMITH

Washington, DC Office
2373 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
phone (202) 225-3765
fax   (202) 225-7768
https://chrissmith.house.gov/contact/

Full Report Link and more information :

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/05/29/world/europe/ap-eu-turkey-torture.html

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/a-new-phase-in-turkeys-crackdown-as-recep-tayyip-erdogan-tortures-diplomats

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/diplomats-tortured-in-turkish-jail-tz3r0lb7t

https://twitter.com/ankarabarosu/status/1133375623727058944?s=19

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-torture-idUSKCN1SY26O

https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/28/turkish-lawyers-group-says-foreign-ministry-staff-tortured-in-custody

https://twitter.com/silencedturkey/status/1133407264742760448?s=19

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Millions of Books Destroyed: Erdogan’s Regime Attacks the Culture of its Dissident Groups

Millions of Books Destroyed: Erdogan’s Regime Attacks the Culture of its Dissident Groups

Books play an important role in shaping public opinion and transmitting the culture of a society for the upcoming generations. For that, many authoritarian regimes throughout history have opposed books written in the pursuit of the opposition of those they perceived as enemies. With the goal of asserting complete control over public information and literature, the Erdogan regime has started such a war against the books and other publications of its dissident groups following the suspicious coup attempt on July 2016. In this direction, thousands of books have been outlawed and their publishers have been shut down. Therefore, copies of those books in all libraries and bookstores across the country have been confiscated. After it has been declared that possessing any copies of such books or publications may be considered the evidence for certain crimes, many people have been detained and arrested.
The current report of the Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST) provides an overview of what has happened during Turkey’s ongoing post-coup assault on the books and the cultural institutions, with a focus on the affected groups including the Gulen movement, Kurds, leftists, and seculars.

Some of the highlights from the report are given below.

● Book disposals in public libraries: Constituting approximately 7 percent of the total books in the public libraries across the country, 135,000 books are reported to be removed from the public libraries due to their affiliations with the Gulen movement. Of those books:
– 30,000 books that are authored by Mr. Gulen have reportedly been ordered to be burned.
– The remaining nearly 100,000 books have been sent off for recycling.
● Getting rid of books with a fear of arrest: After certain books and publications have been blacklisted, many have reportedly burned or tore their books for the fear of being discovered by their neighbors or law enforcement officials.

Some reported incidents are:

– D.A., a librarian at a university during the time of the coup asserted how he had to categorize his books in his personal library that constituted nearly 2,000 books to dispose the ”dangerous ones” among them.
– In the central province of Yozgat, military police — gendarmerie — found 560 Gulen authored books near a water fountain in a village. A crime-scene was conducted hoping to find the people whom the books belong to.
– Police officers found 150 Gulen’s books, some of which were totally or partially burned in a village in Northern Cyprus.
– In another story, authorities discovered hundreds of Gulen books thrown into the waters of Ataturk Dam in Eastern Anatolia.
● Charges over possessing certain books: In some cases, people who possessed certain blacklisted books have been suspected and persecuted. Some of the reported incidents are as follows:
– Canan Badem: An associate professor at Tunceli University, who was detained in August 2016 on charges of association with the terrorist organization after the police have found a Gulen-authored book at his university office. As a well-known critic of Gulen and a professed atheist, Dr. Badem will be facing a long prison sentence if found guilty.
– A housewife, R.Y. has reportedly been detained over allegations of burning Gulen’s books at a place close to her home. She faces charges of membership in a terrorist organization and making terrorist propaganda.
– Four school officials have been reportedly detained by the gendarmerie forces after they found them burning some documents in the garden of a school in Mugla province.
– A college’s attempt to get rid of Gulen-authored books from the college’s library right after the coup attempt has sparked an investigation in the western province of Afyon.
● Banned publishers, media outlets and other incidents: Aside from the Gulen associated books, Erdogan regime’s war on cultural instruments has taken various forms during the ongoing post-coup crackdown.

Some of such drastic actions are as follows:

– With the government’s decree law as part of the post-coup crackdown, three news agencies, 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, 14 magazines, 29 publishing houses have reportedly been shut down over alleged ties to the Gulen movement.
-Authorities have pulled off the shelves 72 books of Aram Press, one book of Tekin Press, and one unpublished book draft of Kirmizi Kedi Press.
– Istanbul Fourth Civil Court of Peace has issued a ruling to ban the distribution of the satirical weekly LeMan’s “Special Coup Issue”. This has been accompanied by trolls disseminating LeMan’s address with threats of ransacking it.
– A famous novelist, Zulfu Livaneli has also suffered from a similar ban when the ads of his latest novel has not been allowed to be displayed in public spaces by the authorities.
– Famous writers and philosophers including Albert Camus, Baruch Spinoza, Louis Althusser, Servet Tanili, and Nazim Hikmet have become suspects in the indictments prepared against the former head of now-defunct Free Journalists Association, Nevin Erdemir and in the indictment on Gezi protests in Ankara.
– Numerous physical assaults have occurred against publishers and bookstores across the country. In Diyarbakir province, for example, a warehouse of Avesta Press has been set in an arson attempt. Many branches of NT – a Gulen movement affiliated bookstore – have been destroyed and burned.
– Reports of the United Nations and other respected human rights organizations suggest that the conditions of Turkey’s prisons have been associated with already alarming records of human rights violations. One such issue is inmates’ limited access to books. While prisons do not allow book donations from outside, the prisoners have been allowed to possess 15 books at most. Furthermore, certain books that are either affiliated with the Gulen movement or in the Kurdish language have also been blocked. The number of affected inmates is reportedly more than 200,000 – including generals, diplomats, judges, academics, journalists, doctors and other people from all walks of life.
In addition to the cases that have been stated, there are officially more than half a million cases that are subjected to such terroristic crimes as reported by the minister of interior. With the pursuit to persecute individuals who attain these books, it is presumed that most of these individuals have already removed such publications from their possessions. Subjectively, if every individual was to get rid of several books, the total number of books disposed would be in the millions. This suggests that the multitude of the assault of Erdogan’s regime on the culture of its dissident groups are far more reaching than what is reported.


Download as a PDF File: https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Erdogans-war-on-books.pdf

 

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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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Turkey’s Massive Crackdown on Health Care Professionals Deepened the Country’s Already Alarming Records of Human Rights Violations

Turkey’s Massive Crackdown on Health Care Professionals Deepened the Country’s Already Alarming Records of Human Rights Violations

Following the coup attempt on the 15th of July 2016, dissident groups in Turkey are facing arguably their biggest crackdown in the country’s history. The Turkish government under the authoritarian leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken a wave of oppressive actions against those that are perceived as critics of the regime.
The health industry is among the variety of industries that have been affected in association with those actions. Hospitals, medical schools and health clinics have been shut down. Thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, scientific publishers and health authorities have been dismissed from their jobs. Many of those have been detained and/or arrested and are now serving prison sentences for baseless charges of belonging to what they call a “terrorist” group. Human rights organizations have also recently reported that arrested individuals have
been subjected to severe torture and mistreatments.
The present report of the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) provides an overview of key human rights concerns during the ongoing post-coup crackdown on Turkey’s health industry, with a focus on the affected groups including health care professionals, patients, medical students, and shuttered institutions and organizations. Some of the highlights from the report are:

● Dismissals of health care professionals: With the combined figures of those who were dismissed from the civil service and those who lost their jobs after the government shut down their institutions, the total number of health care professionals including doctors, academics, nurses, midwives, and hospital staff who were laid off has reached more than 21,000. Of those, a total of 5,261 are medical doctors and academics who specialize in the medical sciences:

-1,697 academics who worked in state-run medical schools and universities were summarily and abruptly dismissed with the government’s decree laws.
-1,684 physicians who worked for the Ministry of Health were purged.
-More than 1,200 doctors in the private sector suddenly became unemployed when the government shut down hospitals, medical centers and health clinics.
-675 academics who teach medical sciences lost their jobs after the closure of the Gülen movement-linked universities.

● Jailed health care professionals: The government has never publicized the figures of how many health care professionals have been detained, arrested or currently in prison. However, SCF’s monitoring Turkey’s media outlets suggesting the estimated figure is in the thousands.
The report provides numerous cases that portray the magnitude of how ruthless Turkish authorities have become in targeting real or perceived critics. Three selected cases from the report are:
-Mustafa Emmiler: A 47-year-old professor, who was detained on August 15 of 2016 on charges of alleged links to the Gülen movement. Dr. Emmiler is a prominent figure in cardiovascular surgery and the receiver of the “Doctor of the Year” award from the Ministry of Health in 2013.
-Haluk Savaş: a prominent 51-year-old psychiatry professor at Gaziantep University, who was arrested on September 28 of 2016 on charges of “terrorism.” He was a nominee for a parliamentary seat from the main opposition, Republican People’s Party (CHP).
-Murat Acar: the Harvard-educated Turkish professor who was extradited to Turkey on an arrest warrant issued by the Turkish government through Interpol even though he was under UN protection in Bahrain. Dr. Acar was subjected to torture and ill-treatment for 18 days after his extradition to Turkey.

● Suspicious deaths of health care professionals: Suspicious deaths in Turkey have increased during the aftermath of the coup attempt, of which most occur in Turkish jails and detention centers where torture and mistreatment are executed. In most cases, authorities declared them to be suicides without any effective, independent or through investigation. SCF has documented such cases where victims were health care professionals. Two selected cases from the report are:
-Sevgi Balcı: A 37-year old nurse who was a mother of three fired by government decree in October of 2016, committed suicide by hanging herself in Isparta province. It was reportedly due to not being reinstated to her job.
-Ali Özer: a 48-year-old doctor who was jailed on charges of his suspected links to the Gülen movement, died allegedly due to heart attack in Çorum Prison on March 23 of 2017.

● Turkish health care professionals in exile: The rising authoritarianism in Turkey has enforced health care professionals to escape the country, sometimes even through illegal migrant routes. However, they still face endangerment in their new homes as they take on new challenges such as having a difficult time finding jobs and securing recognition of their medical licenses. Advocators of Erdogan harass individuals in which they receive threats from Turkish government proxies. Exiled doctors have reported that they are fearful of their families in Turkey who might face persecution because of their beliefs.

● Shuttered hospital, medical centers, pharmacies, charities:
-In 2016, the Turkish government has shut down 14 hospitals and 36 medical centers on the pretext of alleged ties to the Gülen movement. They were issued by simple decree-laws without any administrative or judicial probes.
-On a similar pretext, 400 pharmacies across Turkey renounced access to the electronic prescription system of the Social Security Institution (SGK), an act meant to force these pharmacies to go bankrupt overnight. In addition to that, nearly 1500 pharmacies are under investigation as the media outlets in Turkey recently reported.
-A UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) partnered charity organization, Kimse Yok Mu has similarly been shut down in 2016. The charity organization had been active for many years and delivered emergency relief in disaster zones, provided health care services and helped rebuilding infrastructure in various communities across 113 countries.

● Patients: Patients were left in distraught as multiple medical centers and hospitals were shut down. As before, given the shortage of hospitals and staff members, many patients are unable to receive medical help. This forced some patients to seek medical treatments in other provinces. On the other hand, the Turkish government deliberately violates adequate access to health care and medical treatments to those prisoned patients. The situation aggregated for those in solitary confinement as opposed to the European Prison Rules. The report provides numerous cases for patients in detention facilities and prisons. Four of those cases from the report are:
-Gökhan Açıkkollu: A 42-year-old history teacher with type 1 Diabetes was detained on July 24 of 2016 and held in police custody for 13 days before he fell ill. He was questioned allegedly under torture and abuse until he developed health problems again and was taken back to the hospital only to be pronounced dead.
-Yavuz Bölek: A 49-year-old police officer, father of three was arrested on August 25 of 2016 despite being in a critical stage of colon cancer. Bölek continues to be kept in prison given his severe health circumstances backed by the medical reports.
-Tuğba Yıldız: A mother of three was detained on January 15, 2017, in Tekirdağ province. During 24-day long police detention, she had been tortured and mistreated before she eventually developed symptoms of a psychological disorder to the extent of losing her sanity, as revealed by the doctor reports. And yet the court ruled for the arrest of Yıldız and sent her to prison, where she has been incarcerated ever since.
-Nurhayat Yıldız: This 14-week-old-pregnant woman had been imprisoned with her alleged ties to the Gülen movement. After reviewing her medical reports, her plead to be released had been denied. She was kept in a crowded cell with 24 inmates where she suffered a miscarriage on October 6 of 2016. After receiving two days of hospital treatments, she was thrown back in jail. Yıldız’s situation portrays one of the many cases where inhuman treatments executed toward pregnant women who are forced to be in jail both during their pregnancy and immediately after giving birth.

● Medical students: Following the failed coup attempt, medical students have also been negatively impacted. Many students who are enrolled in the medical schools that have been shut down, were forced to partake in other universities across Turkey. There are cases where medical students have been subjected to persecution or even imprisonment of alleged ties to the Gülen movement. Details following such situations are provided within the report.

RESOURCE:
Stockholm Center of Freedom


Download as a PDF File: https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Turkeys_massive_crackdown_on_health_care-1.pdf

 

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