January 2023

Turkey Weekly 23 – 29 January 2023

Turkey Today – 29.01.2023
Yeni Yaşam newspaper employee Rojin Altay was detained at the airport while trying to go to Diyarbakır from İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport. 
A 74-year-old man has been imprisoned on terror charges in Adıyaman. 
According to the information received from sources in the region, the Turkish state deported 100 Syrian refugees to their occupied regions in northern Syria. 
The Justice Watch carried out by the Şenyaşar family has reached 692. The sit-in was launched on March 9, 2021 by Emine Şenyaşar, who lost her husband and two sons as a result of the attack carried out by AKP MP İbrahim Halil Yıldız’s bodyguards and relatives in Urfa. 

Turkey Today – 28.01.2023
The prosecutor, who prepared an indictment against DBP Diyarbakır Provincial Co-Chair Hayrettin Altun, affixed the police enquiry report “the issues were followed by our teams” and demanded up to 15 years in prison.
Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office regarding the imposition of women journalists were stripped search. The appeal against non-prosecution was dismissed.

The news stories notes and his work in the municipal press unit were considered as sufficient evidence in two separate cases that continue with the trial against journalist Murat Verim, who was imprisoned after Greece’s extradition to Turkey.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has visited the family of the former Grey Wolves head Sinan Ateş, who was assassinated on Dec. 30, 2022.
Three embassies have warned their citizens against possible terror attacks in Turkey, especially in places of worship. 

Turkey Today – 27.01.2023
An HDP delegation visited the former Co-Chair of the party, Selahattin Demirtaş, to exchange opinion on the elections.
The fourth hearing of the trial in which 15 people who were taken into police custody during the 2018 October 10th Massacre Commemoration in Van face “prevention of public duty” charges was held in Van. The court decided to issue writs so that the statements of complainant police officers can be taken and decided to wait for the case file to be completed. Trial adjourned until April 2023. 

Citizens living in the villages on the slopes of Mount Cudi stated that they were pressured to cut down the trees in the forest area. 
Two new lawsuits were filed against Emine Şenyaşar who launched a justice watch 675 days ago. 
Turkey summoned Denmark’s Ambassador to Ankara Danny Annan over the permission of burning the Quran in Copenhagen. 

Turkey Today – 26.01.2023
In the lawsuit filed against Osman Şiban, who was thrown from a helicopter in Van, on the allegation of “being a member of a terrorist organization”, a prison sentence of up to 15 years was demanded. 
The 3rd hearing of the trial in which human rights defenders Dr. Hüseyin Yaviç and Sevim Çiçek face “defying the Law no. 2911” charge was held in Van. The court decided to send the case file to the prosecutor so that he can prepare his final opinion. Trial adjourned until April. 
The 4th hearing of the trial in which 8 HDP MPs face multiple charges was held in Silvan. The court accepted the excuses submitted by the defense lawyers and decided to wait for the case file to be completed. Trial adjourned until May. 
Mafia boss Sedat Peker’s press advisor arrested again a day after a court decided to release him. 
Family and Social Services Minister Derya Yanık has stated that “About 70-75 percent of the causes of the violence against women are alcoholism.” 

Turkey Today – 25.01.2023
President Erdoğan cancelled visit to Berlin scheduled for 27 January. Reportedly, a consensus could not be reached during talks between Scholz’s Foreign Policy Adviser Jens Plötner and Erdoğan’s presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın on the content and timing of the visit. 
An investigation was launched against Osman Akın, the Editor-in-Chief of Yeni Yaşam Newspaper, based on the news published in the newspaper.
The second hearing of the retrial in which journalist Ayşegül Doğan faces “membership in an armed terrorist organization” charge on the grounds of her journalistic activities was held in Diyarbakır. The court decided to continue the international travel ban and decided to wait for the return of the writ issued for the statement of the witness to be taken. Trial adjourned until March. 
Three more suspects have been taken into custody in the investigation into the killing of Sinan Ateş, a former leader of the Grey Wolves. 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the ambassador Joep Wijnands after Europeans Against the Islamization of the West leader Edwin Wagensveld tore up a Qur’an in front of the House of Representatives in the Netherlands. 
President Erdoğan has issued a presidential decree postponing Schneider Electric workers’ strike for 60 days. Erdoğan’s decree ruled that the strike would threaten national security.

Turkey Today – 24.01.2023
President Erdoğan has said that he might use his constitutional authority to call early elections. 
The HDP, whose treasury accounts have been blocked, is launching the “Our treasure is our people” campaign upon the intense demand of its supporters.
Ten of the 12 people who were detained in the raid on their house in Bismil were arrested on charges of “being a member in a terrorist organization”.
Lütfiye Kelekçiler, who is in Patnos Type L Closed Women’s Prison, stated that they were subjected to ill-treatment and psychological pressure, and when they reacted, they were threatened with being transferred to another city. 
The 5th hearing of the trial in which journalist Deniz Yücel faces “degrading the Turkish Nation” and “insulting the president” charges was held in İstanbul. The court’s decided to wait for the return of the rogatory letters so that Yücel’s statement can be taken. Trial adjourned until. 
A fire broke out in the lodging of Surp Pırgiç Catholic Church in Istanbul last night. Two people were killed and another two were hospitalized. 
Reporter Yazıcıoğlu was pushed away by bodyguards and party members after asking MHP leader a question about the murder of the former Grey Wolves leader in the parliament. 

Turkey Today – 23.01.2023
On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court will discuss the request by HDP to postpone all procedures related to the closure of the party until after the elections. 
New commission established by the Table of Six will study the alternatives in order to win the parliamentary majority required to amend the Constitution in the Parliament in the coming elections.

Lokman Aslan, detained in Elazig Prison, stated in a phone call with his family that the guards beat 15 prisoners.

Turkey Weekly 16 – 22.01.2023

Turkey Today – 22.01.2023
The Ministry of Interior announced that it has launched a new military operation in Diyarbakır’s Lice district with the participation of 645 soldiers and village guards. 
Gıyasettin Sevmiş, a seriously ill prisoner in Van High Security Prison, is held in prison despite a report that he can’t stay there. 
Continuing their justice watch on day 685, the Şenyaşar family condemned the rejection of HDP’s Research Proposal regarding the massacre in Suruç State Hospital.

Turkey Today – 21.01.2023
JINNEWS reporter Derya Ren was given a 3-day solitary sentence for refusing to be striped.

It has been stated that the prisoner Abidin İnci in Patnos prison, who has many diseases, is given the injection once every 6 months, which should be used once a month. 
12-year-old Ehmed Salim who was injured in an armed Turkish drone attack on a vehicle in Northern Syria few days ago has lost his life in a hospital in Qamishlo. 
A prosecutor has demanded up to 4 years in prison as well as a political ban for main opposition CHP politician Eren Erdem over a tweet he posted regarding President Erdoğan. 
Former deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç has slammed the conviction of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, saying that it will only increase his popularity. 

Turkey Today – 20.01.2023
The Constitutional Court ruled on the application of Ali Ocak and Sebla Arcan who were battered during the police’s intervention to the 704th Week gathering of the Saturday Mothers/People. The court found that Arcan was subjected to torture and ruled for Article 17 violation. The Court found Ali Ocak’s complaint for maltreatment inadmissible on the grounds that Ocak did not suffer from the force exercised by the police. 
Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was commemorated on Jan. 19 on the 16th anniversary of his murder. A large crowd attended a ceremony held outside his former office in Istanbul, where the journalist was gunned down.
Istanbul police detained ten members of Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) while they were making a press statement on the occasion of a solidarity hunger strike for political prisoners. 
The appointed rector of the Middle East Technical University has suspended the activities of 17 student clubs over a protest against a “defense industry summit” organized by the Defense Industry Club which is affiliated the Youth Union of Turkey. 

Turkey Today – 19.01.2023
Bahar Karakaş Uluğ, the dismissed HDP city council member in Diyarbakır, was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison. The court decided to deprive Uluğ of custody of his children.
The protest of HDP MPs in front of the Justice Ministry against the isolation imposed on PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan continues on day 21. 
The first hearing of the trial in which JinNews editor Nişmiye Güler faces “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charge was held in İstanbul. Reasoning that cited social media posts do not contain statements which praise or legitimize the methods of the terrorist organization in question, the court ruled to acquit the journalist.
“Turkey’s presence on our borders increased, is more concrete, and in a way that is unacceptable,” Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid stated in an interview with news portal Rudaw, while attending the ongoing World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Turkey Today – 18.01.2023
President Erdoğan has implied that the elections will be brought forward to May 14, rather than June 18 as scheduled.
The court released one suspect charged with helping the gunman flee Ankara in the Sinan Ateş murder case following the request of a newly appointed prosecutor.
Alparslan Çelik who allegedly shot a fighter pilot from Russia in Syria, is seemingly often-seen guest at the MHP’s office. The authorities have been investigating but “could not find” him. 
Ankara football team Gençlerbirliği, playing in Turkey’s second league, gave the Sweden-born 24-year-old Rodin Cin Deprem yesterday a contract for one and a half years. Today the contract was revoked. The attacker previously played at Dalkurd, a cloub founded by Kurds.  

Turkey Today – 17.01.2023
The lawyers of PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan have made a new application to the CPT for their clients, who have not been heard from for more than 21 months, and demanded the release of the report on his last visit to İmralı.
The Diyarbakır 7th High Criminal Court upholds non-punishment of police officer Yakup Şenocak accused of killing Kemal Kurkut during Newroz celebrations in 2017. 
MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli called for the election to be held in May which is normally scheduled to be held in June.
The second hearing of the trial in which journalists Canan Coşkun and Barış Pehlivan face “identifying public officials on anti-terrorism duties as targets” was held in İstanbul. The court decided to send the case file to the prosecutor after the written statements are submitted to the file so that the prosecutor can prepare his final opinion. Trial adjourned until May. 
The fourth hearing of the trial in which journalist Baransel Ağca faces “inciting the public to hatred and hostility or degrading” charge was held in İstanbul. Ağca who lives abroad and his lawyer whose excuse was accepted by the court did not attend today’s hearing. The trial is adjourned to a later date. 
The names given by the imprisoned MA journalists for the visit are rejected by the Ankara Police on the claim that the visits will have an “organizational nature”. 
Erdoğan targeted LGBTI+ groups while talking about the constitutional amendment that AKP is preparing to “protect families.” “We want to prevent the virus of heresy, which is against human nature, from poisoning our nation’s existence,” he stated.

Turkey Today – 16.01.2023
HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar stated that they applied to the Constitutional Court regarding the closure case and said that the decision should be left until after the elections.

The government-linked paramilitary company SADAT has posted an advertisement with armed and masked persons on TV100 during the interview with CHP chair Kemal Kııçdaroğlu.
HDP MP Tayip Temel’s proposal regarding the investigation of human bones found in Zilan Creek was found to be “rude and hurtful” and not processed.
Hunger strike of Kurdish political prisoner Metin Uyar in Espiye prison entered day 40.
A Swedish prosecutor has said there would be no formal investigation into a demonstration in Stockholm in which a puppet of President Erdoğan was hung from its feet.

Turkey Weekly 9 – 15 January 2023

Turkey Today – 15.01.2023 

The hunger strike launched against violations of rights in Şakran Women’s Prison is on its 14th day. Lawyer Serhat Arlı said that the conditions in prisons deteriorated because the democratic public and human rights defenders turned a blind eye on prisons.
Turkey continues to attack villages in northern Syria. Starting late Friday afternoon, hundreds of shells were fired at populated areas in the cantons of Shehba, Afrin and Kobanê. 
With a rally under the slogan “Let’s end war, poverty and oppression – Let’s change together” and tens of thousands of supporters, the election campaign of the Alliance for Labour and Freedom was launched in Istanbul.
The Justice Watch carried out by the Şenyaşar family has reached day 678. The family said: “We will bring the justice that is suspended for now, together. We will be in Malatya for justice on January 17.”

Turkey Today – 14.01.2023 
MA Editor-in-Chief Diren Yurtsever stated that the cameras installed in the courtyard see inside of the wards, and that their objection to this was responded as, “No one is watching you.”
The Council of State overturned the rejection decision in the compensation case filed for the death of 14-year-old Cihat Morgül, who was murdered during the curfew in Sur and was declared a “being member of a terrorist organization”. 
It was learned that Anadolu University Faculty of Law lecturer Assoc. Dr. Bülent Yücel was suspended from the university for 3 months for asking questions to his students in the exam pointing to the closure case against HDP and the Presidential Government System.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said talks with Turkey should be based on the aims of ending “the occupation” of Syrian land and halting support for what he called “terrorism,”.
President Erdoğan’s spokesperson, İbrahim Kalın, has said that Turkey is running out of time to ratify NATO membership bids by Sweden and Finland as “the parliament will go into recess some time before the elections.”

Turkey Today – 13.01.2023 
The body of HPG member Ramazan Güçlü, who lost his life in the countryside of Nusaybin, was laid to rest in his hometown Silopi after 4 months.
Stating that the “new circular” issued by the Ministry of Justice for ill prisoners is not a solution, İHD Istanbul Branch President Gülseren Yoleri said that deaths in prisons should now be discussed as “murder”
Journalist Sezgin Kartal, who was detained on January 10, was arrested on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization”.
It was stated that Turkish Armed Forces opened fire on the people in the Bradost Region of the Federated Kurdistan Region and 2 children were injured.
Prosecutors have drafted another indictment against Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu over the alleged charge of “bid-rigging” for a 2015-dated tender upon the complaint of the Interior Ministry. 
Foreign Ministry has summoned Swedish Ambassador Staffan Herrstrom over a demonstration in Stockholm in which a puppet of President Erdoğan was hung from its feet.

Turkey Today – 12.01.2023 
PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan has been given a 3-month family visit ban. While “disciplinary punishment” was given as the reason for the ban, the lawyers stated that they would apply to the Constitutional Court. 
The Court of Appeal upheld the 1 year, 6 months and 22 days prison sentence  given to journalist Abdurrahman Gök, who photographed the murder of Kemal Kurkut. Kurkut was shot by the police during the Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakır in 2017. 
The Ankara 26th High Criminal Court which accepted the indictment in which documentary filmmaker #SibelTekin was charged with “membership in a terrorist organization” but in which “the organization” was not specified ordered further investigation to be conducted by the police. 

Bekir Bozdağ, the Ministry of Justice reflected the intention of the government to ban the social media posts of former HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş. Referring to this issue as “an important one,” he said in a press conference that “they were working on this issue.” 
Israeli President Isaac Herzog received Ankara’s new ambassador Şakir Özkan Torunlar and invited his Turkish counterpart Erdoğan to visit the country. 

Turkey Today – 11.01.2023
Turkey’s top administrative court has concluded that the authorities did not commit a “fault of service” that led to the 2015 Ankara train station bombing, which killed 103 people and injured over 500 others. 

The justification of the request by Bekir Şahin, Chief Public Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation for the suspension of the election funds to HDP was revealed. Şahin argued that HDP had “confined itself only with a statement saying that they are sorry” for the explosion on İstiklal Avenue and that the party “did not denounce” the attack on the police lodge in Mersin.
76 institutions and 2 thousand 393 names signed the campaign launched by non-governmental organizations against HDP’s deprivation of Treasury aid. 
The Turkish Armed Forces commanders applauded President Erdoğan’s remarks targeting main opposition CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu. 

Turkey Today – 10.01.2023
The 1st hearing of the lawsuit in which the prosecutor requests the dismissal of the Turkish Medical Association Central Council President Şebnem Korur Fincancı & Central Council members was held in Ankara. The judge decided to send the case file to an upper court so that the requests for recusation can be evaluated. Trial adjourned until February. 

The Justice Watch, initiated by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), demanding that PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan meet with his lawyers, continues on its 14th day. 
Journalist Sezgin Kartal was detained in a police raid on his house early this morning. 
The 2nd hearing of the trial in which journalist and author Ender İmrek faces “insulting the president” charge was held in İstanbul. Reasoning that the elements of the offense the journalist has been charged with did not occur, the judge ruled to acquit İmrek. 
The 3rd hearing of the trial in which 40 people, including journalists Muhammed Enes Sezgin, Sena Dolar and Kardelen Yoğungan face “defying the Law no 2911” charge was held in Büyükçekmece. Reasoning that the elements of the offense the defendants have been charged with did not occur, the judge ruled to acquit all the defendants. 
An Istanbul court ruled that police used “disproportionate force” against AFP photojournalist Bülent Kılıç during the Pride March in Istanbul in 2021. The court ordered Kılıç to be paid 30,095 liras in compensation.
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu has condemned the invasion of government buildings by supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, saying that elections should be respected. 

Turkey Today – 09.01.2023
HDP parliamentary group deputy chair Saruhan Oluç said that they are open to joining the elections with a joint presidential candidate if not excluded from the talks of the Table of Six. 
The criminal complaint of women journalists who were subjected to strip search in Sincan Women’s Prison was concluded with non-prosecution on the claim that “There is no element of crime”.
Attorney Sedat Düşünmez, who was battered and detained by the police while returning from Mir Perwer’s funeral, said that in the documents at the police station, Perwer was listed as “member of an organization” and those who attended the funeral were written as “supporters of the organization”.
No response has been given to the lawyers’ application to the prosecutor’s office for the bones found in Zilan Stream to be collected and examined.

The prison sentence for the fashion designer and celebrity Barbaros Şansal due to his social media posts for “insulting the President” with a Gollum photo was overturned based on “repeated trials with the same charges”. 

Turkey Weekly 2 – 8 January 2023

Turkey Today – 08.01.2023
HDP Executive Lawyer Sedat Düşünmez was beaten at a police check point, returning home from the funeral ceremony of Mîr Perwer. 
While the Turkish military positions on the border of Northern and Eastern Syria were strengthened, preparations for the relocation of a police station began. New watchtowers are being built behind the minefields.
İHD Co-Chair Eren Keskin said regarding the attack against Kurds in Paris, “If the first murder had been solved, the second Paris Massacre would not have happened.” 
The Justice Watch carried out by the Şenyaşar family has reached 671. The sit-in was launched in 2021 by Emine Şenyaşar, who lost her husband and two sons as a result of the attack carried out by AKP MP İbrahim Halil Yıldız’s bodyguards and relatives in Urfa.
Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson has said Stockholm is confident that Turkey will approve its application to join the NATO military alliance, but cannot fulfil all the conditions Ankara has set for its support.

Turkey Today – 07.01.2023
Speaking at the Kars congress of HDP, Co-Chair Pervin Buldan said: “We will go to the elections with our own candidates and we will announce our presidential candidate in the near future.”
The Table of Six, an alliance of six opposition parties, has announced that they will start discussing who will be running for the presidency for the upcoming elections against Erdoğan. 
Fifteen bar associations have released a joint statement, deeming the Constitutional Court’s ruling to freeze the HDP’s bank account “unconstitutional.”
Police opened fire on a minibus on the move from Özalp district to Van province. According to reports, 20 refugees were travelling in the minibus which came under fire after taking the wrong way at a police checkpoint.
Yesterday a ten-year-old child was injured in a Turkish drone attack on a village near Ain Issa in Northern Syria. 
The prosecutor requests imprisonment for documentarist Sibel Tekin for ‘membership in a terrorist organization’ but the organization is not specified. The prosecutor also claims that Tekin’s work as a documentarist is a ‘camouflage’. 

Turkey Today – 06.01.2023
The 8th hearing of the trial in which the imprisoned former Co-Chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party Selahattin Demirtaş faces “insulting a public official” charge was held in İstanbul. Demirtaş did not attend the hearing as he had to appear at the hearing of another case brought against him. Trial adjourned until May. 
The detention period of 30 people taken into custody at the funeral of artist Mir Perwer, who was murdered in Paris on 23 December, has been extended until tomorrow. 
8 people were detained during police raids in Mersin on ‘preparation for action’ charges. 
Gizem Memioğlu, former head of the MHP women’s branch in the Taşköprü district of Kastamonu was found dead at home yesterday. Her death comes a week after the assassination of a former Grey Wolves leader.
Vahyettin Sarı has been in prison for 25 years. He was deported from Patnos to Ankara. Sarı, who was kept in a solitary cell, was not even given hot water for a week.

Turkey Today – 05.01.2023
An appeals court has upheld Prof. Şebnem Korur-Fincancı’s conviction for insulting then Prime Minister Erdoğan in 2013. The case was filed because of a tweet Korur-Fincancı posted during the 2013 Gezi Park protests against the Erdoğan government. 
President Erdoğan has signaled for a possible early election which is normally scheduled to be held in June. “You all know the importance of 2023 elections whose date may be updated to be slightly earlier by taking into account the seasonal conditions,”
Only family members were allowed to attend the burial of Mir Perwer who was killed in the Paris attack under police and military blockade in Muş province.
Abdurrahman Kızıl who was also killed in the Paris attack was farewelled in Kars. The Kars Municipality run by a trustee did not provide a funeral coach. The body was carried with a truck. 
İstanbul prosecutors have indicted Adem Taşkaya, a member of the Victory Party for falsely accusing Kurdish lawyer Jiyan Tosun of perpetrating the November 13 İstanbul bombing, which killed six people and injured 81 others. 

M.F., a man whose full name we were not able to learn killed the trans woman Ece E. in İzmir.

Turkey Today – 04.01.2023
In Afyonkarahisar No. 1 Type T Closed Prison, 6 prisoners started a hunger strike on January 3, against the raid on the wards and the imposition of a standing count. 
HDP MPs continue their protest in Ankara against the isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and demand an immediate visit to the prison island of Imrali.
Nearly a hundred luxury villas are rising in Newala Qesaba, where those who lost their lives in the massacres against Kurds and Armenians are buried.
Governor of Kars, where the funeral of Abdurrahman Kızıl who died in the Paris attack against Kurds is going to be held, announced a 7-day ban on all demonstrations. 
One of the civilian women injured in Turkey’s drone attack on a poultry farm on December 24th has now died from her injuries. The woman, Sewra Matar, was a mother of five. 

Turkey Today – 03.01.2023
The Administrative Courts Board of the Council of State upheld the decision rejecting the request for the cancellation of the Presidential decree for the withdrawal of Turkey from the İstanbul Convention. 
The first hearing of the second case concerning the 2014 Kobanî protests was held in Ankara. The 89 defendants, including 19 in prison, are charged with financing the protests. 
Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag issued a memorandum on “Proceedings on the Mitigation or Abolition of Sentences of Persons Due to Persistent Illness, Injury and My Husband” following the death of Vural Avar, who was sentenced in the February 28 trial. According to Habertürk’s report, Minister Bozdag requested that the applications of people in this situation be accepted as an evacuation procedure due to their illness. 
Attorney Jiyan Özkaplan stated that despite their application to the prosecutor’s office, no investigation has been initiated on the human bones found in Zilan. 

Turkey Today – 02.01.2023
Stating that the violations of rights in prisons jeopardize the lives of the prisoners, attorney Nedim Sarısaç said: “The violations have reached such a level that  the prisoners has no life safety in prisons”

Sinan Ateş, the ex-president of Grey Wolves, a far-right paramilitary organization affiliated with the MHP, was killed in Ankara on Friday. 

Defense minister Hulusi Akar has accused Greece’s government of escalating tensions with Ankara to cover up their domestic problems.

Thomas Haldenwang, head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which is responsible for domestic intelligence, said that tensions ahead of elections also felt in Germany. 
The Justice Watch carried out by the Şenyaşar family has reached 663. The sit-in was launched in March 2021 by Emine Şenyaşar, who lost her husband and two sons as a result of the attack carried out by AKP MP İbrahim Halil Yıldız’s bodyguards and relatives in Urfa in June 2018.