February 2023

Turkey Weekly 20 – 28 February 2023

Turkey Today – 28.02.2023
President Erdoğan has handed out money to children in Adıyaman province.
The Turkish Red Crescent sold the second-hand goods that have been donated to the institution in 2019 and 2020, journalist Murat Ağırel has said in his column. 
13 legal organizations in Istanbul drew attention to the violations before and after the earthquake and filed a criminal complaint against all relevant authorities and individuals, especially President Erdoğan. 
The Workers’ Party of Turkey (TIP) has also filed a criminal complaint against AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other officials for what happened after the earthquake. 
The 1st hearing of the trial in which 15 women who attended a demonstration to protest the murder of Azra Gülendam Haytaoğlu and Emine Gökkız by men, face multiple charges was held in Ankara. The judge decided to subpoena complainants and defendants so that their statements can be taken. Trial adjourned until June.
The 3rd hearing of the lawsuit in which the prosecutor requests the dismissal of the Turkish Medical Association President Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Central Council members was held in Ankara. Trial adjourned until April. After the hearing, the doctors wanted to make a statement to the press but the police did not allow the press statement and intervened.

Turkey Today – 27.02.2023
AHBAP Association President Haluk Levent announced that they also purchased food from the Turkish Red Crescent. 

Activists from the Mor Dayanışma (Purple Solidarity) group visited the Güzelburç village in Hatay. After they started distributing aid materials they brought in a “purple truck,” the special operations police prevented them. 
After “the government should resign” were shouted at the Beşiktaş match,  MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli targeted the stands over his Twitter account with the growing condemnation and demanded that the matches should be played without spectators. 
Police, who prevented the demonstration of Workers’ Party of Turkey (TIP) members who wanted to protest the tent sale of Kızılay in Kadıköy, battered many people and detained them.
CHP Parliamentary Group has given its full authority to party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on all issues, including his expected nomination for the presidency.
In the run-up to the talks on NATO enlargement, the Turkish Foreign Minister reiterated that his country cannot agree to Sweden’s application. 

Turkey Today – 26.02.2023
The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) sold tents to the social assistance organization AHBAP for 46 million liras on the 3rd day of major earthquakes that shook Turkey’s southeast, Murat Ağırel from the daily Cumhuriyet reported. 
In Maras thousands of bodies are still under the rubble. While the collection of the rubble continues on many streets, especially in the centre, side streets have not been touched.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has said that 90,000 buildings have a risk of entirely collapsing in the megacity and that the cost of making them earthquake-resistant can exceed 360 billion liras. 
The Disaster and Emergency Presidency announced that the death tolls in earthquakes rose to 44,374. 
An investigation on terror charges has been launched against Birca Belek Language and Culture Association co-chair Cahit Akıl after a press release on the occasion of International Mother Language Day. 

Turkey Today – 25.02.2023
Speaking from Adıyaman province, Turkish Medical Association chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı has said that the authorities provided extra healthcare service in districts that previously voted for the AKP, whereas this was not the case for other quake-hit areas.
Stating that they filed a criminal complaint regarding unlawfulness in the earthquake region, Progressive Lawyers Association Headquarters Manager Oğuzhan Topalkara said that it is a crime to collect building debris without taking samples for evidence.
A court has arrested the ruling AKP’s Nurdağı district mayor Ökkeş Kavak over allegedly not carrying out the inspections that the municipality should do during the construction phase of some of the buildings that collapsed in major quake.
Police removed 14 tents established in the Akdeniz district of Mersin for the people who came to the city in tens of thousands after being forced to leave their homes in earthquake-stricken areas. 
Many prisoners staying in Adana Kürkçüler Closed jail were transferred to Bolu. Information on how many people were deported and for what reason and whether there was any damage in the prison after the earthquakes could not be obtained. 

Turkey Today – 24.02.2023
Turkey’s top religious body Diyanet has taken nine earthquake-surviving children from their mothers and placed them at a boarding Quran course which is run by a foundation close to the Islamic İsmailağa sect, according to reporting by Deutsche Welle.
Şiyar Koç, former district co-chair of HDP Nusaybin, who lives in Nusaybin district of Mardin and has just returned from the earthquake area where he went voluntarily, was detained in a raid on his house in the morning. 

Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ stated that an arrest warrant has been issued for 171 people in investigations into buildings destroyed by earthquakes. 
In response to a question whether he will resign in the face of massive destruction in Hatay, Metropolitan Mayor Lütfü Savaş has said that municipalities are just one dimension in the chain of accountability and that contractors, building inspection firms and the rulership also should take responsibility. 
The 5th hearing of the trial in which the President of the Ankara Branch of the Chamber of Architects and 6 former members of the Executive Committee face “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charge was held in Ankara. The court ruled to sentence them to 1 year and 8 months in prison and suspended the prison sentences.
Sweden’s negotiations with Turkey about its NATO membership bid will resume in mid-March, said the country’s prime minister. 

Turkey Today – 23.02.2023
The Constitutional Court has ruled that the Beyoğlu District Governor’s Office’s violated the rights of Saturday Mothers by banning their meeting, who have been gathering in Galatasaray Square since 1995 against enforced disappearances of their relatives. 
The first hearing of the trial in which the Co- Chair of the Human Rights Association Eren Keskin faces “identifying officials on anti-terror duties as targets” and “insulting a public official” charges was held in İzmir. The court decided to give additional time for Keskin and her lawyers to prepare their arguments against the final opinion. Trial adjourned until June. 
TELE1’s screen went black after RTÜK’s decision on the grounds that TIP MP Sera Kadıgil criticized Diyanet.
A judge in Ankara has ordered an access ban on three websites and a journalist’s Twitter account for “terrorist propaganda.”. The Kurdish news portal Rudaw is among the blocked sites. 
The fourth hearing of the trial of police officers who had violently taken journalist Gökhan Biçici into custody while he was covering the Gezi Park protests is being held in the İstanbul. The judge did not take into consideration the request of lawyer Metin İriz for the file to be sent to a high criminal court. Trial adjourned until May. 
The first hearing of the trial in which documentary filmmaker Sibel Tekin faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charge was held in Ankara. The prosecutor requested an expert’s report and Tekin’s computer to be examined. The court accepted the request. Trial adjourned until June. 

Turkey Today – 22.02.2023
A military operation was launched in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district. 
Osman Arslan, a 76-year-old heart patient in Yüksekova, was arrested on charges of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”.
RTÜK has fined Halk TV, Tele 1 and Fox TV over their broadcasts criticising the government’s rescue efforts in the aftermath of the earthquakes. RTÜK also suspended Tele 1 and Halk TV programs in question for five episodes.
Turkey blocks access to dictionary-based social media platform Ekşi Sözlük over its coverage of the earthquakes. 
AKP executives, there is no obstacle to holding elections on May 14 and it is not legally possible to postpone the elections. 

Turkey Today – 21.02.2023
HDP filed a criminal complaint regarding police torture against 10 people, including party leaders, in Iskenderun.
Lawyer Mehtap Sert, Member of the Human Rights Association Central Prison Commission, visited the prisoners in İskenderun Prison after the earthquake. Sharing the rights violations that the prisoners are exposed to, Sert stated that the prisoners have problems with eating, drinking and heating, as well as communicating with their families.
CHP deputy chair Ahmet Akın stated that 500,000 users in the earthquake zone still cannot be supplied with electricity.
The Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has filed a criminal complaint against journalist Fatih Altaylı, who had criticized the agency over a religious order about children who lost their parents in the February 6 earthquakes.
A man named Mehmet Beyazıt attacked the HDP Istanbul headquarters. 

Turkey Today – 20.02.2023
Recalling the decisions of the Constitutional Court in the trial against imprisoned HDP MP Semra Güzel, the lawyer drew attention to the violation of the constitution. The court decided to continue the arrest.
The hearing of the trial in which four lawyers of PKK leader faces terrorism charges was held in İstanbul. The prosecutor has demanded jail terms of up to 15 years. 
The Disaster and Emergency Presidency announced that the death tolls in earthquakes rose to 41,156. 
CHP MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, who held a press conference on the earthquake, said: “The people of Diyarbakır started to show solidarity among themselves, this should set an example for all of Turkey.”
Şırnak Governor Osman Bilgin, who has been appointed as the disaster coordinator governor to Antep’s Nurdağı district after the earthquake, has stated that the situation in the region is four or five times worse than official figures. 

The Türkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV) has so far sent 15,000 Qurans to the earthquake region and this number will increase in the upcoming days, according to a top executive of the foundation. 

Turkey Weekly 13 – 19 February 2023

Turkey Today – 19.02.2023
HDP Diyarbakır Crisis Coordination Center drew attention to the fact that the government is trying to displace people to provinces such as Antalya and Muğla in a way that will change the demographic structure, and called for increased solidarity against this.
The Disaster and Emergency Presidency announced that the death tolls in earthquakes rose to 40,642. 
Top religious body Diyanet has once again issued a controversial fatwa saying that there is no obstacle for foster families to marry the adopted earthquake-survivor children. The fatwa was deleted upon reactions.
Turkey’s Nation Alliance came together to discuss the earthquake. In a press release the alliance stated that the necessary preparations were not made before the disaster and adequate measures were not taken. 
As the second week of the devastating earthquakes comes to an end, olive and myrtle branches are left on the graves of those buried en masse. 

Turkey Today – 18.02.2023
The Turkish army continues to attack the Kurdistan Region of Iraq despite the ceasefire declared by the Kurdish side due to the earthquake.
Muhammet Gündüz has filed a complaint after being beaten by the police for allegedly being a looter. While beating him, one of the police officers reportedly told Gündüz, “I will relieve my stress with you.” 
Kocaeli Chamber of Industry head Ayhan Zeytinoğlu has told firms not to hire earthquake victims, claiming it can “disrupt the demographic structure.”
Asbestos and Hazardous Wastes Association’s President Kenan Yıldız, who warned against asbestos used in buildings destroyed in the earthquake, stated that besides asbestos, silicon, lead, PCB, electronic wastes, destruction in sewer systems, mold and fungi in buildings will also cause serious health problems.
Stating that the government declared a state of emergency in 10 cities affected by the earthquake in order to prevent reactions against him, KESK Co-Chair Mehmet Bozgeyik said: “The state of emergency brought impunity and should be lifted.”

Turkey Today – 17.02.2023
According to Progressive Lawyers Union three members of the rescue team from Greece, who came to Defne, Hatay for the rescue works following the earthquakes, were detained in Hatay.
It has come to light that Turkish prosecutors had previously rejected a criminal complaint over the removal of columns at a housing estate in 2016 in Hatay province, where 104 people died due to last week’s major quakes.
22 university students who staged a sit-in protest demanding face-to-face education were battered and detained in Izmir province. 
Families of PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan and Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş held in İmralı Prison applied to the prosecutor’s office and the prison directorate for a visit. 
The prosecutor listed 149 news stories from the Mezopotamya Agency, which was shown as defendants in the indictment. 
It was stated that the needs of Serhat Arsu, who was transferred from Siverek to Sincan Prison and held in a solitary cell, are not met. His relatives said that the belongings they sent to him had not been delivered for a month. 

Turkey Today – 16.02.2023
The Disaster and Emergency Presidency announced that the death tolls in earthquakes rose to 36,187. 
TELE1 reporter Hazal Güven and cameraman Umutcan Yitük, who followed the effects of the earthquake in Hatay, were subjected to an attack by armed people. 
HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan has called on President Erdoğan to resign over the response to the earthquake and attempts to prevent volunteer groups’ aid efforts.
The first hearing of the trial in which the Association of Lawyers for Freedom İzmir Branch Executive Board Member Aryen Turan faces “knowingly and willingly aiding a terrorist organization” charge was held in İzmir. The representatives of several bar associations in France, Belgium and Netherlands followed the hearing. The court decided to remove the judicial control measure imposed upon lawyer Turan and rejected the intervention request of the Ministry of National Defence. Trial adjourned until June. 

The third hearing of the trial in which the grant holder and the chief editor of Demokrat Haber Mehmet Göcekli faces “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” was held in İstanbul. The court decided to issue a writ for Göcekli’s statements to be taken via rogatory letters. Trial adjourned until June. 

Turkey Today – 15.02.2023
The Ministry of Family and Social Services stated that there were 282 children whose identities could not be determined.
The Disaster and Emergency Presidency announced that 31,974 people died while 195,692 people were transferred to other regions. 
Eight people including HDP former Şemdinli district co-chairs Cabbar Taş, Habil Alioğlu and Ergin Avcı, were detained in house raids in Şemdinli and Yüksekova. 
AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik and deputy chairperson of the party in charge of election affairs İhsan Yavuz have said it is not the time to discuss elections. These remarks came after Bülent Arınç’s call for the postponement.
President Erdoğan ensured that “our citizens who lost their relatives in the earthquake will receive 100 thousand lira (4.95 thousand euro) in cash for urgent needs.”
Amid warnings that a major earthquake is expected to hit Istanbul in the near future, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has said there are 90,000 buildings that have a risk of entirely collapsing.

Turkey Today – 14.02.2023
Noting that the government and AFAD took late action after the Pazarcık district of Maraş-epicentered earthquakes, the Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects underlined that the first critical day and a half were lost in search and rescue efforts.
The death toll in the two major earthquakes in southeastern Turkey might exceed 72,000, the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED) has announced. TÜRKONFED estimated 84.1 billion dollars of financial damage due to quakes. 
Although there were still people detected alive in Besni, in Antep, search and rescue efforts were stopped by the District Governor’s Office.
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has targeted famous singer Haluk Levent’s AHBAP association following the huge amount of donations made to the charity instead of the state-run Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), and said “These scammers shouldn’t be on TV.” 
Former deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç called for postponement of elections. 

Turkey Today – 13.02.2023
It turned out the earthquake drill conducted in 2019 for the Plan for Disaster Intervention of Turkey was carried out with a scenario of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake centered in Maraş.  

Progressive Lawyers Association made a statement on the detention and torture in the earthquake region. It was stated that two people named Ahmet Güreşçi and Sabri Güreşçi were detained by the gendarmerie teams in the Büyükburç District of Hatay. It was reported that Ahmet Güreşçi, who was tortured to death in custody, lost his life.

Education union called on the government and the Council of Higher Education to “start face-to-face education at the universities at the earliest possible date to be announced clearly in advance”. 
According to the Disaster and Emergency Presidency 31,643 people died and 158,165 people were transferred to other regions. 
A Turkish drone strike on a car yesterday, near the village of Manaz, western Kobane countryside. 

Turkey Weekly 6-12 February 2023

Turkey Today – 12.02.2023

Vice President Oktay said “The death toll in Maraş epicenter earthquakes rose to 24,617.

The aid truck sent by HDP from Izmir to Osmaniye was seized, and fire was opened on the people who condemned the situation. HDP MP Kemal Pekgöz said: “The police beat the people and took the truck to an unknown place.”

Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum has said that citizens can check the damage status of their homes from e-Government portal. Citizens can enter and live in their homes if there is little or no damage, according to the minister.

Fatma Şahin, the AKP mayor Antep, has commented on the widespread destruction in the city by saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining. Whatever God says, it happens.”

Turkey Today – 11.02.2023

So far 21,848 people lost their lives in the earthquakes and 80,104 people were injured.

HDP MP Garo Paylan said that the bodies of those who lost their lives in Adıyaman were buried by their families without being recorded.

Thousands of earthquake victims started to be buried in Maraş.

HDP filed a criminal complaint to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office about Science Technologies Authority (BTK), which narrowed the band on social media.

President Erdoğan announced that universities will be closed until the summer due to the earthquake and that they will switch to distance education.

Earthquake victims in Diyarbakır protested Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ while he was visiting sites of collapsed buildings. “The State is finished” victims said.

Turkey Armenia border gate opened 30 years later for humanitarian aid.

Turkey Today – 10.02.2023

The Union of Turkish Bar Associations listed the persons and organizations responsible for the destruction of thousands of buildings in Maraş-centered earthquakes and filed a criminal complaint.

President Erdoğan has referred to the thousands of victims of the two major earthquakes as “martyrs” as the death toll is nearing 20,000. More than 77,000 people have been injured.

Iskenderun Public Hospital had not been demolished despite a 2012-dated “not earthquake resistant” report. The hospital collapsed in the earthquake.

Sharing the photo of the TMMOB Provincial Representative, which was not destroyed in the earthquake, Chairperson Mahir Ulutaş said: “As long as science and technology are used for the benefit of the public, it will be enough to build structures that will survive such a major earthquake.”

Some pro-government figures have targeted the AHBAP association, which is helping rescue efforts in the quake-stricken provinces, and demanded that their donation be transferred to the state-run AFAD.

Turkey Today – 09.02.2023

The State of Emergency, which will be valid for 3 months in 10 cities affected by the earthquake, was accepted by the Parliament and entered into force.

Stating that they still have not received a response to their applications to the Provincial Health Directorate to provide health services in earthquake areas, İstanbul Medical Chamber President Nergis Erdoğan said: “Medical Chambers should not be blocked.”

The aid truck sent by the HDP Mardin Provincial Organization to the people who went hungry in Malatya due to the earthquake was confiscated by the police at the entrance of the Doğanşehir district.

Official announcement made by the directorate of prisons states there were attempted jail escapes in both Hatay and Maraş prisons which were stopped. Three prisoners died in Hatay prison while there was no loss of life in Maraş.

Speaking in the quake-stricken Hatay province DEVA Party leader Ali Babacan said “There is a rescue activity in maybe one of the 100 collapsed buildings.”

The third hearing of the trial in which 10 people, including journalist Zeynep Kuray face “defying the Law no. 2911 on Demonstrations and Assemblies” charge was held in İstanbul. The lawyers did not attend the hearing after submitting their excuses. The court postponed the hearing to a later date.

Turkey Today – 08.02.2023

At least 7,108 people died and 40,910 people are injured.

President Erdoğan has said that people should only pay attention to remarks coming from the authorities and ignore “provocateurs.”

The State of Emergency decision covering 10 cities affected by the earthquake was presented to the Parliament. It will be put to the vote tomorrow.

Netblocks announced that after the earthquakes, the vitally important social media platform Twitter was restricted.

MA reporter Mahmut Altıntaş and Mehmet Güleş, who was reporting news stories in earthquake areas, and JINNEWS reporter Sema Çağlak were detained.

Citizens of Adıyaman, which was most affected by the earthquake, marched to the Adıyaman Governor’s Office to protest the authorities who did not carry out search and rescue efforts. Minister of Transport Adil Karaismailoğlu and Governor Mahmut Çuhadar, who were condemned by citizens who are waiting desperately in the earthquake area in Adıyaman, left the area.

Turkey Today – 07.02.2023

A state of emergency has been declared in 10 provinces of earthquake zone.

According to the latest data announced by the Disaster and Emergency Presidency (AFAD) a total of 3,549 people died and 22,168 people were injured.

Turkey’s General Directorate of Security (EGM) has announced that they detected 90 social media accounts that shared “provocative” social media posts about the earthquake. Four of them have been detained.

Volkan Pekal Adana correspondent of Evrensel newspaper who was taking pictures in the earthquake-hit areas was taken into custody.

The second hearing of the trial in which journalist and economist Mustafa Sönmez faces “insulting the president” charge was held in İstanbul. The journalist was acquitted.

The 7th hearing of the retrial in which journalists Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin and Yetkin Yıldız face “aiding a terrorist organization” charge was held in İstanbul. The prosecutor stated that the case file is not complete and requested the investigation to be expanded. Trial adjourned until June.

Turkey Today – 06.02.2023

A new earthquake at a magnitude of 7.6 struck southern Turkey’s Kahrmanmaraş province at 1.24 pm local time.

Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced that 1,121 people lost their lives and 7,634 people were injured in the earthquake. In addition, it was announced that 2 thousand 834 buildings were destroyed.

The Solar System Geometry Survey, a research institute established to monitor the geometry between celestial bodies related to seismic activity, warned Turkey about an earthquake on February 3.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu targets again the LGBTIQ+ community saying that main opposition CHP leader Kılıçdaorğlu’s pledge to reinstate the Istanbul Convention was an attempt to “ungender whole society.”

JINNEWS reporter Nazlıcan Yıldız and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Izmir Provincial Director Murat Tufan were detained in the house raids carried out in İzmir.

Turkey Weekly 30 January – 5 February 2023

Turkey Today – 05.02.2023

Eğitim Sen Urfa Branch Co-Chair Özlem Ulutaş Şengül stated that Kurdish courses were removed from the elective courses form in many schools in the city and that they would file a criminal complaint against the administrators.

AKP Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair Bülent Turan has expressed the party’s wish that the Islamist New Welfare Party be a part of the ruling People’s Alliance.

The Justice Watch carried out by the Şenyaşar family has reached 698. 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 in 2018.

Turkey Today – 04.02.2023

The criminal complaint made by the lawyers of Sonuç Gürdeğir, who was tortured for 9 days during his detention in Bingöl, was dismissed after one and a half years, calling it “lack of evidence” and “abstract justification”.

Turkey’s media watchdog RTÜK has not taken any step with regards to the unlicensed broadcast of a Denizli-based TV channel that has close connections with the ruling AKP.

Testimonies of ODTÜ students facing an investigation for attending last year’s LGBTI+ pride march on the campus have revealed that they were subjected to torture and sexual abuse by the police and threatened with strip search.

Visiting his brother, who is imprisoned in Maraş Türkoğlu Prison, the elder brother Fikret Çalağan said: “The personal rights were attacked during the searches. We are not allowed to sit side by side with my prisoner brother and not hug.”

The ‘Democratic Republic Conference’ organised by the HDP has started in Istanbul. At the two-day event the hundred-year history and the future of the Republic of Turkey will be discussed.

Turkey Today – 03.02.2023

Kızıltepe Co-Mayor Nilüfer Elik Yılmaz and Savur Co-Mayor Gülistan Öncü were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months of imprisonment in the case where they stood trial for “being a member of a terrorist organization”

Opposition İYİ Party deputy chair Ümit Özlale has criticized CHP deputy chair Bülent Kuşoğlu’s remarks, as the latter said the main opposition bloc will be dissolved unless Kılıçdaroğlu is nominated.

Three women (Şengül Karaağar, Nurhan Koçak and Zilan Koçak) were detained in house raids in Van.

The eighth hearing of the trial in which 35 people, including journalist Buse Söğütlü who had attended the March 8th Feminist Night March in 2020, face multiple charges was held in İstanbul. Giving additional time for defendants and lawyers to prepare their arguments against the expert’s report, the court adjourned the trial until September.

The 7th hearing of the trial in which 14 Boğaziçi University students face multiple charges and in which the appointed rector Naci İnci is listed as “the injured party” was held in İstanbul. The judge sentenced each student to 6 months in prison for “defying the Law no. 2911 on Demonstrations and Assemblies” and to 6 months in prison for “prevention of public duty.”

Turkey Today – 02.02.2023

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has claimed that Western consulates in Istanbul were closed to “start a new psychological war in Turkey.”

The third hearing of the trial in which CHP’s Eren Erdem faces “insulting the president” charge was held in İstanbul. The court ruled to acquit the politician.

The 15th hearing of the retrial in which since-shuttered Dicle News Agency’s former reporter Ramazan Akoğul faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charge was held in Diyarbakır. The court ruled to acquit Akoğul on the grounds that the elements of the offense the journalist was charged with did not occur.

The first hearing of the trial in which GazeteKadıköy weekly’s editor-in-chief Semra Çelebi faces “openly degrading the symbols of state sovereignty” charge was held in İstanbul. The hearing is adjourned to a later date as the judge is on leave.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Tobias Billström says it is obvious what Sweden has to do for NATO membership, which is to fulfill the obligations in the trilateral memorandum signed with Türkiye and Finland and adds “religion is not part of this deal.”

Turkey Today – 01.02.2023

The Consulate-General of Germany in İstanbul made an announcement stating that the consulate “will be closed today on February 1 for security reasons.” The Consulate-Generals of Great Britain and the Netherlands have also been closed for security reasons.

Some of the prisoners, who have been on hunger strike for 55 days in Giresun Espiye Type L Closed Prison, turned the protest into an indefinite and non-rotating hunger strike.

Yeni Yaşam newspaper employee Rojin Altay has been released after four days in detention.

The 6th hearing of the retrial in which Şebnem Korur-Fincanci, Erol Önderoğlu and Ahmet Nesin face multiple charges, including “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charge, was held in İstanbul. The court adjourned the trial until May so that the case file can be completed.

The 3rd hearing of the trial in which the Demokratik Modernite Magazine’s Managing Editor Ramazan Yurttapan, Agos Daily Armenian Pages Editor Pakrat Estukyan, lawyer Emran Emekçi and two authors face “propaganda” charges was held in İstanbul. The court decided to issue arrest warrants against Mehmet Nimet Sevim and Cihan Doğan so that their statements can be taken. Trial adjourned until April.

The appeals hearing of the prison sentence imposed upon journalist Alican Uludağ for “identifying public officials on anti-terror duties as targets” was held in Ankara. The appeals court overturned the prison sentence and acquitted the journalist.

The 7th hearing of the trial in which journalists Hazal Ocak, Olcay Büyüktaş, İpek Özbey and Vedat Arık face “identifying officials on anti-terror duties as targets” and “violation of the privacy of personal life” charges was held in İstanbul. Giving additional time for journalists and their lawyers to prepare their arguments against the final opinion, the court adjourned the trial until April.

Turkey Today – 31.01.2023

HDP Group Deputy Chairperson Meral Danış-Beştaş, tabled a motion in the parliament drawing attention to the suspicious aspects of the secret witness, coded “CV23TV4Y45UP78” who intervened in the HDP closure case.

Lawyers of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan applied to Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to meet with their client.

The demonstration in front of the Justice Ministry, initiated by HDP MPs to allow PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan to meet with his lawyers, has entered its 29th day.

The 2nd hearing of the trial in which journalists Ferhat Çelik and İdris Yayla face “identifying public officials on anti-terror duties as targets” charge was held in Van. Trial adjourned until April.

The first hearing of the retrial in which journalist Zafer Arapkirli faces “insult” charges upon complaint by Nureddin Yıldız was held in İstanbul. The hearing is adjourned until 3 May 2023 so that it can be held in a bigger courtroom.

Documentary director and academician Sibel Tekin, who was arrested on charges of “being a member in a terrorist organization”, was released.

Turkey Today – 30.01.2023

The first hearing of the child abuse case related to the forced “marriage” of the 6-year old daughter of Yusuf Ziya G. who is the founder of the Hiranur Foundation affiliated with the İsmailağa religious sect, to 29-year-old Kadir İ., was held in İstanbul.

The sixth hearing of the trial in which 14 Boğaziçi University students face multiple charges and in which the appointed rector Naci İnci is listed as “the injured party” was held in İstanbul. Giving additional time for the lawyers to prepare their arguments against the final opinion, the court adjourned the trial until February.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that Turkey could evaluate Finland’s NATO bid independently from that of Sweden.

Turkey has warned its citizens against “possible Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist attacks” in the United States and Europe after its Western allies cautioned their citizens in Turkey about possible terror attacks.