July 2023

Turkey Today – 31.07.2023

The Turkish airstrikes that targeted the civilian Sikêniyê Hospital and killed eight people in Sinjar in the Nineveh province of Iraq in 2021 have been made the subject of a formal complaint to the UN Human Rights Council. 

Earthquake survivors who were left homeless after the Feb. 6 earthquakes and accommodated in state dormitories across the country were forced to be evacuated as the government’s deadline was over.

Journalist Merdan Yanardağ’s appeal against his detention was rejected once again. Following the development, it was stated that an application will be made to the Constitutional Court. 

Turkey Weekly 17 – 23 July 2023

Turkey Today – 23.07.2023

PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan has been subjected to yet another indefinite disciplinary punishment in İmralı Island Prison. 

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has completed the investigation and compiled an indictment involving the Kurdish journalists Dicle Müftüoğlu and Sedat Yılmaz and 19 other individuals, with five of them currently remanded in custody.

CHP has denied reportings about Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu saying in a party meeting that he won’t be a candidate in the local elections if Kılıçdaroğlu stays as party leader.

Future Party Spokesperson Serkan Özcan has stated “Glad we didn’t win” while commenting on the “secret” agreement between Nation Alliance’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and far-right party leader Ümit Özdağ.

Turkey Today – 22.07.2023

Despite presidents of 16 Bar Associations across Turkey accompanying them in solidarity, Saturday Mothers were detained again during their 956. gathering at Galatasaray Square. 

Despite court rulings, Turkish Council of Higher Education refusing to reinstate peace academics. 

CHP Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu told journalist Fatih Altaylı that she will leave her position after 1.5 months. 

Presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has admitted that he made undisclosed commitments in an agreement with an anti-refugee leader ahead of the presidential runoff vote in late May. 

Turkey Today – 21.07.2023

The police on July 20 detained 154 people in Istanbul, 13 people in İzmir, and 18 people in Ankara during Suruç Massacre commemorations using brute force. Lawyers who wanted to meet the detainees at the police station were also beaten.

The Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) banned Turkish taxpayers and legal entities from advertising on Twitter because the company failed to appoint a representative in the country required by law. 

Can Atalay, who was elected as an MP in the May 14 elections, has taken his case to the Constitutional Court after his release request was twice denied by the Court of Cassation.

An appeals court has ruled that the ban on the 10th İzmir Pride March was unlawful and annulled it. The decision comes a year after the march was banned by the İzmir Governor’s Office.

CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has stated that he does not consider the presidential election result as a “defeat.” 

Turkey Today – 20.07.2023

The release of political prisoner Sinan Sütpak, who has been held in different prisons for 30 years and 3 months, has been postponed for the second time for 3 months on the grounds that he is “not in good conduct”.

The court arrested six of 46 university students who were detained by the police while distributing leaflets in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district for the commemoration of the Suruç Massacre in which ISIS killed 33 people in 2015.

İYİ Party has refuted the allegations of engaging in a cooperation with CHP for the upcoming local elections.  

Ekişehir Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism has launched an investigation against Odunpazarı Modern Museum over “LGBT propaganda” after a newspapers targeted an exhibition.

Turkey Today – 19.07.2023

An armed attack was carried out on the HDP Altındağ District Organization building in Ankara at night by an unknown person or persons. A bullet hit the glass of the meeting room of the party building. 

The Green Left Party submitted a bill to add a clause to Article 99 of the Execution Law, in case of the collection and execution of more than one sentence, separating into an open prison and determining the execution regime separately for each crime. 

Uşak University has announced that it has initiated “formal proceedings” against a student who unfurled a rainbow flag during the graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Science and Letters’ Molecular Biology and Genetics Department on July 17.

The European Journalists Federation (EFJ) has urged the EU to end ‘discriminatory visa rejections’ for journalists from Turkey. 

The Constitutional Court ruled that there is a violation of the right to life in the Eliveren case related to the killing of an uncle and niece in Bingöl 24 years ago by police “mistaking them as terrorists”. 

Turkey Today – 18.07.2023

Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on July 17 appointed Judge Sercan Karagöz from Istanbul to Ağrı province after he voted in favor of Osman Kavala’s release during the Gezi Park trial. 

Lawyers of Asrın Law Office applied to Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and İmralı Prison Directorate to meet with their client, PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, whom they had not heard from for 28 months. 

President Erdoğan has said that he “is open to a meeting with Assad” but that Turkey will not withdraw its troops from northern Syria. 

Şenyaşar family decided to move the Justice Watch actions to Ankara after the prisoner Fadıl Şenyaşar was not released.

The first hearing in the defamation case against Gerçek Gündem editor Furkan Karabay where he is accused of “unjustly attacking personal rights” of Erdoğan’s ex-lawyer Mustafa Doğan İnal on social media was held in İstanbul. Trial adjourned until October. 

Turkey Today – 17.07.2023

85-year-old Mehmet Emin Özkan was released today due to severe health problems, after serving 27 years in prison. Özkan could hardly remain standing with the help of his family members. 

After an increase in the special consumption tax (ÖTV) on fuel, the government also increased the ÖTV on natural gas for residential use by 224 percent.

While four farmers were arrested following the protest against the electricity distribution company DEDAŞ in Viranşehir, Urfa, five were released on condition of judicial control.

Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management has announced that there are 4 million 893 thousand 752 refugees living across the country.

Turkey Weekly 10 – 16 July 2023

Turkey Today – 16.07.2023

The area declared as a “special security zone” in Bitlis’s Hizan district was bombed from the air.

In the 955th week of their vigil, the Saturday Mothers were prevented again from gathering at Galatasaray Square. 

Şenyaşar families sit-in in front of the courthouse in Urfa continues. If justice is not achieved in Tuesday’s trial, the Şenyaşar family, three members of whom were murdered by relatives of an AKP MP in 2018, will take their justice vigil to Ankara. 

Until further notice, the Turkish Interior Ministry will no longer issue a new residence permit for foreigners residing in Istanbul. 

Turkey increases special consumption tax on gasoline by 200% in one day. 

Turkey Today – 15.07.2023

An Ankara court has ruled that Green Left Party lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu receive salaries for the time period during which he was stripped of his parliamentary seat and imprisoned.

The countryside of a village in Bitlis’s Hizan district was bombed again with two helicopters today after the curfew.

11 people were detained in house raids in Mersin for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization”.

HDP Balıkesir Provincial executive Adbulhalim Aksu and HDP member Serdar Kocaman, who were taken into custody in Balıkesir on Tuesday, were sent to prison on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization”.

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu has filed a lawsuit against Twitch streamer “Jahrein,” demanding to be paid 200,000 liras in compensation, for calling him “roasted chickpea-head” and “one with dementia,” the internet celebrity announced.

Imprisoned journalists, Abdurrahman Gök and Mehmet Şah Oruç, have reported that their rights to communication and access to information have been restricted since being arrested in April.

Turkey Today – 14.07.2023

The İstanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court has not accepted the application for Merdan Yanardağ, the editor-in-chief of the Tele1 TV channel, to be released from prison. He was arrested for his statements about Abdullah Öcalan’s isolation in prison. 

A lawsuit was filed against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu for “publicly insulting a public official”. A prosecutor Office has requested a prison term of 2 years and 4 months and a political ban for İmamoğlu in the indictment. 

Coalition partner and BBP chair Mustafa Destici has proposed opening all women hospitals and universities. Destici’s remarks came after Education Minister Tekin also proposed opening single-sex schools “to convince parents” to send their children to schools.

A bill submitted by the ruling coalition partner MHP seeks up to five years in jail for pollsters over opinion polls providing “false, misleading or incomplete information with the aim of directing or influencing the public.”

Turkey Today – 13.07.2023

After Turkey agreed to Sweden’s bid to join NATO, U.S. President Joe Biden expressed confidence that Washington can complete the F-16 aircraft sale to Ankara.

New Welfare Party’s (YRP) leader and MP Fatih Erbakan, Erdoğan’s ally, criticized the former’s approval of Sweden’s bid to join NATO.

Turkish Airlines added extra flights at 15-minute intervals to Adıyaman province for radical Islamist Menzil cult leader’s funeral attended by thousands. President Erdoğan shared his condolences for Menzil.

A video was shared on TikTok showing soldiers who torture shepherds in Diyarbakır. 

Two citizens were detained in house raids in the village of Bana in Şırnak’s Basa district early in the morning.

Lawyer Murat Çelik, who was exposed to police violence during the Saturday Mothers’ protest, filed a criminal complaint at the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

A prosecutor demanded that journalists Nagihan Yılkın and Mustafa Büyüksipahi be punished for “damaging Gaziantep Governor’s reputation” in a 2022 news report on corruption at the Governor’s Office.

A former governor has been sentenced to 2 years in prison after hitting and killing a 13-year-old child by car in Diyarbakır. 

Turkey Today – 12.07.2023

The Diyarbakır 4. Criminal court has ruled for the release of all of the 15 detained in the trial against 18 journalists who are charged with “membership of a terror org.” for their news reports. The court issued a travel ban for the journalists. Trial adjourned trial until November.

The second hearing of the trial in which the Democratic Regions Party Co-Chair and MP Keskin Bayındır is on trial for “being a member of a terrorist organization” was held in  Diyarbakır. The court decided to ask the Parliament whether he is a member of parliament.

A court has sentenced a 14-year-old child to five months in jail over the charges of “insulting the President.” The child will not serve time in prison because the court decided to defer the announcement of the verdict.

A court in İstanbul has rejected the indictment prepared against journalist Merdan Yanardağ, who was arrested two weeks ago on charges of “propaganda for a terrorist organization” and “praising criminals.”

Following protest by students, the rector’s office of ODTÜ took a step back and announced the holding of the graduation ceremony at the Devrim (Revolution) Stadium on July 26.

Turkey Today – 11.07.2023

Salafist Halis Bayancuk, known as “Abu Hanzala”, has been released from prison in Turkey, allegedly under AKP pressure from HÜDA-PAR. 

NATO confirms Sweden “will not provide support” to Peoples’ Protection Units as Turkey promises ratification of Swedish entry to bloc. 

The trial of 18 journalists, 15 of whom are under arrest, was held today in Diyarbakır. The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow. 

Reporters Without Borders has called for the Kurdish journalists’ immediate release and an end to “the manipulation of anti-terrorist legislation by the Turkish judicial authorities”.

Turkey Today – 10.07.2023

President Erdoğan said that the European Union should open the way for Ankara’s accession to the bloc before Turkey’s parliament approves Sweden’s bid to join the NATO. 

The Ministry of National Defense has announced that two soldiers lost their lives in the “Operation Claw” region. 

Police in Adana obstructed a Pride event yesterday, detaining 18 individuals and assaulting a Green Left Party MP. 

1392 lawyers have signed a petition demanding the release of opposition TİP MP Can Atalay who is still kept in prison despite being elected as a lawmaker. 

Turkey Weekly 3 – 9 July 2023

Turkey Today – 08.07.2023 

It is extremely important to support imprisoned journalists who safeguard the public’s right to access information, asserted Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) co-chair Serdar Altan in a letter penned from behind bars, calling on the public to attend the first hearing of the trial of journalists scheduled for 11 July.

Green Left Party Co-Spokeswoman Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar has said Turkey’s economic crisis and international controversy triggered by Sweden’s NATO bid stemmed from the unresolved Kurdish question.

Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has defended the recent series of tax increases by pointing to the growing current account deficit. 

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu said they believed in winning the presidential election “100 percent” and it caused a “serious trauma” when it did not happen. “It’s not right to make frustration chronic. Life goes on,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

Turkey Today – 07.07.2023

The Court of Cassation’s chief public prosecutor has demanded the approval of convictions of all Gezi Park defendants except Mücella Yapıcı and submitted that imprisoned MP Can Atalay cannot benefit from parliamentary immunity. 

The Court of Cassation’s chief public prosecutor has held Gezi Park defendants, including MP Can Atalay, responsible for the death of Berkin Elvan. A police officer shot 15-year-old Berkin Elvan in the head with a tear gas canister during the Gezi Park protests.

Saturday Mothers were prevented again in week 954 to gather at Galatasaray Square. During the protest, journalist Umut Taştan was choked by an officer trying to prevent him from filming. 18 people including IHD chair Eren Keskin were detained. 

CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has deemed the media’s criticism of his party “a massacre towards the CHP” and said that criticism needs to “be done at a reasonable level and with respect.” 

Turkey Today – 06.07.2023

A large number of soldiers and military equipment were dispatched to military base areas and outposts in Hakkari’s Çukurca district, which is on the border of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 

In Sincan Women’s Prison, where the release of 14 women has been prevented in the last two years, the release of prisoner Necla Yıldız was also postponed for 3 months on the grounds that she was not of ‘good conduct.’ 

Ozan Alpkaya, who is being held in Sincan High Security Prison No. 1, stated that 17 Kurdish books were not given to him. He applied to the ECtHR against it. 

Doğan Erbaş, the imprisoned Executive Committee Member of HDP was kept from attending his mother’s funeral. 

The Constitutional Court has ruled that authorities had violated the rights of a university student by expelling him from a state dormitory for participating in a Newroz celebration in 2016.

Istanbul’s AKP-run Bayrampaşa Municipality has decided to sell two mosques in the district and transfer them to the Treasury to cover its tax debt of 90.8 million liras. 

Former CHP MP İlhan Cihaner has announced that he will run for the CHP leadership at the party’s general congress. 

Turkey Today – 05.07.2023

Broadcast watchdog RTÜK has imposed a 7-day suspension and a 5% administrative fine on TELE1 over Editor-in-Chief Merdan Yanardağ’s televised remarks about imprisonment conditions of Abdullah Öcalan.

Lawyers of Asrın Law Office applied to Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and İmralı Prison Directorate to meet with their client, PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, whom they had not heard from for 28 months. 

An Ankara court has declined Selahattin Demirtaş’s demand for release in the Kobane trial and argued that there is a risk of him “fleeing” Turkey, “committing crime,” and “damaging the public order.”

Police raided HDP Esenyurt District Organization in the morning. The street where the district building was located was close before the raid. 

7 people were detained in house raids in Hakkari. 

The 7. hearing in the case where 15 people detained during the “10 October Massacre” protest organized by workers’ union KESK in Van in 2018, face charges of “resisting officers to prevent them from peforming their duty” was held in Van. In its final verdict, the court sentenced Bedir Yamaç to 8 months in prison and acquitted the other defendants.

Turkey Today – 04.07.2023

The murder trial of Tahir Elçi, former head of Diyarbakır Bar Association, was postponed until November. Lawyers raised concerns that the case could end in impunity.

In the trial of 11 journalists from MA and JinNews who face terror-related charges, a secret witness said he worked at MA, operating on behalf of the state.

After the parliamentary elections the reports of 27th term MPs, most of whom were HDP members, whose immunity was lifted, were sent to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

Eight lawyers from Asrın Law Office, who were on trial for meeting their client Abdullah Öcalan, have been acquitted of the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization.”

It was reported that violent armed conflict took place in the military operation launched in Şırnak’s Besta region. 

While thousands of trees were cut down under the supervision of soldiers in Silopi’s Biliga village, the villagers who opposed the situation were threatened with “You will be banned from entering the village”.

Green Left Party Adana MP Tülay Hatimoğulları made a legislative proposal suggesting that the Ghadir Khum, celebrated in Turkey by Arab Alevites, should be declared an official holiday. 

Turkey Today – 04.07.2023

The Court of Appeal upheld the acquittal of former MHP Diyarbakır Provincial Chairperson Cihan Kayaalp, who is on trial for “Sexual harassment”, “Sexual abuse” and “Deprivation of liberty”.

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has targeted jailed journalist Merdan Yanardağ and argued praising “the baby killer” is a “crime.” 

The operation, which started after the curfew was declared in 10 villages in Bitlis, has been continuing for two days. It was reported that the countryside of the villages was bombed during the night.

Reuters news agency appealed a Turkish court’s decision to block access on reports and social media posts about the agency’s special report regarding a preliminary probe into President Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan.

Journalist Kadir Bayram was detained in Diyarbakır in a police raid on his house. 

Media watchdog RTÜK has warned streaming services of “violating broadcasting principles” a lot lately, and added that broadcasts against the state, President Erdoğan and the founder of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, are “unacceptable.”

The 3rd hearing in the trial where poet Ahmet Telli is accused of ‘propaganda of a terrorist organization’ based on poems he recited in a speech, was held in İstanbul. The court sentenced him to 10 months in prison. 

Turkey Today – 03.07.2023

It was stated that Turkey bombed the Berçi village countryside of Amediye in the KurdistanRegion of Iraq.

The Governor’s Office of Bitlis yesterday declared an indefinite curfew in the Hizan district due to ongoing military operations. 

The hearing of the Kobané Case in which 108 politicians including former HDP Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ are on trial continued at Sincan Prison Campus. 

In the lawsuit filed against Police Chief Sırrı Erdoğan, who seriously injured lawyer Serkan Karakaş with his vehicle, his arrest requests were rejected. 

Some people claimed that Syrian refugees poisoned a dog in Kocaeli province’s Dilovası district and raided a house after an argument. Following the allegations, a crowded group took to the streets and marched against Syrian refugees in the district, chanting slogans for them to be deported.

Turkey Weekly 1 – 2 July 2023

Turkey Today – 02.07.2023

33 people who lost their lives in the Madımak massacre were commemorated with a march in Sivas on 30th anniversary. 

HDP, which published a message on the 30th anniversary of the Madımak Massacre, said: “The state and the government, which did not confront the massacre, still discriminate between peoples and beliefs today. An effective confrontation is essential for social peace and tranquility.

CHP MP Tanrıkulu has stated that “so-called” opposition politicians contributed to the arrest of journalist Merdan Yanardağ without explicitly mentioning any name. I a live Tele1 broadcast he said that some opposition figures engage in politics “within the boundaries drawn by the Justice and Development Party (AKP).” 

Turkey Today – 01.07.2023

HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan has stated that they will field mayoral candidates “everywhere, especially in metropolitan cities” for the 2024 local elections. 

Saturday Mothers were again prevented by the police to gather at Galatasaray Square despite the Constitutional Court’s decision. Participants were handcuffed behind their backs and detained. Journalist were prevented from covering news again this week. 

Although there is a suitable donor candidate for Fırat Nebioğlu, whose two kidneys failed in prison, who fell from 63 kg to 44 kg and lives on dialysis, the application for kidney transplantation is pending. 

Stating that they will be on the streets against the decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, members of Women’s Advocacy Network said: “It is not over for us yet and we will continue their legal struggle.