July 2024

Turkey Weekly 8 – 14 July 2024

Turkey Today – 14.07.2024

“We will close the lock very soon in the Claw Operation Zone in northern Iraq,” President Erdoğan announced at the National Defense University’s graduation ceremony. 

According to the indictment of the case of Ayhan Bora Kaplan’s crime syndicate, Serdar Sertçelik, a suspect and secret witness in the case, said in a phone call that he “bribed” former Justice Minister Bozdağ 400,000 Euros for his case to be overturned. The former Minister denied the allegations. 

President Erdoğan has condemned the assassination attempt on former United States President Trump, saying Turkey “stands by the people of the friendly and allied United States.”

Public and private hospitals in Diyarbakır refuse to carry out abortion operations, arguing it is “forbidden.” Abortion on demand has been legal until the 10th week of pregnancy since 1983 in Turkey.

Turkey Today – 13.07.2024

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, who played the role of mediator after Erdogan’s remarks on Syria, said that Turkey and Syria have reached an agreement on a meeting between the two countries, but no date has been set yet.

In the last month, 16 political prisoners in Izmir prisons were transferred to other prisons in handcuffs without informing them. Lawyer Zengin from ÖHD said that those transferred were prisoners of 30 years and were transferred to newly opened prisons. 

Hatice Durak, the mother of artist Nudem Durak, who was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the Kurdish songs she sang, stated that her daughter’s health condition is deteriorating. 

The district governor of Istanbul’s cultural hub Beyoğlu has banned the “Turn and See Back: Revisiting Trans Revolutions in Turkey” exhibition by the 10th Trans Pride Week Exhibition Collective. 

Turkey Today – 12.07.2024

Journalist Murat Mîrza İbrahim, who was injured in Turkey’s airstrike on Shengal, has died. 

After the NATO Summit in Washington, President Erdoğan repeated his call for normalization with Syria stating, “We want to start a new process by overcoming this resentment.”

It was claimed that a UCAV crashed for an unknown reason in the morning hours in Hakkari’s Yüksekova district.

A court has arrested LGBTI+ activist İris Mozalar on charges of “inciting hatred and enmity and insulting the public” for criticizing racist attacks against Syrian refugees on social media.

The ninth hearing of the trial against journalist Can Dündar, charged with “procuring and disclosing confidential information related to state security for political or military espionage purposes” in the context of the MIT Trucks case, was held in Istanbu. The court decided to await the execution of the arrest warrant against the journalist. Trial adjourned until October. 

Turkey Today – 11.07.2024

The Association of Lawyers for Freedom announced that 11 people detained in Nisêbîn’s Marînê neighborhood were subjected to torture and sexual harassment. 

A military shipment was made from the Üzümlü Border Gate in Çele district to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 

It was revealed that 13 children were subjected to sexual harassment at the Mêrdîn Branch of the Anatolian Youth Association. The investigation launched upon the complaint turned into a lawsuit. 

President Erdoğan has appointed Murat Zorluoğlu as the new Diyarbakır governor. Zorluoğlu was Trabzon’s mayor from the ruling AKP between 2019 and 2024.

Turkey Today – 10.07.2024

Police intervened with the Eğitim-Sen members marching to the parliament in protest of the proposed teaching profession bill in Ankara. 

Former Provincial Health Director of Diyarbakır Cihan Tekin has denied claims that the “TurkishBeam” technology was applied to Covid patients without proper informed consent during the pandemic. Allegations hold that some patients died after they were administered the unscientific treatment. 

A court has sentenced Mehmet Caymaz to life in prison for stabbing Kurdish street musician Cihan Aymaz to death on the pretext that the latter did not play the nationalist song the former requested.

The 12th hearing of the trial in which journalist Hayko Bağdat is being prosecuted on charges of “insulting the president” and “publicly inciting hatred and hostility” was held in İstanbul. He was sentenced to 1 year and 2 month in prison, but the sentence was suspended. 

Journalist Tolga Şardan faces 5 years in prison over ‘intelligence report’ article. In the article, Şardan mentioned a report prepared by the country’s intelligence agency about high judicial bodies and submitted to the president.

Turkey Today – 09.07.2024

11 of the 14 people detained in the military operation launched in Batman’s Gercüş district were referred to court for arrest. 

A court has released Mehmet Özkan, the contractor of the city blocks that collapsed and killed 97 in Hatay during the Feb. 6 quakes. Victims’ families objected to the release, citing his ties to the AKP and the risk of interfering with the trial.

Prisoners in Sincan High Security Prison No. 1 reported that several people were poisoned by food poisoning last week.

Mehmet Darga, 65, who is being held in prison since 1992, is not being released despite serious health problems. His wife said that he is held in solidarity confinement. 

Turkey Today – 08.07.2024

3 people, including 2 journalists, were injured in the attack on the vehicle carrying journalists in Shengal. 

Due to of the recent bombardments of Turkish Armed Forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, 80% of the agricultural lands and forests in 5 villages in the Bargare area in Amedi district have been burned. 

The “March for the Respect to Will” which was launched against the appointment of s trustee and started on June 30th has reached Hakkari. 

A petition was launched with the participation of many people including intellectuals, writers and journalists against the revocation of Açık Radyo’s license by the Radio and Television Supreme Council. 

Turkey Weekly 1 – 7 July 2024

Turkey Today – 07.07.2024

In the 28th legislative term of the Parliament, almost half of the 12,512 inquiries submitted by the opposition deputies were left unanswered. Additionally, none of the motions from any opposition parties was brought to the parliamentary agenda.

Educators and union representatives have organized a week-long protest in Ankara’s Parliament Park, criticizing the proposed amendment to the Teaching Profession Law for the lack of provisions to improve the conditions of private sector teachers. 

It was revealed that the trustees of Cizre Municipality also handed over the parks. DEM Party administration started maintenance and repair work in the parks because they were abandoned to their fate. 

DEM Party Parliamentary Deputy Chair Sırrı Süreyya Önder, who attended the protest of earthquake victims’ families, said those responsible must be held accountable before justice. 

Turkey Today – 06.07.2024

Some village guards who were forced to be taken to the Kurdish city of Afrin (Syria), which has been under occupation since 2018, resigned. 

Saturday Mothers gathered at Galatasaray Square in week 1006 to ask for the fate of Edip Aksoy and Orhan Cingöz who were disappeared 29 years ago.

Relatives of the disappeared and Human Rights Association (IHD) Amed (Diyarbakır-Kurdistan) Branch gathered in Diyarbakır and commemorated Vedat Aydın who was taken from his home on 5 July 1991 and whose lifeless body was found in Elazığ. 

Burak Kılıç, the deputy head of Turkey’s ultranationalist Grey Wolves organization, has threatened oppositional journalists covering the murder trial of Sinan Ateş through a post on social media.

Turkey Today – 05.07.2024

Osman Kavala’s request for a retrial has been denied once again by the Justice Ministry. 

The ninth hearing of the trial, in which journalist Yağmur Kaya and 51 Boğaziçi University students are being prosecuted on the charge of “violating Law No. 2911 on Meetings and Demonstrations,” was held in İstanbul. The requests of some defense attorneys for an immediate acquittal decision was rejected. 

A court has arrested three minors for the murder of 17-year-old Syrian Ahmed Hamdan Al Naif in the Antalya province’s Serik district. 

The Culture Ministry’s new practice of appointing a Turkish coordinator for foreign archaeology teams during the excavations has drawn criticism from the experts. 

Turkey Today – 04.07.2024

Turkey bombarded Sergelê village in Dohuk city of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. A fire broke out in the village. 

15-year-old Syrian child fatally stabbed in Antalya amid anti-refugee violence. Three suspects, all minors themselves, have been arrested following the incident.

CHP Spokesperson Deniz Yücel has held President Erdoğan responsible for the attacks against Syrian refugees that started in Kayseri, and for “the refugee problem.” 

Boğaziçi University students hold alternative graduation after rector’s ban. The university administration attempted to disrupt the event by playing loud music on the campus. 

Turkey Today – 03.07.2024

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the German ambassador to Ankara following a disciplinary investigation launched by UEFA against Turkish footballer Merih Demiral. The investigation concerns a gesture known as the ‘Grey Wolves’ sign. 

An Ankara court has handed prison sentences to eight journalists working for Kurdish news outlets for “being a member of a terrorist organization.” Three others have been acquitted of the charges.

Media watchdog RTÜK revoked radio channel Açık Radyo’s license over “not complying” with the program suspension fine it received due to remarks on the Armenian Genocide in of its programs.

Turkey has been in discussions with the United States regarding the construction of large-scale nuclear power plants and small modular reactors (SMR), a senior official from the Turkish Energy Ministry told Reuters.

Turkey Today – 02.07.2024

Racist attacks against Syrian refugees have been increasing in Kayseri, Hatay, Adana, Şanlıurfa, Bursa, and Gaziantep provinces, with refugees’ shops and vehicles being set on fire.

Turkey marked the 31st anniversary of the Sivas Massacre, where an Islamist mob set fire to the Madımak Hotel in the central Sivas province, killing 35 people. DEM Party, CHP, and TİP chairs joined the commemoration and demanded justice for the victims.  

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan removed his Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki with a late-night decree. 

Turkey Today – 01.07.2024

Association of Lawyers for Freedom and DEM Party Law Commission applied to Van Administrative Court for the annulment of the decision to appoint a trustee to Hakkari Municipality. 

At the hearing of the Ankara Station Massacre case, the defendant Resul Demir requested that the then Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu be heard. 10 defendants receive aggravated life sentence for ISIS massacre in Ankara, one acquitted of crimes against humanity. 

An incident of the alleged sexual assault on a child in Kayseri, central Turkey, turned into violent protests targeting the refugee community of the city on Sunday evening.