July 2021

Turkey Weekly 26 – 31.July 2021

Turkey Today – 31 July 2021

Journalist following the murder of the 7 Kurds in Konya was blocked by the police. 

Lawyer Abdurrahman Karabulut said that a total of 16 bullets were found in the bodies of the 6 people who were murdered in Konya, and that the killer was in contact with the people who attacked the family in May.

10 people were detained in connection with the murder of 7 members of a Kurdish family in Konya. 

Diyarbakir Bar Association launched a Justice Watch to protest the racist massacre of the Kurdish family in Konya.

President Erdoğan: “The Turkish Aeronautical Association doesn’t have a plane that can be used. We are working with 45 helicopters. Apart from that, the number of our planes as of today has increased to 5-6. There are planes which we have gotten from Russia & Ukraine. And another plane will be used from Azerbaijan”. 

After a military operation a forest fire broke out in Dersim’s Hozat district. Local residents were prevented by soldiers from extinguishing the fire.
The Saturday Mothers came together in the week 853 to ask those responsible for the death of Süleyman Cihan who who was found dead after detention by the police on 2p July 1981. 
Covid-19: 22,332 new infections and 79 deaths registered in the last 24 hours.

Turkey Today – 30 July 2021

A Kurdish family targeted by a racist attack in Konya province in May, has been subject to a second attack on Friday, which claimed the life of seven members of the family.

Editor-in-Chief of daily Cumhuriyet Aykut Küçükkaya has resigned amid “Cumhuriyet Foundation Chair Alev Coşkun’s pressure to force the editorial staff to resign from the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS)”. 

Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog has imposed an administrative fine on broadcaster TELE1 due to comments made by a doctor regarding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s health. 

Amid ongoing fires across Turkey, entry to forests in Balıkesir and İzmir has been temporarily banned by governor’s offices. The Government has been criticised for weak efforts to extinguish the forest fires. 
Covid-19: 22,083 new infections and 69 deaths registered in the last 24 hours. 

Turkey Today – 29 July 2021

Another racist incident against people of Kurdish origin has occurred in Ankara. A single mother of five children was insulted and threatened in the presence of Turkish police officers. As a result, they had to leave their neighborhood.

Yusuf Bağırcı, former member of the DBP provincial board, and teacher Erdal Çitrik who had been dismissed by decree were arrested in Adıyaman. 

The pro-government daily Yeni Akit admitted to circulating fakes news during the 2013 Gezi Park protests, saying that journalist Elif Çakır’s reporting on what later became as the “Kabataş lie” was in fact for provocation purposes. 

Turkey’s coast guard has detained more than 200 migrants, including Afghans and Syrians, who were crossing the Aegean Sea on a fishing boat in an attempt to reach Greece. 

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 22,161 new infections and 60 deaths in the last 24 hours. 

Turkey Today – 28 July 2021

The Diyarbakır Bar has filed a criminal complaint against pro-government daily Yeni Şafak, which targeted the 15 bar associations for condemning the racist attacks against Kurds in a joint statement. 

The Ministry of National Defense has announced that two soldiers have lost their lives, one soldier has been wounded in “Operation Claw” area. 

Bolu Mayor Tanju Özkan is under investigation for discrimination after announcing his plan to increase water prices and waste taxes for refugees. 

Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez has announced that a wall will be built along the 295-kilometer Turkey-Iran border. 

Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that a local court “violated the law” by fining a group of Eğitim-Sen union members who handed out pamphlets in protest of public worker layoffs.

Covid-19: The figures have not yet been published.

Turkey Today – 27 July 2021

Lawyers of Şenyaşar family filed a criminal complaint against unlawful detention of their clients.

Lawyers of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan have applied once again to Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to visit their client on Imrali. 

Prisoner Bekir Kudak was forced to strip search after being transferred to Kayseri Bünyan Prison. 
Having announced that a 10-fold increase will be introduced to the water bills and solid waste taxes collected from refugees, CHP’s Bolu Mayor Tanju Özcan has said, “I am behind by words. I will never step back”. 
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has raised concerns over the recently increasing COVID-19 cases and deaths in Turkey. 
Covid-19: 19,761 new infections and 51 deaths registered in the last 24 hours. 

Turkey Today – 26 July 2021

In a joint statement, 48 bar associations across Turkey have denounced the pro-government daily Yeni Şafak for targeting the 15 bars which condemned the racist attacks on Kurds. 

Presidency’s Communications Director Altun condemned the attack on pro-government A Haber team in İstanbul.  

UNESCO may strip Hagia Sophia and Chora of their World Heritage Site status: The World Heritage Committee has asked Turkey to provide “an updated report on the state of conservation” at the two sites. 

Turkey’s Interior Ministry has failed to respond to any of the questions about reported abuses and maltreatment at a repatriation center in the Aegean İzmir, CHP MP Murat Bakan said. 

Turkey eyes opening schools in September as doctors call for lowering of vaccination age to 12. 

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 16,809 new infections and 63 deaths in the last 24 hours. 0

Turkey Weekly 19 – 25 July 2021

Turkey Today – 25.07.2021

Hunger strike in Turkish prisons against solitary confinement of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan enters day 241. Gülseren Yoleri, co-chair of Human Rights Association İstanbul branch, has pointed out the dangers of the hunger strike.

Shepherd Ismail Kaya from Çaltepe in the province of Hakkari was shot at by soldiers of the Turkish army and has been missing since that happened. 

A forest fire broke out in Muş’s Şenyayla district. This time, too, there are no fire-fighting operations. 
23 million people still not vaccinated amid concerns of fourth wave in COVID-19 pandemic. 

Covid-19: 14,230 new infections and 55 deaths registered in the last 24 hours. 

Turkey Today – 24.07.2021

Detained over the deadly racist attack on a Kurdish family in Konya province, 39 people have been released, 1 person will be send to prison. 

Şenyaşar family shared the following message on the 138th day of their sit in from Twitter, “Guardians of justice will always be there against this corrupt system.”

The Saturday Mothers came together in the week 852 to ask those responsible for the death of Hasan Gülünay who disappeared in İstanbul after detention by the police on 20 July 1992. 

300 international academics, filmmakers sign letter supporting dismissed Boğaziçi faculty member Can Candan. 
Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) asked the government for an increase to its annual 13-billion-lira budget on the grounds that the funds did not allow it to carry out services sufficiently. 

Covid-19: 12,381 new infections and 58 deaths registered in the last 24 hours.

Turkey Today – 23.07.2021

The elected senators of Boğaziçi University address an open letter to rector candidates: “Candidates must undertake that they will abide by the values of our university and the principles of meritocracy and autonomy”. 

Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed former Co-Chair of the HDP, has been granted the 2021 Weimar Human Rights Award as “one of the most important opposition politicians in Turkey’s recent history”.  

An investigation has been launched against lawyer Kadir Kutevi who attended the hearing of the Kobanê Trial for “disrupting the court order”.

Detained over the deadly racist attack on a Kurdish family in Konya province, 40 people have been referred to the courthouse.  
Turkish pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper targets bar associations for condemning racist attacks against Kurds.

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 11,094 infections and 60 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Turkey Today – 22.07.2021 

15 bar associations have condemned the recently mounting racist attacks against Kurds in Turkey: “We demand an end to the statements paving the way for racist attacks and undermining public peace”. 

The academics of Boğaziçi University have filed a lawsuit and demanded the stay of execution of the decisions taken by the appointed university administration by casting multiple votes at the Senate meeting. 

Presidency’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has made a statement regarding news reports about some media outlets being funded by foreign countries, saying, “We will not allow fifth column activities under new guises.”

A video showing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan falling asleep for a moment while addressing his ruling AKP members has gone viral on social media. 

The HDP presented a legislative proposal to parliament calling on the Health Ministry to offer free HPV vaccinations nationwide. 

AKP’s deputy parliamentary group chair Muhammet Emin Akbaşoğlu has expressed concern over the fate of the domestic car project should the ruling alliance lose power in the 2023 elections. 

Covid-19: 9,586 new infections and 52 deaths registered in the last 24 hours.

Turkey Today – 21.07.2021 

Days after assault, Journalist Erk Acarer has said that a threat message was left in the yard of his home in Berlin, Germany.

In a racist attack on a Kurdish family in the Meram district of Konya, 43-year-old Halil Dal was killed. 

4 people were injured in the armed attack on the Kurdish family as a result of the fight broke out in the altar where the family was sacrificing an animal for the Eid al-Adha. 2 of the injured are in serious condition. 

Turkish police attacked journalists who were trying to document the demonstration of Suruç massacre commemorators in Istanbul. 
Police in Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul attacked the events held to pay tribute to those killed in the ISIS attack in Suruç and arrested numerous people.

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 8,780 new infections and 46 deaths in the last 24 hours. 

Turkey Today – 20.07.2021

Seven people, including two women, have been injured in a racist attack on Kurdish seasonal agricultural workers in the western province of Afyon. 

An appeals court has annulled an order from the İstanbul Governor’s Office that prohibited the prosecution of police officers for their alleged use of excessive force against demonstrators protesting the appointment of Melih Bulu as rector of Boğaziçi University. 

Turkish security forces have detained nearly 1,500 refugees near its border with Iran amid a new refugee influx from Afghanistan.

President Erdoğan has attended ceremonies marking the 47th anniversary of Turkey’s military intervention on the island. He insists only solution for Cyprus is a two-state deal. 
Covid-19: 8,780 new infections and 46 deaths registered in the last 24 hours.

Turkey Today – 19.07.2021

Police attacked the Suruç Massacre commemoration in Adana, battering and detaining several people, including HDP Provincial Co-Chairs. 

Detained over the armed attack on HDP Marmaris office in Muğla, assailant A.T.D. has been arrested while four others who were allegedly involved in the attack have been released on probation. 

MHP Chair Devlet Bahçeli accuses the Constitutional Court of supporting terrorism after MP’s return to parliament. 
In force since 2016, the ban on protests and demonstrations in Van province has been extended for another 15 days. 

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 7,680 new infections and 66 deaths on July 18. 

Turkey Weekly 12 – 18 July

Turkey Today – 18 July 2021

Turkey’s parliament has approved a bill that extends the duration of the current state of emergency powers for one year. Although the state of emergency ended in 2018, the government kept many emergency practices, including those regarding detentions.

Hunger strike in Turkish prisons against solitary confinement of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan enters day 234. 
Siirt Governor’s Office imposed a 15-day ban on actions and activities in the city center.

The Kurdish singer Arhat was taken into custody for singing Kurdish songs at a wedding.

Turkish parliament is in recess over the summer. Business resumes on October 1.
Turkey condemns the Luxemburg based EU court 9f justice’s ruling on headscarf ban as violation of freedoms.
Covid-19: The current figures have not yet been published. 

Turkey Today – 17 July 2021

Appointed as the acting rector of Boğaziçi following the dismissal of Melih Bulu, Naci İnci has dismissed academic Can Candan. 
The forest fire in the Besta region of Şırnak continues due to inadequate firefighting. 

Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan’s family applied to Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for a meeting on Feast of Sacrifice. 
The Saturday Mothers came together in week 851 to discuss about the proceedings that were initiated on the occasion of their 700th meeting. 

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 7,666 new infections and 38 deaths in the last 24 hours. 

Turkey Today – 16 July 2021

The HDP may not support the opposition alliance in the next presidential election if its approach to the HDP and the Kurdish question does not change, its co-chair has said. 

Three more people have been detained as part of the investigation launched into the armed attack against the Marmaris office of the HDP.

The house of HDP employee Sezer Öztürk in Istanbul was marked with a red cross and racist graffiti that read “Get out Alevi Kurd.” 

Turkey’s Constitutional Court rejected an appeal by CHP for a stay of execution of a parole law that excludes political prisoners. The EU Council has updated its recommendations list for non-essential travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. EU keeps Turkey out of safe travel list. 

Covid-19: 7,304 new infections and 48 deaths registered on July 15. 

Turkey Today – 15 July 2021

Shortly after appointed rector Melih Bulu was dismissed by a Presidential decree, the Council of Higher Education has appointed his appointed vice rector Naci İnci as the acting rector of Boğaziçi University. 

Şenol Kaya, the Sub-Governor of Şarköy district in Tekirdağ province, has a restraining order issued against local journalist Nuri Çağlar for a period of 1 month following the news he reported.
Ultranationalist Great Unity Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici has called for the removal of “Greek” and “Armenian” references from churches and minority schools on Istanbul’s Princes. 
The AKP-run municipality of Zeytinburnu has demolished an open-air mobile library that the opposition-led Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality set up for children at a park. 

The forest fire in the Besta region of Şırnak, when it was about to go out, grew again with the fire opened from military helicopters.

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 6,907 new infections and 43 deaths on July 14.  

Turkey Today – 14 July 2021

AKP’s draft bill prolonging the duration when the State of Emergency practices will remain in effect for a period of 3 years has passed the Parliamentary Commission of Planning and Budgetary. 

Mafia boss Sedat Peker says protection granted by Minister Süleyman Soylu let him commit crimes. 

In the Ayşe Tuba Arslan feminicide case, the appeals court has reduced the defendant’s prison term from an aggravated life sentence to 24 years, deeming a message addressing Arslan as “my dear” an “unjust provocation”. 
Evrensel columnist Ceren Sözeri’s trial where she’s sued for 200k TRY by Turkuvaz Media for a column from April 2019 titled “Who made AKP lose votes” was held in İstanbul. The hearing could not be held today since the court’s judge had presented a petition to be excused and is on leave. Next hearing’s date will be scheduled in the coming days.

The İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court has issued the detailed ruling on the case of the murder of journalist Hrant Dink in 2007: “Acting in the interests of the FETÖ, three police chiefs ensured that the murder took place and destroyed evidence”

Covid-19: 6,285 new infections and 46 deaths were registered on July 13.

Turkey Today – 13 July 2021

Two more defendants have been released in the case of a racist assault on a Kurdish family in Konya. Also, protection orders have been issued for 10 of the 60 people who carried out the attack.

According to a report prepared by the Antalya Branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD), prisoners were strip-searched and battered during their transfer from one prison to another in the same campus. 

Former CHP MP Berhan Şimşek has been indicted for “degrading the state and its judicial bodies” over his remarks in a TV program. He said  “The governor is a militant, the sub-governor is a militant, the judges are militants.”. 

First hearing of the trial where journalist Cihan Ölmez is accused of “making terror propaganda” for sharing news reports where he provided statements on curfews announced at Cizre in 2015 and 2016 was held in Diyarbakır. Cihan Ölmez attended the hearing via video-link from Cizre. Trial adjourned until December.
Trial where artist Ferhat Tunç faces “terrorist propaganda” charges for criticizing the “Olive Branch military operation” was held in Diyarbakır. Court decided to wait for the execution of the arrest warrant and adjourned the trial until December. 
Boğaziçi academics file criminal complaint over entry restriction into campus. 
Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 5,404 new infections and 49 deaths on July 12. 

Turkey Today – 12 July 2021

The Forensic Medicine Institution has issued a report on seriously ill prisoner Mehmet Emin Özkan (83), who is unable to meet his personal needs on his own, and concluded that he can stay in prison.

According to prisoner Ömer Sait Yılmaz, water is provided to inmates in Silivri prison on a limited basis.

2nd hearing of the trial where 46 defendants who were detained at the 700th week meeting of Cumartesi Anneleri at Galatasaray Square was held in İstanbul. Court rejected lawyers’ request to have the panel of judges recused on the basis that this was requested “as a means to drag the legal proceedings” and reminded the lawyers that they can appeal this decision before an upper court. Trial adjourned until November 24, 2021.

The Kurdish Dedeoğulları family was brutalized by their ultranationalist neighbors in Konya. The family had been harassed by their neighbors for years.
Having graduated from Boğaziçi University, two alumni have been accepted to universities abroad. But they may not be able to go due to judicial control measures imposed for protesting the appointed rector. 
The first Pride March to be held in Aydın was hindered by police, who blockaded both the association building and the park where the march would take place. 
Covid-19: 5,261 new infections and 37 deaths were reported on July 11. 

Turkey Weekly 5 – 11 July

Turkey Today – 11 July 2021

Hunger strike in Turkish prisons against solitary confinement of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan enters day 227. 
Talha Kaya, the former District Chair of the closed Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), was sentenced to 1 year and 8 months in prison for the party sign he had had in Kurdish.

Şenyaşar Family’s search for justice continues on day 125. The family lost three members as a result of the attacks of AKP Deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız and his relatives. 

A bus carrying Afghan, Pakistani and Bangladeshi refugees crashed in eastern Turkey’s Van, killing at least 12 people.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is looking to create a social media watchdog in an effort to control the spread of what he calls disinformation through such platforms. The watchdog will be similar to Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK).

Covid-19: 5,530 new infections and 37 deaths registered on July 10.

Turkey Today – 10 July 2021

The indictment in the ban case was handed over to the HDP.

HDP Youth Council member Gülistan Yılmaz was detained in Batman. 

13 people were detained in Ankara during a police attack on a commemoration of the families of the victims of the Suruç massacre. In Istanbul, police stopped a demonstration and detained 6 people.

9 imams were arrested for preaching in Kurdish.

The Saturday Mothers came together in week 850 to draw attention to the proceedings that were initiated on the occasion of their 700th meeting.

Regarding the low vaccination rates in the region the Van-Hakkari Medical Association points to the lack of education in the Kurdish language. 
Covid-19: The current figures have not yet been published. 

Turkey Today – 9 July 2021

The highly controversial 4th Law Package has been ratified by the parliament includibg a paragraph according to which “strong suspicion” is no longer sufficient for imprisonment for sexual violence.

Police attacked the Suruç Families Initiative which is holding a march from Istanbul to Ankara as part of its ‘Justice for Suruç, Justice for All’ campaign. Police has detained 5 members of the initiative by using violence. 

The prosecutor’s office has appealed against the acquittal of journalist Melis Alphan, who stood trial for posting a photo from the Diyarbakır Newroz.

Trial where 38 ppl including journos Mustafs Sönmez, Sedef Kabas, Merdan Yanardağ & two Bloomberg reporters are accused of sharing “false, wrong, or deceptive information” to affect the markets for their reporting resumed in İstanbul. The hearing could not be heard since the judge was assigned to a different court. The trial will be adjourned on paper and the next hearing’s date will be determined in the coming days.

Nearly 50 people have been detained in Adıyaman province on the grounds that they joined the protests against the “certificate of authorization” introduced on July 1 and stipulated for tobacco trade. 

Gelecek Party Deputy Chairman Selçuk Özdağ has claimed that 50 lawmakers from Turkey’s ruling AKP who are uncomfortable with the policies of their party may soon join the ranks of their Party. 

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 5,670 new infections and 59 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Turkey Today – 8 July 2021

Seven people were taken into custody as a result of police raids in Erzurum. 

Trial where Evrensel newspaper’s former Managing Editor Cem Şimşek faces “insulting the president” charges for a news story on German cartoonists who drew Erdoğan resumed in İstanbul. Court sentenced the journalist to 11 months and 20 days in prison. The sentence is deferred. 
Trial where AKP Bursa MP Efkan Ala accuses former aktivhaber Editor-in-Chief Yetkin Yıldız of “slander” & “libel” was held in İstanbul. Court ruled to ask İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court whether the verdict is announced in the trial known as “FETO Media Trial,” where Yıldız appears as a defendant and requested a copy of the ruling if it is available. Trial adjourned until November.
The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has imposed three administrative penalties and three broadcast suspension penalties on Halk TV.

Erdoğan bans public institutions from buying newspapers as part of new saving measures.

Police in Ankara attacked mine workers who had been dismissed in 2011. Although there is a right to compensation, it has not been paid out to date.
Covid-19: On 7 July Health Ministry reported 5,160 new infections and 52 deaths.

Turkey Today – 7 July 2021

HDP Midyat district branch former co-chair Filiz Işık has been sentenced to 6 years and 10 months in prison. 

4 people were detained during police raids in Iğdır. 
The Turkish Journalists’ Association has issued a written statement calling on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and government officials to stop targeting and oppressing media outlets.

The government-appointed trustee mayor of İzmir’s Urla Municipality has dismissed a theatre teacher from her post and reassigned her as a canteen employee.

Turkey’s Minister of Education Selçuk has announced that the Ministry is planning to reopen the schools on September 6. 
Covid-19: Health Ministry has not yet been published the current figures.

Turkey Today – 6 July 2021

The lawyers of İpek Er’s family have filed a criminal complaint against the lawyers of discharged specialist sergeant Musa O., who is standing trial for “driving İpek Er to suicide after sexually assaulting her”. 

MHP Chair Bahçeli has once again targeted the Constitutional Court, this time over its ruling of rights violation for dismissed HDP MP Gergerlioğlu, who has not yet been released despite the top court ruling. 
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has filed a lawsuit against daily Cumhuriyet, demanding 1 million Turkish Liras in non-pecuniary damages over what he said “an attack against his personal rights.”

Trial where Eetkinhaber editor Derya Okatan faces “insult” charges resumed in İstanbul Although this investigation ended with a non-prosecution judgement, the lawsuit was later filed following the complainant’s appeal. Prosecution presented their final opinion as to the accusations during today’s hearing, claimed that the case must be seen as a matter of press freedom and demanded her acquittal. Trial adjourned until December. 
At least 29 people were detained in house raids in Mardin.

Covid-19: 5,299 new infections and 37 deaths registered in the last 24 hours.

Turkey Today – 5 July 2021

AKP deputies have claimed that the sentences handed over child sexual abuse are too harsh and need to be decreased. The deputies are seeking to pardon 480 inmates with a new regulation on the issue. 

Pronouncing its ruling as to the temporary closure of daily Özgür Gündem in 2016, the Constitutional Court has concluded that the newspaper’s freedoms of expression and press have been violated.
Pronouncing its opinion as to the accusations, the prosecutor’s office demands a political ban for Muharrem İnce, the Chair of the Homeland Party and a former Presidential candidate of CHP.
Ferit Şenyaşar, who continues his struggle for “Justice” in front of the courthouse with his mother Emine Şenyaşar, said that AKP Deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız’s brother Süleyman Yıldız threatened them with death for the second time and they filed a criminal complaint.

Covid-19: Health Ministry reported 4,418 new infections and 50 deaths on June 4.