02 – 04 March 2019 HRFT Documentation Center Daily Human Rights Report

Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Documentation Center[1][2][3][4][5]

02 – 04 March Daily Human Rights Report

(03/013) Person Killed in Hatay for Disobeying Stop Warning…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 3, 2019 that, 1 person died and 3 people got wounded due to fire opened by gendarmerie to a car for disobeying stop warning in Altınözü district of Hatay. The names of people are unknown.

(03/014) Police Officers Had Accident in Bitlis…

It is learned that 13 police officers got wounded due to roll-over of the bus, carrying the police officers of Bitlis Security Directorate to Erzurum, in order to ensure security of the meeting of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, about the local elections on March 31, 2019.

(03/015) Torture and Ill-Treatment in Prison…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 2, 2019 that, Lawyers’ Association for Freedom (ÖHD) and Human Rights Association (IHD) prepared a report on right violations in Düzce T Type Prison. It is stated in the report that, according to the interviews with 6 prisoners visited in prison on January 18, 2019, the following issues are identified: Prisoners are threatened with torture, prisoners are prevented from right to health, prisoners are prohibited from right to communication and talk, as a result of arbitrary disciplinary proceedings against them, petitions and letters of prisoners are not sent to answerers, and prisoners are not given Yeni Yaşam and Evrensel newspapers.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 2, 2019 that, Human Rights Association (IHD) Antalya Branch Prisons Watch Committee prepared a report based on the interviews on February 26, 2019 with Mesut Canbey and Nevin Gükçe, who are on hunger strike in Alanya L Type Closed Prison demanding an end to isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. It is stated in the report that, prisoners have difficulty to keep themselves warm due to insufficient working of the heaters, and thus they use hot water bags however the prison administration seized these bags, prisoners are not given the books that are sent by their family, prisoners are not medically examined and not given vitamin B1.

(03/016) Hunger Strike in Prison…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 3, 2019 that, 331 prisoners in prisons all over Turkey are on hunger strike demanding an end to isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

(03/017) Children in Prisons…

IHD Izmir Branch Women Committee made a declaration on March 1, 2019 and announced that 3.000 children (under the age of 18) are kept in prisons in Turkey and 743 of them are aged 0-6 years.

(03/018) Rejection to Meeting Request with Abdullah Öcalan…

It is learned that the appeal made on March 2, 2019 to chief public prosecutor’s office in Bursa by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s sister and brother and tutelary along with the families of Hamili Yıldırım, Ömer Hayri Konar and Veysel Aktaş in order to visit, was rejected the same day on the grounds of limitations for prisoners in accordance with the Law on the Execution of Criminal and Security Measures Number 5275. Abdullah Öcalan’s brother Mehmet Öcalan, visited Abdullah Öcalan on January 12, 2019, for the first time since September 11, 2016.

(03/019) Police Intervention Against “I Want My Job Back” Protest in Ankara…

The police intervened the press declaration of public labourers who had been dismissed by a state of emergency decree and have been struggling 845 days to regain their jobs, intended to be held in front of Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street on March 1, 2, and 3, 2019 at 13.30 and 18.00.

It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on March 1, 2019, 2 people (Acun Karadağ, Dağhan Beşli) and at 18.00 2 people (Alev Şahin, Nazan Bozkurt) were detained.

It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on March 2, 2019, 3 people (Mehmet Dersulu, Alev Şahin and Nazan Bozkurt) and at 18.00 2 people (Acun Karadağ, Mehmet Dersulu and Alev Şahin) were detained.

It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on March 3, 2019, 2 people (Nazan Bozkurt and Acun Karadağ) and at 18.00 2 people (Nazan Bozkurt and Acun Karadağ) were detained.

Thus in total 14 people were detained due to press declaration intended to be held in Yüksel Street on March 1, 2, and 3, 2019. It is learned that detainees were released the same day.

(03/020) Police Intervention Against a Protest in Istanbul…

Türkan Albayrak, who was dismissed from her job at Sarıyer district Health Department, on the grounds of ‘personnel security investigation’ and ‘archive search’, on August 3, 2018; made a press declaration to regain her job on March 1, 2019, and attempted for a sit-in protest in front of Health Department. The police intervened into the sit-in and detained Türkan Albayrak. It is learned that Türkan Albayrak was released the same day. It is the 94th time of detention of Türkan Albayrak.

(03/021) Police Intervention Against a Protest in Istanbul…

On March 2, 2019, 1 person (Feridun Osmanağaoğlu) who made a press declaration themed as “Galatasaray Square cannot be Banned” at Galatasaray Square in Beyoğlu district of Istanbul are detained by police intervention.

(03/022) Police Intervention Against Saturday Mothers’ Protest in Istanbul…

Police obstructed all the streets around Galatasaray Square in Istanbul to prevent Saturday Mothers who rally every Saturday for 23 years in the same place to gather for the 727th time on March 2, 2019. Upon police prevention, the group including People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Zeynel Özen, and Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu as well as representatives of political parties, human rights defenders and artists along with families of disappeared people gather in front of Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul office and started to march. It is reported that the police blockaded the street of IHD Istanbul office too.

(03/023) Prevention of Human Rights Defenders’ Event in Istanbul…

 “F sit-in”, which is organized for the 362nd time by Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch Prison Watch Committee, to demand release of ill prisoners, on March 2, 2019, is prevented by the police. The police obstructed all the streets around Galatasaray Square. Human rights defenders made the press declaration in front of IHD Istanbul office.

(03/024) Police Intervention to a Commemoration in Istanbul…

The police intervened the students gathering at Istanbul University Beyazıt Campus on March 1, 2019, to commemorate Önder Babat. Önder Babat, a student of Istanbul University Law Faculty, was killed on March 3, 2001. It is learned that 17 students were detained by police intervention and those detained were handcuffed behind their backs. It is learned that İleri News reporter İzel Sezer was detained as well. Detained people are released after statement procedures at the police on March 2, 2019.

(03/025) Assault to Bar Association Executives in Diyarbakır…

Diyarbakır Bar Association chair Cihan Aydın, made a declaration on March 1, 2019 and announced that, after the 167th of Tahir Elçi Human Rights event that the bar organizes every Friday, himself and a group of lawyers were assaulted by a person whose son is on hunger strike in prison and his relatives. It is learned that 3 people are detained through the investigation of Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor’s Office on the assault.

(03/026) Principal Claimed to Commit Physical Violence Against Students in Urfa…

The video footage showing the principal of Piri Reis Vocational and Technical High School committing physical violence to students being late to school is covered in the news report of March 2, 2019. It is learned that provincial Directorate of National Education initiated an investigation about the footage.

(03/027) Police Preventing a Journalist in Istanbul…

It is learned that İsmet Sefer, reporter of PİRHA, who was following “Mother Language” event of People’s Democratic Congress (HDK) Peoples and Beliefs Committee on March 2, 2019 in Istanbul, was stopped by the police and was forced to submit the videos and photos he recorded at the event. It is reported that the police seized the videos and photos in Sefer’s camera on the grounds of ‘instruction of the prosecutor’s office’, although there is no written directive.

(03/028) Police Raid to Idil Cultural Center…

6 of 8 people who were detained in the police raid to Idil Cultural Center in Okmeydanı neighbourhood of Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district on February 26, 2019, are arrested by the court on March 2, 2019. The names of arrested people are: Ümit İlter, Caferi Sadık Eroğlu, Emel Yeşilırmak, İbrahim Gökçek, Barkın Timtik, Barış Yüksel. It is learned that 2 people Betül Varan, Sultan Gökçek) are released on judicial control conditions.

(03/029) Police Officers on Trial for ‘Sexual Assault’ in Istanbul…

The case against 5 police officers, 2 of which are arrested, on the charges of raping and seizing money of an Uzbekistani woman in the police car, started to be held on Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 8 on March 1, 2019. The police officers were alleged to take the woman in the police car on the grounds that she does not have an ID card, after stopping the taxi that she was in, in Fatih district of Istanbul on October 15, 2018. After defence hearings the court decided to release İsmail K. and adjourned the trial.

(03/030) Arrested Person in Kayseri for ‘Insulting the Atatürk’…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 1, 2019 that, Kadir Göçek, a person in Kocasinan district of Kayseri is arrested on the grounds of ‘insulting Atatürk’ in his social media posts.

(03/031) Journalist on Trial in Istanbul…

The final trial of the case on Istanbul Penal Court of First Instance No 24, against Cumhuriyet newspaper reporter Pelin Ünker and Orhan Erinç, former grant holder of the newspaper, upon complaint of Binali Yıldırım, Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) mayor candidate for Istanbul, and his sons, for the news reports on ‘Paradise Papers’, is held on March 1, 2019. The court sentenced Pelin Ünker and Orhan Erinç to pay 30.000 Turkish Liras (10.000 Turkish Liras each for Binali Yıldırım, Erkam Yıldırım and Bülent Yıldırım) for immaterial damages, on the charge of ‘attacking individual rights’.

(03/032) Journalists on Trial in Hatay…

The final trial of the case against Erdoğan Alayumat and Nuri Akman, reporters of DİHABER which was closed down by the state of emergency decree, for ‘providing classified state information for political and military spying purposes’ and ‘being an illegal organisation member’, on Hatay Heavy Penal Court No 2, is held on March 1, 2019. The court acquitted Erdoğan Alayumat and Nuri Akman.

(03/033) Newspaper Employee on Trial in Urfa…

The case against Mustafa Göktaş, an employee of Özgür Gündem newspaper which was closed by a state of emergency decree, is held on Urfa Heavy Penal Court No 2 on March 1, 2019. It is learned that the prosecutor declared the legal opinion at the trial and demanded sentence for Göktaş on the charges of ‘being an illegal organisation member’ and ‘making propaganda for an illegal organisation’. The court adjourned the trial to May 23, 2019.

(03/034) Former CHP MP on Trial…

The case against 12 people including Eren Erdem, former Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP and former executive editor of Karşı newspaper; Turan Ababey, grant holder of the newspaper; and journalist Kutlu Esendemir, on Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 23 is held on March 1, 2019. The court decided to separate the cases against Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Emrah Direk, Değer Özergün, Mehmet Aydoğmuş, Murat Kazancı, and to separate the case against arrested defendant Onur Kala. The court also sentenced Onur Kala to 3 years and 1 month and 15 days for ‘being an illegal organisation member’; and Emre Erciş to 3 years 1 month and 15 days for ‘aiding an illegal organisation although not being a member of it’. The court acquitted Mehmet Bozkurt and Kutlu Esendemir, and sentenced Turan Ababey to 4 years and 2 months for ‘aiding an illegal organisation although not being a member of it’, and decided to arrest Turan Ababey. The court acquitted Eren Erdem on the charges of ‘violation of confidentiality’ and ‘revealing a secret witness’, and sentenced him to 4 years and 2 months for ‘aiding an illegal organisation although not being a member of it’.

(03/035) The Cases Against Academics Who Are the Signatories of the Petition “We will not be a party to this crime!”…

The separate cases against 13 academicians (Assoc. Professor Ferda Kemal Keskin, Professor H.B.B. and PhD Atike Zeynep Kılıç from Bilgi University, retired Assoc. Professor Alaeddin Şenel, and N.S.Ö. from Ankara University, lecturer Pınar Önen from Okan University, Assoc. Professor Umut Tümay Arslan from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Assoc. Professor A.B.Y. from Koç University, PhD Özge Yaka from Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, research assistant Turan Keskin from Van Yüzüncüyıl University, Assist. Professor Derya Keskin, Assoc. Professor Özlem Özkan, Eren Can and Burcu Toğral Koca from Kocaeli University) for signing the petition “We will not be a party to this crime!” on Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 22 for ‘making propaganda for an illegal organisation’ are held on March 1, 2019. It is learned that the Ministry of Justice responded to the writ sent by the court in order to continue proceedings against H.B.B., N.Ö.S. and Pınar Önen according to Article 301 of Turkish Penal Code. The court decided to consider the other cases against academics and then decide on to consolidate the cases, and adjourned the trial to June 28, 2019. The court decided to send a writ to the Ministry of Justice in order to continue proceedings against Ferda Kemal Keskin, A.B.Y., Özge Yaka, Eren Can, Burcu Toğral Koca, Turan Keskin, Umut Tümay Arslan, Derya Keskin and Özlem Özkan according to Article 301 of Turkish Penal Code, and to stop trials until then.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 3, 2019 that, on February 25, 2019, Penal Department No 3 of Istanbul Regional Court approved by a large majority, 1 year and 3 months’ sentence given on April 4, 2018, by Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 32 to Professor Zübeyde Füsun Üstel for signing the petition “We will not be a party to this crime!”.

(03/036) HDP MP on Trial…

The trial of the case against HDP Urfa MP Ayşe Sürücü, for attending the opening of Halfeti Municipality Sara Women’s House on March 4, 2016, is held on Urfa Heavy Penal Court No 6 on March 1, 2019. It is learned that the prosecutor demands jail sentence from 1 year 6 months to 3 years for Ayşe Sürücü on the charge of ‘opposing the law on meetings and demonstrations No 2911’. The court adjourned the trial to March 7, 2019.

(03/037) The Constitutional Court Decision on Sincan Prison…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 2, 2019 that the Constitutional Court concluded the appeal on torture and ill-treatment that children were subjected to in Sincan Juvenile Closed Prison, and stated that ban on torture was violated. On January 1, 2014, an ill child prisoner has rejected to be in roll-calls and then children were intervened on the grounds of insurrection alert and children were subjected to torture and ill-treatment in padded cells. Sincan Prosecutor’s Office has decided on non-prosecution of the wardens, upon children’s complaint against them. The Constitutional Court however considered the individual appeals and decided that ban on ill-treatment is violated and 8 children should be paid 10.000 Turkish Liras each for damages.

(03/038) Detentions and Arrests in Alleged Link to Coup Attempt…

11 of 22 military officers who were detained on February 28, 2019 through an Ankara based investigation are arrested on March 1, 2019.

On March 3, 2019, 7 people including military members on active duty are detained in operations covering 5 cities through an Erzincan based investigation.

(03/039) Permit Obligation for Events in Batman

Batman Governorate made a declaration on February 28, 2019 and announced that events such as shows, exhibitions, hanging posters and distributing leaflets are obliged to get permission and all events such as open door and indoor meetings, demonstrations, press declarations, tents, opening booths are banned as of February 28, 2019 until March 14, 2019.

(03/040) Curfew in Dicle

Diyarbakır Governorate made a declaration on March 1, 2019 and announced curfew in 8 neighbourhoods of Dicle district as of 06.00 on March 1, 2019. The court lifted the curfew as of 24.00 on March 2, 2019. The neighbourhoods under curfew are: Boğaz, Kayıköy, Kurşunlu, Yokuşlu, Kırkpınar, Boğazköy, Gelincik, Baltacı.

(03/041) Ban on March 8 Event in METU

It is learned from the news coverage of March 1, 2019 that Middle East Technical University Rectorate banned the talk “Women in Local Administration” which was organized by Social Democracy Club to be held on March 6, 2019 for International Women’s Day – March 8, on the grounds that “the issue of the talk is political”.

(03/042) Elections on March,31…

5 of 17 people who were detained on February 27, 2019 through an Erzurum based investigation are detained by the court on March 2, 2019 on the charge of ‘being an illegal organisation member’ and attending a rally for Kobane in 2014. The names of arrested people are: Zekeriya Kaldır (HDP’s city council member candidate), Cengiz Kaldır, Vahdettin İba, Murat İba and Budak Koçak.

On March 3, 2019, the police raided HDP’s Diyarbakır office and detained 5 people who were on hunger strike to support HDP Hakkari MP and Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Leyla Güven. It is learned that the reason of detention is ‘making propaganda for an illegal organisation’. The names of detainees are: Salih Cansever, İsmet Yıldız, Sevican Yaşar, Salih Tekin and Bilal Özgezer.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 1, 2019 that party flags around HDP office in Iskenderun district of Hatay were removed by anonymous people and a racist note saying “Fatherland for the Turks is neither Turkey, nor yet Turkestan. Fatherland is a great and eternal country for the Turks: Turan” was left at the door of the office.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 1, 2019 that the banner in front of HDP Mersin office, with a photograph of Leyla Güven and “Speak up for freedom. Speak up for justice. Speak up for Leyla” expression on, was removed by the police on the grounds of “court decision”.

It is learned that the windows of the office of “Cumhur Alliance” (alliance of AKP and MHP for elections) in Silivri district of Istanbul was broken by anonymous people on March 3, 2019.

President and AKP chair Tayyip Erdoğan made a meeting in Trabzon on March 2, 2019 and showed some clips from speeches of HDP MP’s and stated the following: “If you love so much, then there is Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Go there. Go to Kurdistan. You have no place in this country”. President Tayyip Erdoğan continued as following: “I am calling on to my brothers willing for CHP, to my brothers willing for so-called İYİ Party, will you be a part of this mistake? I even go further and call on to those who will for HDP which is supported by the separatist terrorist organisation, will you be with the ones who want to separate this country? Come and let us hit a strong Ottoman slap on them on March 31”.

[1]The reports on the human rights violations of the Documentation Center are claims unless they are certified. The claim of violation either is certified through thoroughly investigations of HRFT Documentation Center, including by judicial verdicts, and becomes a definite data or it is not included to the annual report.

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[5] Daily Human Rights Reports are prepared on the information gathered by the Documentation Center from its own network and the following dailies and internet portals: Vatan, Milliyet, Hürriyet, Habertürk, Evrensel, Birgün, Cumhuriyet, Fırat Haber Ajansı, Jinnews, ETHA, Mezopotamya Ajansı, Yurt, YeniYaşam, NTV, Yeni Asya, Bianet, Halkinsesi.tv, Cnnturk, T724, İleri Haber, Siyasi Haber, Alınteri, Kızılbayrak, Sendika.org, Yüksekova Haber, T24, Diken, Gazete Karınca, Gazete Duvar, Haber Sol, El Cezire, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Reuters, AFP.

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