30 March – 01 April 2019 HRFT Documentation Center Daily Human Rights Report

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

30 March – 01 April Daily Human Rights Report

(04/001) Operations and Attacks in Southeast…

It is learned that on March 31, 2019, 1 soldier died and 1 soldier got wounded due to an attack against security forces alleged to be committed by YPG, in Melkiye area of Azez city in Syria.

It is learned that a security booth, a market and a bus station was attacked by improvised explosives by anonymous person or persons in Sur district of Diyarbakır on March 30, 2019. It is reported that there were no casualties but material damage occurred at three places.

(04/002) Lawyers Prevented in Prison by Wardens…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 29, 2019 that, lawyers Özgür Çağlar, Saniye Saniye Biçici, A. Celil Akın and Pınar Dokuz from Prison Watch Committee of Human Rights Association (IHD) Mersin Branch, who visited prisoners on hunger strike in Tarsus T Type Prison No 2, were forced to submit their notes to wardens. It is reported that lawyers rejected to submit their notes and were not allowed to leave the prison. After negotiations with the prosecutor, lawyers were allowed to leave the prison on the condition of submitting their notes about the visit.

Lawyer Özgür Çağlar stated the following: “When we were interviewing the prisoners, the wardens were in front of the door watching us. They wanted us to give the forms when we were leaving. We stated that it was not legal and asked them to show us any legal basis to submit our notes. They prevented us to leave the prison at that time, they closed the doors. I called the chair of bar association, they took care of the issue. The prison prosecutors then arrived, they seized the forms and then we could leave the prison.

(04/003) Torture and Ill-Treatment in Prison…

It is claimed in the news coverage of March 29, 2019 that, Aziz Okay, a prisoner who was transferred from Elazığ T Type Prison to Elazığ High Security Prison No 1 was forced to sing Turkish National Anthem and was subjected to physical violence for rejecting to do so.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 30, 2019 that 3 prisoners (Kemal Argış, Yahya Özmen and Vezir İbosovic) who are on hunger strike in Edirne F Type Prison, were subjected to physical violence of the wardens because they do not want to attend the trial of the case against them; and that they were forcefully taken to the courtroom.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 30, 2019 that, Veysel Adıgüzel, a prisoner on hunger strike in Manisa T Type Prison since March 1, 2019, was not given vitamin B1.

(04/004) Newspapers Not Allowed in Prison…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 29, 2019 that, prisoners in Elazığ High Security Prison No 1 were not given Cumhuriyet, Yeni Yaşam and Evrensel newspapers.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 30, 2019 that prisoners in Manisa T Type Prison were not given Yeni Yaşam newspaper since March 1, 2019.

(04/005) Rejection to Meeting Request with Abdullah Öcalan…

It is learned that the appeal made on March 29, 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.

(04/006) Rejection to Meeting Request with Abdullah Öcalan…

It is learned that the appeal made on March 29, 2019 to chief public prosecutor’s office in Bursa by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s lawyers in order to visit their client was rejected the same day on the grounds of limitations for prisoners in accordance with the law on the execution of sentences and security measures (law no 5275). With the last rejection, it was the 802nd time that appeals for visiting Öcalan have been rejected so far. Abdullah Öcalan has met his lawyers on July 27, 2011 for the last time.

(04/007) 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 29, 30, and 31, 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 29, 2019, 2 people (Mehmet Dersulu and Acun Karadağ) and at 18.00 3 people (Nazan Bozkurt, Alev Şahin and Mehmet Dersulu) were detained.

It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on March 30, 2019, 3 people (Dağhan Beşli, Nazan Bozkurt and Alev Şahin) and at 18.00 2 people (Nazan Bozkurt 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 31, 2019, 2 people (Mehmet Dersulu and İlker Işık) 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 29, 30, and 31, 2019. It is learned that detainees were released the same day.

(04/008) Police Intervention Against a Protest in Ankara…

The police intervened the press declaration of TAYAD in Sakarya Street of Ankara on March 30, 2019, to commemorate Mahir Çayan and his friends who died in Kızıldere on March 30, 47 years ago, and detained 2 people (Taylan Sungur and Bülent Özgül).

(04/009) 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 731st time on March 30, 2019. Upon police prevention, the group including MP’s 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.

(04/010) Prevention of Human Rights Defenders’ Event in Istanbul…

 “F sit-in”, which is organized for the 366th time by Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch Prison Watch Committee, to demand release of ill prisoners, on March 30, 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.

(04/011) Detained HDP Executive in Urfa…

On March 30, 2019, 6 people including People’s Democratic Party (HDP) executive board member Çerxo Mimkara, are detained in house raids in Siverek district of Urfa. The names of detained people are: Çerxo Mimkara, Şehriban Mimkara, Tevbun Mimkara, Xebat Mimkara, Ahmet Mimkara and Ayşe (surname unknown).

(04/012) Detained Asylum Seekers for Photographs on Their Phones in Mardin…

It is learned that 2 asylum seekers (Sipan Melek and Mahsum Melek) are detained during road checks in Midyat district of Mardin on March 30, 2019, on the grounds of photographs on their phones.

(04/013) Human Rights Defender on Trial in Çanakkale for Social Media Posts…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 29, 2019 that, Penal Department 2 of Bursa Regional Court has declared the justification of the reverse decision on 2 years and 6 months’ sentence given by Çanakkale Heavy Penal Court No 2, to Hayrettin Pişkin, Human Rights Association (IHD) executive board member, for his social media posts. It is reported in the news that, the justification states the following: “Expression by all means of thoughts including the ones that oppose the majority, providing partners to these thoughts, realization of and convincing others to realize these thoughts are among the essentials of pluralist democratic order (…) Freedom of expression and of spreading thoughts, which is one of the primary basis of democratic society, is applied not only to ‘thoughts’ that are considered to be in favour, or harmless, or not worth to care, or insignificant but also to thoughts and news which are opposite to the state and to a section of the society, which are considered as striking for them, which bother them (…) In order to consider the act as making propaganda for a terrorist organisation, it is an obligation that the act was committed in way that it ‘legitimize or praise or promote the methods of the organisation that involves force, violence or threat’ and this obligation complies with European Convention of Human Rights (…) Struggle against terrorism is also a law regime. It is not an area where obligations that arise from international law could be neglected.”

(04/014) Writer on Trial in Diyarbakır…

The final trial of the case against writer Bülent Tekin, for his social media posts, is held on Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No 11 is held on March 29, 2019. The court sentenced Bülent Tekin to 1 year and 8 months for ‘making propaganda for an illegal organisation’ and deferred the announcement of the verdict.

(04/015) Singer on Trial…

The case against singer Ferhat Tunç, on the grounds of ‘inciting hatred and hostility among people’ in his social media posts, is held on Büyükçekmece Penal Court of First Instance No 4 on March 29, 2019. Ferhat Tunç did not attend the trial and the court issued a warrant for Ferhat Tunç and adjourned the trial.

(04/016) Journalist and Other People on Trial in Denizli…

The case against Gökhan Öner, reporter of Dicle News Agency which was closed by a state of emergency decree, and against Mehmet Diler, Erol Beler, Muhlis Kayar and Eyyüp Hansu, on the grounds of ‘being an illegal organisation member’ is held on Denizli Heavy Penal Court No 2 on March 29, 2019. After defence hearings the court adjourned the trial to April 15, 2019.

Gökhan Öner was detained on April 28, 2018 in Denizli and then was arrested. He was released on judicial control conditions on the first trial of the case against him, held on July 28, 2018.

(04/017) Proceedings Against Parliamentary Members…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 29, 2019 that, 83 proceedings against 43 parliamentary members including HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli, and Republican People’s Party chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, are submitted to the Constitution and Justice Committee of the Grand National Assembly.

The names of the HDP MP’s subjected to proceedings are: Ömer Öcalan (3 proceedings), Hüseyin Kaçmaz (1 proceeding), Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki (2 proceedings), Musa Farisoğulları (5 proceedings), Murat Sarısaç (1 proceeding), Mensur Işık (1 proceeding), Mahmut Toğrul (2 proceedings), Nuran İmir (1 proceeding), Tayip Temel (1 proceeding), Tuma Çelik (2 proceedings), Semra Güzel (5 proceedings), Abudullah Koç (1 proceeding), Berdan Öztürk (5 proceedings), Salihe Aydeniz (5 proceedings), Ayşe Acar Başaran (4 proceedings), Sait Dede (2 proceedings), Şevin Coşkun (1 proceeding), Ayşe Sürücü (4 proceedings), Remziye Tosun (5 proceedings), Feleknas Uca (1 proceeding), İmam Taşçıer (2 proceedings), Dersim Dağ (5 proceedings), Meral Danış Beştaş (1 proceeding), Pero Dündar (1 proceeding), Erdal Aydemir (2 proceedings), Pervin Buldan (2 proceedings), Kemal Bülbül (1 proceeding), Sezai Temelli (1 proceeding), Gülistan Kılıç Koçyiğit (1 proceeding), Serpil Kemalbay (1 proceeding), Selçuk Mızraklı (2 proceedings), Bedia Özgökçe Ertan (1 proceeding), Ebru Günay (1 proceeding), Hüda Kaya (1 proceeding), Fatma Kurtulan (1 proceeding), Dilan Dirayet Taşdemir (1 proceeding), Nusrettin Maçin (1 proceeding).

The names of the CHP MP’s subjected to proceedings are: Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (1 proceeding), Murat Bakan (1 proceeding), Kamil Okyay Sındır (1 proceeding).

The name of the TİP MP subjected to proceedings are: Barış Atay (1 proceeding).

The name of the AKP MP subjected to proceedings are: Hulusi Şentürk (1 proceeding).

(04/018) Detentions and Arrests in Alleged Link to Coup Attempt…

On March 29, 2019, 6 military members on active duty are detained through an Ankara based investigation against Land Forces Command staff.

It is learned that 2 people for whom a detention warrant was issued are detained at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, while they were attempting to leave the country with fake passports on March 30, 2019.

(04/019) Elections on March, 31…

It is learned from the news coverage of March 29, 2019 that, in Cizre district of Şırnak, organisation committee of Newroz celebration and HDP’s co-mayor candidates Berivan Kutlu and Mehmet Ziriğ were asked to give official statements to District Security Directorate. It is reported that the statements were asked for speeches made at Newroz celebration.

It is learned that balloons with “Her demand is our demand – Leyla Güven” expressions on, which were prepared by HDP Diyarbakır provincial organisation to use during autocade for electoral campaign on March 29, 2019 were prevented to be taken out of the provincial office by the police.

On March 29, 2019, 8 of 11 people including HDP Adana provincial co-chair Gülseren Tural and Seyhan Municipal council member candidate Hüseyin Beyaz, who were detained in Adana on March 20, 2019, are arrested by the court on the charges of “leading an illegal organisation”, “being an illegal organisation member”, “committing crime, plundering and threatening on behalf of an illegal organisation”. 3 people (HDP Seyhan district co-chair Hazım Yalçın, Mehmet Ali Alak, Siraç Alak) are released on judicial control conditions. The names of arrested people are: HDP Adana provincial co-chair Gülseren Tural, Seyhan Municipal council member candidate Hüseyin Beyaz, Seyhan Municipal council’s former member Enver Ökmen, provincial executives M. Sait Eren, Ali Aslan, Yaşar Demir and HDP members Ahmet Alak, Mustafa Yıldız.

On March 29, 2019, 14 of 24 people who were detained in Çatak district of Van on March 26, 2019, are arrested by the court on the charge of “aiding and abetting an illegal organisation”. The names of arrested people are: Nihat Babur, Attar Ertaş, Meran Kaplan, Tajdin Balka, Özgür Örek, Celalettin Örek, Fahrettin Örek, Kasım Başkurt, Abdurrahman Semo, Mehmet Şirin Tuci, Hikmet Tomay, Cemal Tomak, İskender Tafur and İsmail Can.

On March 29, 2019, 11 people including Gazal Ülük and Halil Orhan, HDP’s candidates for district council, are detained in house raids in Viranşehir district of Urfa. The names of detainees known so far are: Gazal Ülük, Halil Orhan, Eyüp Türk, Ali Elbenim, Eşref Taşkın, Haşim Erdem, Nurettin Erin.

On March 29, 2019, HDP’s campaign office in Siirt is raided by the police. It is reported that the reason of the raid was “propaganda for an illegal organisation”, and that the police left the office without seizing anything.

It is learned that the banner of Labour Party, “No vote for one-man power! Unite for struggle of work, bread and freedom… Vote for Mustafa Öcal, the independent candidate for Maltepe district council”, which was held in Maltepe district of Istanbul, was removed because of President Tayyip Erdoğan’s meeting in Maltepe. It is reported that Maltepe district police chief called Tunç Şenel, Maltepe district chair of Labour Party, and said “The President will come to Maltepe in a few hours. Remove the banner otherwise metropolitan municipality will do so”. It is reported that officials of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality removed the banner.

It is learned that Steve Sweeney, foreign news editor of Britain based Morning Star newspaper, was detained in Turkey on March 28, 2019, where he came to monitor the local elections and was deported on March 29, 2019.

On March 30, 2019, 65 people including HDP’s candidates for city councils and election observers, are detained in house raids in Istanbul. The names of detainees are: Ümit Bayram, Fatih Gündüz, Mehmet Şah Akgül, Gökhan Özer, Recep Kar, Azad Kaplan, Hüseyin Kayra, Özcan Gokcur, Kadir Kaya, Sacit Tunç, Dinçer Yalın, Murat Aranır, Lokman Akıncı, Süleyman Demir, Nurettin Abukan, Mehmet Şirin Balos, Özlem Erbaş, Mizgin Akman, Turgay Türşak, Sinan Yıldız, Umut Çeçen, Serhildan Taşdemir, Azat Taşdemir, Mahsum Akpınar, Ramazan Tilbaç, Cemal Kümicen, Hülya İlbars, Enis Yiğit, Barış Piranoğlu, İrfan Kaya, Kenan Beyhan, Mahmut Doğan, Kader Kaya, Yaşan Kaya, Azat Çoban, Kemal Kaplan, Yasin Bucu, Abdulrahman Sönmez, Feryat Arslanlar, Turgut Güvener, Murat Yaşa, Hüseyin Akıntı, Nurcan Sarıca, Çiğdem Sükuti, Suzan Ejderha,  Zehra Ejderha, Kerem Ozğan, Bahar Ülük, Abdurahman Sönmez, Tayyip Özdemir, Ömer Özdemir, Mahmut Doğan, Barış Karataş, Orhan Güncan, Sinan Koparır, Muhammed Ural, Mahsun Akpınar, Mazlum Yılmaz, Sinan Koparır, Şehmus Çelik, and 5 children (S.B, M.F.Ş, S.G, M.K and M.V.).

It is claimed in the news coverage of March 30, 2019 that, gendarmerie and military members going to villages and hamlets of Hazro district of Diyarbakır, threatened the local people saying “We will arrest you if you vote for HDP. There are cameras at schools, we will be seeing who you vote for, put yourself together”.

9 people who were detained on March 29, 2019 in Viranşehir district of Urfa, are released on March 30, 2019.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 30, 2019 that, vice president Fuat Oktay responded to the parliamentary question of CHP MP Alpay Antmen, on broadcasting of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) about political parties between March 16 and March 20, 2019. According to the response, TRT broadcasted 27 hours and 3 minutes in favour of Justice and Development Party (AKP) and National Movement Party (MHP); whereas 3 hours and 29 minutes in favour of CHP and İYİ Party. TRT did not broadcasted at all in favour of HDP within this period.

The Supreme Electoral Council, lifted the decision issued on February 22, 2019, to remove the ballot box of Koçlar neighbourhood of Diyarbakır’s Kulp district to Aygün neighbourhood, on March 30, 2019.

In a school in Bölünmez neighbourhood of Malatya’s Pütürge district, a quarrel took place between a group of voters and polling clerks, which resulted in death of 2 members (İlyas Aktaş and Hasan Aktaş) of Felicity Party (SP) by gunfire that also injured 1 person. Pütürge Court of Peace imposed a broadcast ban on the incident.

3 people died and 6 people got wounded in the armed quarrel between local headman candidates and their relatives in Şehitkamil district of Antep.

1 person died and 2 people got wounded in the armed quarrel between local headman candidates and their relatives in Şefaatli district of Yozgat.

11 people got wounded in a quarrel between local headman candidates in Çarşamba district of Samsun.

It is learned from the news coverage of March 31, 2019, 6 people died and 58 people got wounded in quarrels took place during elections in Turkey.

It is learned that village guards in Kayahan village of Diyarbakır’s Kulp district, committed physical violence against the committee arrived to monitor the local elections and prevented them.

It is learned that Jinnews reporter Gülistan Azak, who was reporting on elections in Bağlar district of Diyarbakır was threatened by the police saying “You cannot record here. It’s not certain who you work for get out of here you are terrorist”, and was subjected to physical violence of the police. It is also learned that HDP’s Bağlar district co-mayor candidate Zübeyde Zümrüt, who reacted the police was also subjected to physical violence of the police.

Sonia Helene Rosset and Noemi Colombo, two people among the Italian committee who came to Hani district of Diyarbakır to monitor the local elections, are detained. It is learned that 2 people were kept in district security directorate for 3 hours and then were released.

It is learned that Nevzat Fidan, a poll clerk on behalf of HDP who was subjected to physical violence of poll clerks of AKP in Saray district of Van, was detained and taken to Karahisar Gendarmerie Station.

It is learned that a quarrel took place between village guards who came up to vote in official uniforms and poll clerks of HDP in Siirt, and that a police officer said to HDP MP Sıddık Taş “You are not our representative. You are terrorist’s representative”. It is reported that the village guards could vote after taking off their uniforms.

It is learned that a local headman candidate in Ömerli district of Mardin, torn the voting paper of a voter. It is learned that the poll committee considered the vote as invalid and the voter has appealed to District Election Board.

It is learned that 3 poll clerks (Hüseyin Sağlam, Azat Tekin and İdris Mesken) on behalf of HDP are detained in house raids in Yeşilli district of Mardin on March 31, 2019. It is learned that Hüseyin Sağlam was released the same day and 2 people are still under custody.

It is learned that HDP MP Nuran İmir, who went to Artukoğlu Middle School in Cizre district of Şırnak to vote was forced to body search by the police officers at the school.

It is learned that military members attempted to vote in uniforms although they were not on duty, in Edip Başer Elementary School in Beytüşşebap district of Şırnak, and they could vote after taking off their uniforms upon HDP’s poll clerks’ objection.

It is learned that in Viranşehir district of Urfa, AKP MP Halil Özsavlı’s guards and relatives attempted to attack HDP members in Cumhuriyet neighbourhood Ulubat Middle School, with kalashnikov guns. It is learned that the police used pepper spray against HDP members.

It is learned that, numerous police officers coming from Mersin to Halfeti district of Urfa on the election day, voted in Halfeti Anatolian High School without submitting the official document which enables public officers on official duty to vote in a poll other than they are registered to.

Fatih Bucak, CHP’s mayor candidate for Urfa’s Siverek district, is detained on March 31, 2019, on the grounds of “battering” Nüsret Kaya, AKP’s city council member candidate.

It is claimed that in Emek Celal Bayar Elementary School in Osmangazi district of Bursa, AKP members delivered supplies to voters who show they voted for AKP. It is learned that AKP members delivering supplies were taken out of the school upon objections from several voters.

On March 31, 2019, footage of a high-rank military member, sitting in front of the poll and of several military members with arms wandering around the voting booth in Esendere town of Hakkari’s Yüksekova district is covered by news reports.

It is learned that in Nene Hatun Anatolian School in central district of Iğdır, poll counting was performed in a closed room and HDP MP Habip Eksik who rejected this was taken out of the school upon district police chief’s instruction.

It is learned that 270 prisoners in Giresun E Type Prison were prevented from voting although they were on voters list. It is learned from HDP Kocaeli MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu’s social media post that only 80 prisoners could vote.

It is learned that in an around Piripaşa Elementary School in Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, some leaflets against CHP’s Beyoğlu mayor candidate Alper Taş were delivered on March 31, 2019. It is learned that the leaflets were signed by “Beyoğlu Patriotic Initiative” and had “Dear brother, if you don’t go they will come” expression along with Fetullah Gülen’s photo, PKK and YPG flags and HDP and ÖDP emblems.

It is learned that the police intervened into the people gathering in front of HDP Batman office to celebrate the election results who then march towards the municipality building. It is learned that the police used pepper spray and pressurized water and many people were injured.

(04/020) Ban on Events in Urfa…

Urfa Governorate made a declaration on March 29, 2019 and announced that all events such as demonstrations, press declarations, meetings, opening tents and stands and so on are banned as of 08.00 on April 1, 2019 until 24.00 on April 6, 2019.

[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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[4] https://twitter.com/insanhaklari

[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, Tr724, 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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