FACT SHEET on DECLARED CURFEWS in TURKEY BETWEEN 11 DECEMBER 2015 – 8 JANUARY 2016

FACT SHEET on DECLARED CURFEWS BETWEEN

11 DECEMBER 2015 – 8 JANUARY 2016 and VIOLATIONS of RIGHT TO LIFE AGAINST CIVILIANS ACCORDING to the DATA of

HRFT DOCUMENTATION CENTER

09.01.2016

                        curfews 09.01.2016

You can download the pdf version of this fact sheet here.

You can download the detailed table of all curfews and right to life violation datas in between 16 August 2015 to 8 January 2016.

Since 16 August 2015, there has been 58 officially confirmed, open-ended and round-the-clock curfews in at least 19 districts of 7 cities (primarily Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Mardin and Hakkâri) that approximately 1 million 377 thousand people resides (according to the 2014 population census). During these officialy declared curfews, fundemental rights of people such as Right to Life and Right to Health is violated and 162 civilians (29 women, 32 children, 24 people over the age 60) lost their lives according to the data of HRFT Documentation Center.

Between the dates 16 August 2015 and 11 December 2015, there was again curfews without any legal basis. However, beginning from 11 December 2015 the impose form of curfews, the broadness of regions that curfews are declared, military dispatch[1] and thoughen statements of government and State officials shows that beginning from 11 December 2015, a different step has been taken, another period has begun in especially some districts of the region.

The curfews declared on 11 December 2015 in Sur District of Diyarbakır (again, after 17 hours of break), Dargeçit District of Mardin (lifted on 29 December 2015) and on 14 December 2015 Cizre and Silopi Districts of Şırnak and again Nusaybin District of Mardin (lifted on 24 December 2015) are still going on and only in these last 29 days at least 79 civilians were killed (14 of them are children, 1 of them is death in the womb through gun shot, 18 of them are women and 15 of them are over the age 60).

Moreover, according to the statements of witnesses at least 22 of these people were killed while they were within the boundaries of their homes, due to opened fire or hitting by a missile or due to the direct stress effect of curfews on their health conditions.

Also, 4 people (3 in Sur district and 1 in Nusaybin district) were killed in the close neighbourhoods where no curfew was declared and no operation was ongoing. [2]

NOTE: Within the context of this fact sheet the term ‘security forces’ is implying to ‘Police Anti-terror Combat Team, Police Special Forces, Gendarmarie Special Forces, Military Forces and Riot Polices.’ Also, there are some teams which are both by themselves and publicly defined as JİTEM, Esedullah, Hançer Teams etc.

 

 

 

[1]Even though it’s not officialy declared, according to the  national media almost 10 thousand members of security forces are active in operations in each district that curfews are ongoing (Cizre, Sur, Silopi). Moreover, it’s known  that hundreds of armored military vehicles such as tanks, panzers, cannons etc. Are dispatched to the relative districts/cities.

[2] These people are: Şerdıl Cengiz (21-Bağlar district),  Şiyar Salman (18-Bağlar district) and Şiyar Baran (13-Seyrantepe district) in SUR and Emire Gök (39-Gırnavas Mah.) in NUSAYBİN. Note: In Nusaybin, the curfew was declared first in some districts. On 4th day it was broadened to whole district.

FACT SHEET on Declared Curfews Between 11-25 December and Violations of Right to Life Against Civilians

FACT SHEET on DECLARED CURFEWS BETWEEN 11-25 DECEMBER 2015

and VIOLATIONS of RIGHT TO LIFE AGAINST CIVILIANS 

ACCORDING to the DATA of HRFT DOCUMENTATION CENTER

(Deatiled table is revised on 31 December 2015)

26.12.2015

 

Since 16 August 2015, there has been 56 officially confirmed, open-ended and round-the-clock curfews in 17 districts of 7 cities (primarily Diyarbakır, Şırnak, Mardin and Hakkâri) that approximately 1,299,061 people resides (2014 population census). During these officialy declared curfews, fundemental rights of people such as Right to Life and Right to Health is violated and 124 civilians lost their lives according to the data of HRFT Documentation Center.

The curfews declared on 11 December 2015 in Sur District of Diyarbakır (again, after 17 hours of break), Dargeçit District of Mardin and on 14 December 2015 Cizre and Silopi Districts of Şırnak and again Nusaybin District of Mardin are still going on and in these 2 weeks 41 civilians were killed (7 of them are children, 1 of them is death in the womb through gun shot and 8 of them are women) and 41 civilians (14 children, 8 women) got wounded.

Moreover, at least 15 of these people were killed while they were within the boundaries of their homes, due to opened fire or hitting by a missile.

Enough!

STOP KILLING PEOPLE! There are no other things that Human Rights Foundation of Turkey can give voice to. Everyone should only strongly shout this out!

STOP KILLING PEOPLE!

You can download the fact sheet here.

You can download and check the detailed table for further information between the dates 16 August – 31 December 2015.

 

11-25 december districts

DİYARBAKIR – SUR

In Sur District of Diyarbakır (central district of Diyarbakır where 121,75 people resides according to 2014 population census) curfews were declared for 5 times before and longest of these continued for 9 days, 6 civilians (2 of them are children). lost their lives.

The 5th curfew was declared on 2 December 2015 at 5 am, continued for 9 days, and was lifted on 10 December 2015 at 11 pm. After only 17 hours of break, curfew was declared again on 11 December 2015 at 4pm for the 6th time and that one is still going on today.

 

During this period of time 5 civilians lost their lives (2 children) and at least 7 civilians got wounded (3 children, 3 women):

  • On December 14, 2015 Ayşe Aytekin (69) was wounded due to clashes by a shot in her leg.
  • On December 14, 2015 people gathered in Koşuyolu Park in Bağlar District of Diyarbakır (again city center, the district next to Sur) to protest the curfew. Şerdıl Cengiz (21) and Şiyar Salman (18) was shot to death by the random fire of police against citizens.
  • On December 16, 2015 security forces blockaded Kaynartepe quarter in Bağlar District, where no curfew was declared, and Muhammet Aktagan (27) was severly wounded by opened fire.
  • On December 18, 2015 (13-boy) and 2 unidentified women were wounded by the opened fire of security forces in alleys.
  • On December 22, 2015 people gathered in Diyarbakır city center to protest the ongoing curfew in Sur District and Şiyar Baran (13) was shot to death through his chest by the opened fire of security forces in Seyrantepe quarter.
  • On December 22, 2015 K. (10-boy) through his leg and F.N. (16-boy) through his abdomen were severly wounded by the opened fire of security forces during the same protest. It is known that the health condition of F.N. was critical and he was taken into operation.
  • On December 22, 2015 Serhat Doğan (19) was shot to death by security forces in Hasırlı quarter of Sur district.
  • On December 23, 2015 Mesut Seviktek was shot to death by security forces in Hasırlı quarter of Sur district.
  • On December 23, 2015 Salih Baygın (70) who has asthma and lives alone in his home on Melik Ahmet Street lost his life by suffocating due to a teargas bomb which came through his window during interference of security forces to the protesters.

MARDİN – DARGEÇİT

In Dargeçit District of Mardin (28,621 people resides according to 2014 population census) curfew was declared 1 time, between 10-13 October 2015 and 1 child lost her life.

The 2nd curfew was declared on 11 December 2015 at 6pm and is still going on today.

 

During this period of time 3 civilians lost their lives (1 woman) and at least 9 civilians got wounded (3 children, 2 women):

  • On December 13, 2015 Takyedin Oral was shot to death by security forces in Safa quarter.
  • On the morning of December 14, 2015A. (16-boy) was severly wounded by the opened fire of security forces and people couldn’t take him to hospital for 10 hours. Hatice Gezginci (45) and Sacide Gezginci (26) who tried to carry him to hospital were wounded also by the opened fire. Later, Sacide Gezginci’s left arm got amputated.
  • On December 18, 2015 Abdullah İş (65) was wounded by opened fire of security forces.
  • On December 19, 2015 Ç. (15-boy) was wounded by his foot by the opened fire of security forces.
  • On December 23, 2015 T. (12-boy) who was playing in front of his house was wounded by the opened fire of security forces.
  • On December 23, 2015 security forces opened fire to a house in Safa quarter. Necim Kılıç(67) and his daughter Sabahat Kılıç (28) were shot to death in the house, other 3 family members were wounded.

MARDİN – NUSAYBİN

In Nusaybin District of Mardin (116,068 people resides according to 2014 population census) curfews were declared for 5 times before and longest of these continued for 14 days, 18 civilians lost their lives (2 women, 1 child).

On 14 December 2015, a 6th curfew was declared at 9 am, continued for 4 days, and was lifted on 18 December 2015 at 9am for only 7 hours. And, same day at 4pm curfew was declared again fort he 7th time and that one was lifted on 24 December 2015 at 10am, after 6 more days.

 

During this period of time 4 civilians lost their lives (1 woman) and at least 3 civilians got wounded (2 children):

  • On December 16, 2015 Hüseyin Ahmet (22) was shot to death during clashes. And İ.B. (12-boy) was wounded by his foot during the same operation.
  • On December 20, 2015 Emire Gök (39) was shot to death by security forces in Gırnavas quarter where no curfew was declared.
  • On December 22, 2015 Medeni Orak (45) and an unidentified person lost their lives in Fırat quarter due to loss of blood after they were shot by the security forces and the ambulances were blocked for 4 hours.
  • On December 22, 2015 T. (12-boy), who was playing in front of his house in Devrim quarter was wounded by his leg by the opened fire of security forces.
  • On December 22, 2015 Ömer Aydın (65) was shot by his hand in Fırat quarter.

ŞIRNAK – SİLOPİ

In Silopi District of Şırnak (121,11 people resides according to 2014 population census) curfew was declared 1 time between 7-9 October 2015.

On 14 December 2015, a 2nd curfew was declared at 11pm and is still going on today.

 

During this period of time 12 civilians lost their lives (2 women, 4 children) and at least 7 civilians got wounded:

  • On December 16, 2015 the house that Hüseyin Güzel (70) was living in Başak quarter was hit by a missile and he lost his life due to heart attack caused by the fear.
  • On December 16, 2015 Hacı Yusuf (60) was wounded by the opened fire of security forces in Başak and Barbaros quarters.
  • On December 17, 2015 Yusuf Abi (80) lost his life due to heart attack caused by the opened fire to his house in Barbaros quarter.
  • On December 18, 2015 Reşit Eren (17) and Axin Kanat (16) lost their lives by trapping in the wreckage of the house they live in Nuh quarter, when it was shot by a missile.
  • On December 19, 2015 İbrahim Bilgin (18) was shot to death by security forces in Yeşiltepe quarter.
  • On December 19, 2015 Şiyar Özbek (25) in Nuh quarter and Süleyman Çoban (70) in Başak quarter were shot to death by security forces.
  • On December 19, 2015 security forces opened fire from an armored vehicle in Nuh quarter and Taybet İnan(57) was shot to death. Her brother-in-law Yusuf İnan (40) succor to her help but he was shot in the yard of his house and lost his life due to loss of blood after waiting for the ambulance for 20 hours. Taybet İnan’s husband Halit İnan was also wounded by the opened fire of security forces when he tried to reach his wife’s body (NOTE: Taybet İnan’s body laid on Cumhuriyet Street for 7 days and was allowed to be taken to the morgue on 25th of December.)
  • On December 19, 2015 Mahmut Erdoğan (50) was wounded by his foot by the hitting missile on his house in Barbaros quarter.
  • On December 20, 2015 Egit Kaçar (22) who has mental disability was wounded by the opened fire of security forces in Başak quarter.
  • On December 20, 2015 Ayşe Buruntekin (40) was shot to death on the rooftop of her house in Cudi quarter by the security forces.
  • On December 21, 2015 Mehmet Mete Kutluk (11) lost his life by hitting by a missile on his house in Karşıyaka quarter.
  • On December 21, 2015 Ömer Sayan (70) was shot to death by the opened fire of security forces in Nuh quarter when he was going to the toilet which was in his yard.
  • On December 21, 2015 it was heard that Yusuf Nas (55) was wounded by the opened fire of security forces in Karşıyaka quarter when he was trying to reach his brother’s house to put out the fire that started by a missile.
  • On December 22, 2015 Mahmut Oruç (28) was shot through his chest, Cindi Algur (45) through his back and Halit, whose surname could not be confirmed, was shot by his foot in Nuh quarter.

ŞIRNAK – CİZRE

In Cizre District of Şırnak (132,857 people resides according to 2014 population census) curfews were declared for 4 times before and longest of these continued for 8 days, 23 civilians lost their lives (7 children, 4 women).

On 14 December 2015, 5th curfew was declared at 11pm and is still going on today.

 

During this period of time 18 civilians lost their lives (4 women, 1 children, 1 death in the womb through gun shot) and at least 15 civilians got wounded (3 women, 6 children):

  • On December 15, 2015 E. (15) who was trying to reach Konak quarter was shot in the head on Yafes Street and is still in intensive care unit.
  • On December 15, 2015 T. (15) was wounded by his head by the opened fire of security forces in Cudi quarter when everyone was making noise protests against curfew from their houses.
  • On December 16, 2015 İsmail Acay (23) was wounded by the opened fire of security forces in his house’ yard. Later, it was heard that he was put in prison by getting arrested in Cizre State Hospital due to “beyond reasonable doubt.”
  • On December 16, 2015 Mevlüt Şimşek (21) was wounded by his hip by the opened fire of security forces when he went to the water tank on the rooftop of his house in Cudi quarter.
  • On December 16, 2015 Hediye Şen (30) was shot to death in her yard in Cudi quarter by the opened fire of security forces.
  • On December 17, 2015 Doğan Aslan (24) was shot to death through his back by the opened fire in Cudi quarter.
  • On December 17, 2015 Osman Emcür (75) was severly wounded by opened fire of security forces in Cudi quarter and ambulance was not allowed to the quarter.
  • On December 17, 2015 Y. (14-boy) was wounded by the opened fire in Yafes quarter.
  • On December 18, 2015 (11-boy) was wounded by his foot by the opened fire of security forces while he was playing in his home’s yard in Cudi quarter.
  • On December 18, 2015 municipal employee İrfan Uysal (29) was wounded by the opened fire of security forces and it’s heard that his left arm was amputated.
  • On December 18, 2015 İbrahim Akan (15) lost his life when his house was hit by a missile in Sur quarter. (child) whose surname couldn’t be confirmed and Kadir Çömlek (21) was wounded in the same house.
  • On December 19, 2015 Selahattin Bozkurt (70) was shot to death by security forces in Cudi quarter during an operation.
  • On December 19, 2015 Post Office(PTT) vehicle driver Yılmaz Erz (42) was shot to death in Yafes quarter.
  • On December 19, 2015 Lütfü Aksoy (25) was severly wounded by the missiles in Cudi quarter. Aksoy lost his life on 23 December 2015 in hospital.
  • On December 20, 2015, Zeynep Yılmaz (40) was shot to death by security forces during an operation in Cudi quarter. The baby S. (1-boy) was also shot through his back during this operation of security forces.
  • On December 20, 2015 7 months pregnant Güler Yanalak (32) was shot by her womb by the security forces in Nur quarter. Yanalak was taken to intensive care unit but the baby was dead.
  • On December 20, 2015 Hediye Çete (35) was wounded through her chest by the opened fire, in her home’s yard in Cudi quarter.
  • On December 20, 2015 T. (17-young woman) was wounded by her arm in Cudi quarter by the opened fire. It’s heard that she wasn’t allowed to be taken to a hospital by the security forces.
  • On December 21, 2015 Cahide Çıkal (35) was shot to death by the opened fire of security forces to the houses and alleys.
  • On December 22, 2015 Doğan İşçi/İşi (32) lost his life by the hitting missile on his house. And Mehmet Tekin (35) was shot to death by police.
  • On December 22, 2015 Mehmet Saçan (38) was shot to death by his head by security forces in Cudi quarter.
  • On December 22, 2015 Emine Duman (75) lost her life due to heart attack caused by the fear of a missile that hit very closely to her house.
  • On December 23, 2015 Azime Aşan (59) was shot to death by snipers in Nur quarter.
  • On December 23, 2015 Dikran Sayaca was shot to death by opened fire of security forces in Sur quarter.
  • On the night of December 22, 2015 Adile Karaduman (55) was wounded by the opened fire of police in front of her house in Cudi quarter.
  • On December 24, 2015 Ferdi Kalkan (20) lost his life in his home when it was hit by a missile in Cudi quarter.
  • On December 24, 2015 Abdulmecit Yanık (27) and Hacı Özdal was shot to death by the opened fire of security forces in Yafes quarter.

NOTE: Within the context of this fact sheet the term ‘security forces’ is implying to ‘Police Anti-terror Combat Team, Police Special Forces, Gendarmarie Special Forces, Military Forces and Riot Polices.’ Also, there are some teams which are both by themselves and publicly defined as JİTEM, Esedullah, Hançer Teams etc.

Curfews in Turkey Between 16 August 2015 – 12 December 2015

NOTE on DECLARED CURFEWS in TURKEY BETWEEN 16 AUGUST 2015 – 12 DECEMBER 2015

ACCORDING to the DATA of HRFT DOCUMENTATION CENTER  

Since August 16, there has been 52 open-ended and round-the-clock curfews in 17 provinces of 7 cities that approximately 1,299,061 people resides (2014 population census), according to the data that we could confirm as HRFT Documentation Center.

Curfews in Turkey

These cities are:

For detailed information you can check the table.

DİYARBAKIR (31 times)

Lice – 7 times (26,427 people)

Silvan – 6 times (86,663 people)

Sur – 6 times (121,75 people)

Bismil – 4 times (112,461 people)

Hani – 4 times (32,413 people)

Yenişehir – 1 times (206,534 people)

Dicle –  1 times (40,33 people)

Hazro – 2 times (17,54 people)

MARDİN (9 times)

Nusaybin – 5 times (116,68 people)

Dargeçit – 2 times (28,601 people)

Derik – 2 times (61,32 people)

ŞIRNAK (5 times)

Cizre – 4 times (132, 857 people)

Silopi – 1 times (121,11 people)

HAKKÂRİ

Yüksekova – 4 times (117,44 people)

MUŞ

Varto – 1 time (32,378 people)

BATMAN

Sason – 1 time (30,646 people)

ELAZIĞ

Arıcak – 1 time (15,306 people)

You can download the pdf here.

Observation Report by TTB ‐ SES ‐ TİHV ‐ TPD delegations to Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, Van, Bitlis and Tatvan

15.08.2015

…We regret to state that recently there have been many cases and events stemming from the environment of armed conflict where there are threats and assaults to health workers and health facilities (including ambulances) and interventions to working environments including denial of professional independence.   In order to observe the state of people affected directly or indirectly by armed conflict, identify cases detrimental to public health, develop suggestions for solution and determine what respective organizations can do in this regard, the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), Union of Health and Social Service Workers (SES), Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) and The Psychiatric Association of Turkey (TPD) formed two delegations for two different areas.

Our visiting delegations confined their mission to investigating the experience of health workers, situation of health facilities and their extensions and problems faced in the delivery of health services. Therefore, issues related to human rights violations are presently being covered by other working groups also formed by organizations mentioned above…

Please click here to download the relevant report.

HRFT’s Critique of the New Internal Security Package Draft Law

27.01.2015

Human Rights Foundation of Turkey’s (HRFT) Critique

of the New ‘Internal Security Package’ Draft Law

With the Draft Law known by the public and media as the “Internal Security Package” the government is demanding the authority to “detain and imprison” with no legal restriction and judicial review whatsoever. This Draft Law, which constitutes a planned operation to completely obliterate the principles of “the rule of law” and “the separation of powers” by handing judicial powers over to the government, violates the Constitution of Turkey, international conventions Turkey is party to, the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, and most significantly, common sense and human conscience. This Draft Law must immediately be revoked!

The “Draft Law on Changes to be Introduced to the Law on the Duties and Powers of the Police and to A Number of Other Laws and Decree Laws” no.1/995 submitted by the AKP Government on 24 November 2014 to the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) was approved in previous days by the TBMM Internal Affairs Commission. It is expected to be brought before the TBMM General Assembly in the coming days.

Known as the “Internal Security Package” by the public and media, this Draft Law, is a typical example of the “Omnibus Bill” [a proposed law that covers a number of diverse or unrelated topics] that the AKP government has turned into a form of legislation in order to eliminate democratic inspection and transparency. This Draft Law, which is made up of a total of 43 Articles, proposes changes to a total of 21 Laws, among them first and foremost the “Law on the Duties and Powers of the Police”, “Law on the Organization, Duties and Powers of the Gendarmerie”, “Law on Meetings and Demonstrations”, “Anti-Terror Law”, “Turkish Penal Code”, “Code of Criminal Procedure” and “Law of Provincial Administration”. However, the Draft Law was combined with other draft laws during its debate at the TBMM Internal Affairs Commission, thus turning it into an enormous “Omnibus Bill” comprising 132 Articles, and an explicit effort was made to avoid public debate.

The general preamble of the Draft Law states, “Since recent social events have turned into the propaganda of terror organizations and demonstrators are threatening the security of life and property of citizens it has become compulsory to introduce new measures without disrupting the balance of freedom–security”. The Draft Law is an Omnibus Bill, and consequently contains other preambles as well, however, as an organisation carrying out a struggle for human rights, we will mostly try to assess proposed regulations regarding personal security and freedom based on this general preamble.

However, we would first like to elaborate on the phrase “balance of freedom – security” included in the preamble. This pair of concepts, as a dilemma, was brought before the peoples of the world following the attack carried out on the “Twin Towers” on 11 September 2001. In the ensuing process, States manipulated the threat of “terror” to an extraordinary degree to create a security “paranoia” that held sway over the entire world. Societies were forced to ponder the dilemma “Freedom, or security?” and were persuaded/forced to accept an increase in military and policing measures, and the consolidation of authoritarian modes of administration. This led to the institutionalization of the exception, and a veritable global state of emergency was created.

In our country, too, the concept of “security” has been the basic foundation of the administrative modes of all governments throughout the history of the Republic. All social demands for the broadening of the sphere of rights and freedoms always ended up hitting the wall of “security”. As we have repeatedly pointed out, since it does not possess the idea of democracy as a virtue, the AKP government, too, has from the very beginning been on good terms with the state mentality equipped with the “security” paranoia, and as the perception of a threat against its authority increased, it thoroughly internalized this mentality. The new “Internal Security Package” is a sign of strides taken in this process of internalization.

In fact, the concept of “reasonable doubt”, rearranged in the previous judicial package, clearly reveals the mentality of the AKP government: As is well known, the judicial process that uncovered the malpractices of the AKP had been initiated on the grounds of “reasonable doubt”. For many years, investigations against Kurds, leftists and dissidents from a wide range of backgrounds had been launched on the grounds of “reasonable doubt”. For years, as human rights organizations, we opposed this state of affairs, and voiced the arbitrary and unlawful nature of this practice. Following the December 17, 2013 corruption investigation operations, a change introduced in accordance with Law No. 6526 dated 21 February 2014, the concept of “reasonable doubt” was replaced with “strong suspicion based on concrete evidence” in order to block new operations to be carried out within the scope of the corruption investigation. This change was introduced on the pretext “Citizens are facing unjust operations, we are receiving a considerable amount of complaints, so we are expanding the areas of freedom of people”. However, when the AKP initiated operations against the Gülen movement, it realized that the regulation it had introduced to save itself was now blocking its own path, and reintroduced the concept of “reasonable doubt” it had removed itself, claiming “We are increasing the freedoms of citizens” this time on the basis of a discourse proclaiming “This was how it was before, we are bringing it back”. The manipulation of law in such a straightforward and arbitrary manner amounts to an order replacing the law, and the name this deserves is beyond totalitarianism: This is a mode of administration we come across in pre-modern times, and it is known as tyranny.

Considered in this context, it becomes clear that this Draft Law is not merely an attempt on behalf of the political authority to restrict freedoms, suppress social opposition and broaden the powers of the police. It is also an effort to completely dissolve the judiciary from the state system. In other words, by handing judicial powers over to the administration, it is an operation to completely abolish the principles of “the rule of law” and “the separation of powers”.

Critique of A Number of Regulations in the Draft Law in View of Personal Security and Freedom

1) The changes proposed to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CMK) in the Draft Law gives security chiefs to be appointed by administrative chiefs the authority to implement preventive detention up to 24 hours in crimes again rendered catalogue, including first and foremost “crimes involving force and violence during social events”, “all crimes within the scope of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK)” and “crimes detailed in changes to the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations”, and up to 48 hours in crimes committed during social events in which violent incidents may spread in a manner that may lead to the serious deterioration of public order, and in collective crimes. The Draft Law also arranges that security forces will notify the Public Prosecutor about the procedures carried out at the end of the durations stated above. It also arranges that person(s) will appear before a judge in 48 hours at the latest, and within 4 days in collective crimes.

It goes without saying how gravely this implementation will threaten personal security and the prohibition of torture. As HRFT, for years, we have persistently asked for detentions to be carried out under judicial guard so detainees can benefit from procedural assurances aimed at preventing torture. However, we know from numerous judicial rulings that in practice, security forces often abstain from meeting these assurances. This avoidance by security forces is at times extended as far as carrying out undeclared detentions, the most extreme examples of which we observed during the Gezi Resistance and the Kobanê Solidarity Actions. In conclusion, the broadening of the detention powers of law enforcement officials with no judicial review in this manner will lead to the violation of the prohibition of torture, which carries absolute character.

2) According to the change proposed to the “Law of Provincial Administration” in the Draft Law, a Governor, who occupies a position directly tied to the political authority, will be authorized “if he/she deems necessary” to issue direct orders to security chiefs and officials to take urgent measures “to throw light upon the crime and find the perpetrators”. This completely eliminates the presence/inspection of Prosecutor and Judge regarding urgent measures such as apprehension, search and confiscation. In other words, judicial powers will be tied, via district and provincial governors, to the government/executive power. This amounts to a wholesale trampling on the principle of the separation of powers.

In a similar manner, a prison sentence from 3 months to 1 year is proposed for those “who act in violation of decisions and measures taken by the Governor and issued or notified according to relevant procedure in order to provide public order and security or the security of life and property of persons or to prevent social incidents”.

3) With the Draft Law, for the stop-and-search of the bodies, belongings and vehicles of persons, described as “preventive enforcement” and which merely requires “reasonable doubt based on the experience of the police officer”, the verbal order of a security chief alone will suffice. Besides, it is proposed that the “security chiefs” that will possess the stop-and-search authority will be “assigned by administrative chiefs within the guidelines to be determined by the Ministry of Internal Affairs”. The allocation of a period of 24 hours for the decision of the security chief to be presented to the judge on duty clearly provides an opportunity to carry out undeclared detentions. With this arrangement, which excludes the Public Prosecutor and the will of the Judge from the system, the powers and functions of the judiciary are being usurped, and a highly important ‘preventive measure’ that orients the judicial inquest is exposed to the influence of the executive power. According to Article 119 of the current CMK, a judicial decision is required for the implementation of the measure of searching a person, his or her belongings or his or her vehicle. Law enforcement officials may use this authority only in non-delayable cases with the order of the Public Prosecutor, and in cases when the Public Prosecutor is inaccessible, as an exception and only by the written order of the law enforcement chief. Yet with this exceptional power becoming the rule, Public Prosecutors will no longer act as the executive, and Judges will no longer act as supervisors in judicial inquests, and the split of authority between security forces and the Prosecutor’s Office will result in serious failings in the judicial security of citizens.

4) In addition to the power to apprehend as included in the current Law on the Duties and Powers of the Police (PVSK), the Draft Law entrusts the police with two new powers, “to take persons under protection” or “to move persons away” depending on the particularities of the action and condition. It is clear that these ambiguous powers will mean relinquishment from procedural securities against torture that must be carried out from the moment of detainment on, and thus render undeclared detention effective.

5) The Draft Law further broadens the police’s existing power to use firearms. The current PVSK states that this power, in essence, can be exercised in the event that there is an attack on the police officer or some other person, and seeks conditions of legitimate self-defence. According to the Draft Law, other than an attack on the police officer or another civilian, the police is given the authority to use firearms in the event of attacks against work places, residence, public buildings, temples, schools, dormitories and vehicles, and no reference is made to the concept of legitimate self-defence, with only an emphasis on “moderation”. In addition to this, legal grounds are brought to the use of firearms if there exists a possibility of an attempt to attack. Another issue worth mentioning is that the attacker’s possession of a firearm is not set as a condition for the police to use firearms. Fire works, Molotov cocktails and similar explosive devices, piercing and sharp objects, stones, sticks, iron and elastic bars, bruising tools such as iron balls, and catapults are included within the scope of weapons against which the police will be authorized to use firearms.

As the HRFT, when in 2007 changes were made to the PVSK, we had expressed our concern that the changes would render the powers of the police limitless and arbitrary, and warned the authorities. The fact that, since 2007, 183 of our citizens have lost their lives due to the use of firearms by the police proves how right our concerns were. Regarding the use of force by law enforcement officials, both United Nations (UN) regulations (UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials etc.) and the right to life as arranged in Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and jurisprudence and standards of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) state that the use of deadly force is permissible only to protect life, in line with principles of necessity and moderation, and as a last resort. In the event that the Draft Law is approved as it is, the disproportionate/excessive/arbitrary use of firearms and practices of summary execution will increase, and thus violations of the right to life will reach even more perilous levels.

6) With the Draft Law, the duration for the identification, monitoring, signal data tracking and recording of communications by the police and gendarmerie forces, by the written order of the Chief Police Constable, General Commander of the Gendarmerie or Intelligence Office Head, and without the approval of a Judge, is effectively increased to 72 hours, in view of the proposed regulation that the Judge may issue a verdict within 48 hours. In this manner, the arbitrary practice of wiretapping and the violation of the secrecy of communication and the right to privacy, which are already existing problems, will further increase, leaving no one in the country who is not wiretapped. The Draft Law also introduces a provision rendering the Ankara High Criminal Court Judge the only authority for the whole of Turkey. Since this Judge will be appointed by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), the independence and impartiality of which has been compromised in view of its principles of appointment and operational procedures, all manners of pressure and manipulation will be rendered possible. In addition to this, the Draft Law also proposes that the Prime Ministry Inspection Board will be authorized to carry out inspection and present its findings to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Security and Intelligence Commission which works according to a principle of secrecy, thus hijacking all its activities from public scrutiny.

7) The arrangement proposed by the Draft Law to the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations (Law No. 2911) broadens the definition of the concept of weapon. As stated above, tools such as fire works, Molotov cocktails and similar explosive devices, piercing and sharp objects, stones, sticks, iron and elastic bars, bruising tools such as iron balls, and catapults are included within the scope of the definition of weapon, and taking part in meetings and demonstration rallies in possession of such tools, and participating in such events by wholly or partially covering the face with fabrics etc. are regulated as crimes punishable with a minimum prison sentence of two years and six months. In addition to this, criminal acts punishable with prison sentences from six months to three years are defined for persons bearing emblems of organizations, or clothing resembling uniforms featuring emblems, and for carrying posters, banners or placards “inconsistent with the law” or chanting slogans of this nature while taking part in meetings and demonstration rallies, all regulations that clearly will be implemented with no restriction. The present Law No. 2911, which renders the right impracticable, and serves to declare any protest unlawful in breach of universal and international human rights standards, is now additionally making it possible to inflict prison sentences.

The change the Draft Law proposes to the Anti-Terror Law, on the other hand, departs from a conviction described as “meetings and demonstration rallies that turn into the propaganda of terror organizations” thus stipulating a prison sentence of three to five years in the event that persons wholly or partially covering their faces during such events without resorting to violence; and in the event of the occurrence of any type of violence, or the possession of persons of weapons under the new broadened scope of that term, a minimum prison sentence of four years. As is seen, those who completely or partially conceal their faces during assemblies and demonstrations will potentially face heavy sentences, even if they do not resort to violence.

In addition to this, according to the proposed changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure [CMK] included in the Draft Law, all the acts listed above, in other words, acts such as the use of the right to congregate and demonstrate and the act of propaganda, are included within the scope of the catalogue crime known as automatic arrest.

In brief, these regulations constitute an attack both upon the freedom of assembly and demonstrate and the freedom of expression. For years, and much more frequently since the Gezi Resistance, we have tried at every opportunity to emphatically state that the freedom of assembly, along with the freedom of expression, constitute the foundations of a democratic society, and that therefore, any intervention to the freedom of assembly and the freedom of expression of demonstrators renders meaningless, and endangers democracy. At present, every year, tens of people lose their life due to the disproportionate/excessive/extreme intervention of the security forces to the freedom of assembly and demonstration, and hundreds of people suffer serious injury and organ loss. Thousands of people are detained, and hundreds of people are arrested[1]. In the event of the approval of this Draft Law, we will face an even more perilous state of events.

8) The Draft Law introduces provisions that expand the statute of limitations regarding recourse claims both in Law no.2911 and the Law on the Compensation of Damages that Occurred due to Terror and the Fight Against Terror. Recourse lawsuits that have virtually turned into a revenge tool of the State regarding files that have been awarded compensations by, for instance, the European Court of Human Rights, because of violations carried out by the State, will now hound relevant survivors for years.

In conclusion;

The brief assessments we have made above reveal that this Draft Law, claimed to be an “internal security reform” by the political authority, but which in fact gives the government the authority to “kill and imprison” with no legal restriction and judicial review whatsoever, constitutes in and of itself a threat to personal security and freedom.

In the event that this Draft Law is approved as it is, we will enter a new period of state of emergency in which provincial and district governors become judicial law enforcement chiefs, law enforcement chiefs carry the power of preventive detention, participants in social demonstrations are easily arrested, the freedoms of expression and organization are restricted, the police, with broadened powers to use firearms, will arbitrarily draw their weapons on the public and will carry out body and vehicle searches on anyone at will.

This Draft Law, as a whole, constitutes a brazen violation of the Constitution, the international conventions Turkey is party to, ECHR decisions, and most significantly, common sense and conscience. Therefore, it must immediately be revoked.

Human Rights Foundation of Turkey

[1] According to HRFT Documentation Centre data, only within the year of 2014, 21 persons lost their lives due to the intervention of law enforcement officials to meetings and demonstrations, 524 people were injured, 4944 were detained and 969 people were arrested.

Brief Summary Observation Report of Yazidi Refugee Camps

August 22, 2014

16-17 AUGUST 2014
BRIEF SUMMARY OBSERVATION REPORT
of YAZIDI REFUGEE CAMPS in SİLOPİ-CİZRE-MİDYAT

On the 16th and 17th of August, 2014, the activists of the HRFT Care for Caregivers Programme made a study visit to the places where the Yazidi refugees from Shengal is residing at the moment. This visit was aiming to give psycho social support training to the network of caregivers who take care of the Yazidis, to make a baseline assesment, and to provide urgent psychological support.

The observation report of this study visit has been written by the visiting team, which is composed by: Psychiatrist Murat YALÇIN, psychiatric resident Naci OLAM, psychologist Muharrem AYDIN, psychologist Şiyar GÜLDİKEN, psychologist Sema YÜCEDAĞ, psychologist Bijer DOĞAN, psychologist Ömer YAVUZ YETİŞ, psychologist Ömer AKBA, psychologist Mahmut PAKDEMİR and social worker Ümit ÇETİNER.

On Saturday, the 16th of August, Silopi camp of approximately 700 Yazidis (who are staying in tents and houses of Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) and Cizre Industrial estate of about 850 Yazidis (who are staying in insufficient houses) have been visited. Although measures such as chlorination of water has been taken, because of the sewer system that runs in front of the houses and extreme-hot weather conditions, risk of contagious disease is observed. Furthermore, we have been informed that due to the deficiency of coolers, daily life for children and elderly people became very difficult; however there are no problems related to the requirement of food and drinking water. Also the mobile health care vehicles of municipality are providing service all the time, in turns.

On Sunday, the 17th of August, Midyat camp that approximately 1500 Yazidis and 3000 Syrian Arabs are residing has been visited. We have been informed that there is information processing and staff capacity to register almost 300 refugees per day, and communication tools are being gathered and given back after the necessary measures are taken.

Note: The number of reported refugees in this report changes daily.

ezidiAs a result of our interviews and observations with the Yazidi families, it has been understood that they are experiencing difficulties with washing their clothes; the tents they live in are insufficient basic requirements in the markets are insufficient (except food); the given card limit (80 TL/monthperson) to meet their expenses is not enough; and educational places and play grounds for children hasn’t been established yet.

Our findings on the psychological states of the families we had interviews exposed that; they have severe anxiety and are in the shock phase; most of them are showing signs of acute stress. Furthermore, anxiety, feeling of insecurity and worthlessness, helplessness; signs of hatred, anger, guilt and shame are the other findings that you can read in details in our report.

Feelings and behaviors that the Yazidis present to cope with the trauma comes out as; the need to stay together and get information from the people who left behind; the will to emigrate to Europe and make plans about it; to ignore the possibility that their relatives might be dead; the need to repeat that what has happened has nothing to do with Islam; to mention that it makes them feel good to get support from volunteers and people from the neighboring villages; to express their gratitudes for YPG; lamenting etc.

In the course of giving support; it has been observed that both officials and volunteers are doing their best to give support, however there are some handicaps that might cause psychological troubles:

– Some of the officials, volunteers and visitors are violating the privacy of refugees by getting in to their tents without asking for permission, by taking photos of them and by making press statements in the camp.

– Even if their intentions are good, officials and visitors are sometimes crossing the line with their questions and causing retraumatization.

– The fact that there is no regular and reliable flow of information is causing an increase in the present level of anxiety and shock.

– Even if their intentions are good, some of the expressions that are being made to Yazidis contain political and moral judgements.

-It has also been observed that the caregivers sometimes trying to support the Yazidis by comparing the loss and brutality with their own.

In consideration of all these observations and interviews; the brutality of war and the barbarian aspects of the violence that Yazidi people has faced deepen the traumatic destruction. It’s obvious that this major trauma will trigger the impacts of historical slaughters and traumas, and make it harder to hold on to life for Yazidi people.

We are aware of the fact that the most important component to disburden the trauma is being able to return to the routines of life. Yet, it doesn’t seem possible in near future. Silopi camp isn’t appropriate both physically and psychologically. Conditions in Midyat camp are relatively better, however they don’t feel free and have the concern that they are becoming distanced from their own social solidarity areas and that the privacy of their families is violated. Cizre camp also made us think about the same handicaps. In the re-established Yazidi villages in Midyat and Batman, it seems that life partially returned back to its routine in the sense of both physical and psychological conditions. Therefor, it seems that their level of anxiety is lower than the Yazidis in other camps. According to our observations we might say that it’s accomplished by providing a private and independent living space; a stronger social support because of the other nearby Yazidi villages and help developing their feeling of belonging and coherence.

Our suggestions for the present situation are;

– Centralizing the coordination of physical and social support systems; establishing a regular registration system; assessing and planning the present pecuniary and human resources.

– Maintaining information to Yazidis as often and clear as possible on each step of providing service by using hopeful and realistic sentences.

– Creating secure places and showing sensitivity to their privacy. If they need to enter peoples residing areas, the officials and volunteers should introduce themselves first, ask for permission to get in and make the visit with just a few people.

– Assessing the requirements of health care and providing continuity of this service. Also, assessing and following the psychological situation, and planning psycho-social support programmes within this scope.

– Assessing the disabled and elderly people, and also the ones with chronic disorders; meeting the requirements according to these informations and ensuring the continuity of these services.

– Planning the appropriate activities for the children.

– Having events to help adults to return to their routines of life (by the time they gain their abilities back, they might become active in the social support network for the others)

– Assessing the professions and abilities of refugees (teacher, doctor, constructer etc.) and let them participate in the work according to their fields of interest

Best regards,

HRFT Care for Caregivers Programme Yazidi Refugee Camps Study Visit Group

Brief Summary Observation Report of Yazidi Refugee Camps in Silopi-Cizre-Midyat