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

5 February 2020 Daily Human Rights Report

(02/034) Hunger Strike in Prison…

It is learned from the news coverage of February 4, 2020 that 8 lawyers including Selçuk Kozağaçlı, chair of Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) went on a hunger strike in prisons. It is reported that the hunger strike is to support demands of Mustafa Koçak, and Grup Yorum band members İbrahim Gökçek and Helin Bölek who are all on death fast; and to demand fair trial and cancellation of results of proceedings which came up with unfair trials. Mustafa Koçak is on 218th day of death fast as of today. İbrahim Gökçek is on death fast since January 3, 2020 and Helin Bölek is on death fast since January 20, 2020; they have both started their hunger strike on June 18, 2019. Helin Bölek is released from prison on November 20, 2019. Bahar Kurt, another member of Grup Yorum who was released from prison on November 20, 2019, has paused hunger strike on January 20, 2020.

Lawyers on hunger strike: Selçuk Kozağaçlı, Aycan Çiçek, Aytaç Ünsal, Barkın Timtik, Ebru Timtik, Engin Gökoğlu, Ayşegül Çağatay and Oya Aslan.

(02/035) Torture and Ill-Treatment in Prison…

It is learned from the news coverage of February 4, 2020 that Cebrail Ancar, a prisoner kept in a single cell in Hatay Iskenderun T Type Prison was subjected to physical violence of wardens during the roll-call on January 13, 2020. It is learned that the wardens said “State is here, stand up” and Cebrail Ancar is not given a medical report from prison infirmary evidencing the violence.

(02/036) No Police Intervention Against “I Want My Job Back” Protest in Ankara…

The police did not intervene the press declaration of public labourers who had been dismissed by a state of emergency decree and have been struggling 1183 days to regain their jobs, held in front of Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street on February 4, 2020 at 13.30, and at 18.00. Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who were dismissed by state of emergency decrees, started this protest and went on a hunger strike in time; and the police intervened the protest on May 12, 2017, on the 65th day of hunger strike, for the first time and blocked Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street. The police have intervened all press declarations ever since.

(02/037) Detained HDP Executive in Urfa…

Müslüm Arsan, Haliliye district co-chair of People’s Democratic Party (HDP) who was detained during a general information check by the police on February 3, 2020, on the grounds of a warrant, is released after statement procedures at the prosecutor’s office on February 4, 2020.

(02/038) Detained Iranian Singer in Istanbul…

Iranian rap singer Amir Hossein Maghsoudloo who was detained Istanbul on January 28, 2020 on the grounds of being sought on red notice by Iran, is released by the court with a ban on leaving the country and on judicial control conditions.

(02/039) Former Co-Mayor on Trial…

The first trial of the case against Remziye Yaşar, HDP co-mayor of Yüksekova district of Hakkari, is held at Hakkari Heavy Penal Court No 1 on February 4, 2020.

Şirvan Sedal, one of the witnesses stated the following: “I was tortured under custody at police directorate for 4 days. They forced me to sign blank papers. Accusations are not mine; I do not accept them”. Another witness Abdullah Orhan stated the following: “I do not speak Turkish. I was under custody for 6 days. I am illiterate. It appears that I have given statements accusing many people. The police learned that I was illiterate and forced me to put my thumbprint on papers in lieu of signature. I have nothing to do with these statements and I do not know any of mentioned people”. After defence hearings the court released Remziye Yaşar on judicial control conditions and adjourned the trial to May 15, 2020.

The prosecutor’s office appealed to release to Hakkari Heavy Penal Court No 2 as the higher court and the court suspended the release.

Remziye Yaşar was detained on October 15, 2019 and was arrested on October 17, 2019. Ministry of Interior appointed a trustee to Yüksekova on October 19, 2019.

(02/040) Director Kazım Öz on Trial…

The trial of the case against director Kazım Öz is held at Tunceli Heavy Penal Court No 2 on February 4, 2020. The indictment demands sentence up to 15 years for Kazım Öz on the charge of ‘being an illegal organisation member’. It is learned that the prosecutor declared legal opinion before investigation of digital material is completed and all evidence is gathered. After defence hearings the court lifted judicial control conditions on Kazım Öz and adjourned the trial to April 28, 2020.

(02/041) Police Officer on Trial in Diyarbakır…

Şahin Öner was hit by an armoured police vehicle on February 10, 2013 in Diyarbakır, during protests about anniversary of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s being taken to Turkey, and died. The trial of the case against police officer S. K., driver of the armoured vehicle, on the charge of intentional killing, is held at Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No 1 on February 4, 2020. It is learned that crime scene investigation was not done despite the court order at the previous trial. It is also reported that witness police officers did not attend the trial. The court ruled crime scene investigation to be done on February 27, 2020, and to send a writ for expert report from Traffic Department of Istanbul Technical University and adjourned the trial to April 2, 2020.

(02/042) Efe Tektekin Case…

The first trial of the case against police officer İ. A., for death of Efe Tektekin (5), due to being hit by an armoured police vehicle in Bağlar district of Diyarbakır on September 11, 2019, is held at Diyarbakır Penal Court of First Instance No 9 on February 4, 2020. The indictment demands sentence for I. A. on the charge of reckless killing.

İ. A. stated “We carry out a duty on behalf of the state, we have to ensure our security first” in his defence.

After defence hearings and declarations of lawyers, the court adjourned the trial to April 27, 2020.

(02/043) Journalist on Trial in Diyarbakır for ‘Insulting the President’…

The trial of the case against journalist Hakkı Boltan, on the grounds of ‘insulting the President’ in a Kurdish speech he made, is held at Diyarbakır Penal Court of First Instance No 12 on February 4, 2020. The court decided to have the Speech translated in Turkish by an expert and adjourned the trial April 9, 2020.

(02/044) Constitutional Court Decision on Mehmet Altan’s Appeal…

The Constitutional Court decided on individual appeal of Mehmet Altan on January 20, 2020 and the decision is published on the official gazette on February 4, 2020.

The court has concluded on Mehmet Altan’s appeal on January 11, 2018 and has ruled that personal security and freedom of expression and press was violated. The court also stated that Mehmet Altan’s arrest was not lawful since there is no strong indication presented by authorities of investigation. Lawyers of Mehmet Altan have appealed to Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 26 on the same day for release, but the court has rejected it on the grounds that the court order was not published on the official gazette. Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 27, as the higher court, has also rejected the objection to this decision on January 15, 2018. A second appeal for release was made after publication of the Constitutional Court decision, however it was rejected by Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 26 too. This rejection was based on the claim that the Constitutional Court cannot identify violation due to inadequate evidence in case the local court considered the evidence for arrest, and that Constitutional Court decision which is out of legal limits is not certain and binding. Istanbul Regional Court Penal Department No 2 considered the appeal on the heavy life imprisonment given to Mehmet Altan, and decided release on June 27, 2018, with regard to Constitutional Court decision. This decision was rejected and Penal Department No 16 of Supreme Court, as the higher court considered the appeal this time and reversed the sentence on July 5, 2019, ruling acquittal of Mehmet Altan. Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 26 held the re-trial and ruled acquittal of Mehmet Altan on December 4, 2019.

The Constitutional Court decided that Mehmet Altan’s right to personal freedom and security was violated and should be paid a compensation of 30.000 Turkish Liras. The court rejected the claim of violation of right to fair trial.

The Constitutional Court states the following in their decision: “The Constitutional Court decisions cannot be inspected by any authority in terms of legality, and being in accordance with the Constitution and laws”, “it is not necessary to have it published on the official gazette in order to have legal consequences of a decision on violation, since it is sufficient to declaration or notification of the court order to relevant authorities”, “relevant authorities have to pay regard to decision of violation and act in order to eliminate violation and its legal consequences, and in this sense, duty of trial courts is not to consider scope and extent of duties and  authorities of the Constitutional Court but to eliminate violation and its legal consequences”.

(02/045) Examination Fee Asked from a Protestor…

It is learned from the news coverage of February 4, 2020 that, Social Security Institution (SSI) demands fees of obligatory medical examinations given to Nazan Bozkurt, participator of “I Want My Job Back” protests in Ankara, after she was detained by the police. Nazan Bozkurt states that SSI sent a notification saying “As a result of legal correspondence with authorities there is no record reached on the ‘judicial case’ that you were subjected from 17/03/2017 to 19/01/2020”, and that SSI will sue her to get examination fees.

(02/046) Detentions and Arrests in Alleged Link to Coup Attempt…

On February 4, 2020, 27 people are detained in operations covering 22 cities through a Konya based investigation; and 24 people are detained through a Balıkesir based investigation against personnel of courthouses and departments of correction.

 

[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, Yeni Yaşam, 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.