20-22 January 2024 HRFT Documentation Center Daily Human Rights Report

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

20-22 January 2024 Daily Human Rights Report

(01/173) Imam Subjected to Physical Violence in Diyarbakır…

It is learned from the news coverage of January 19, 2024, that the imam of Kuba Mosque in Kulp district of Diyarbakır was subjected to verbal and physical violence of Kulp District Governor for reading the sermon incompletely. It is reported that Imam M. K. received a medical report documenting the physical violence. Diyarbakır Governorate and Directorate of Religious Affairs have announced that they have initiated separate judicial and administrative investigations into the incident.

The Kulp District Governor’s statements about the incident, as reflected in the press, are as follows: “Today we went to the Kuba Mosque for Friday prayers. In the sermon, which is required to be read every week by the General Directorate of Religious Services, this week there was a prayer of mercy for our martyrs. The imam of the mosque did not read this part, so I reacted loudly to him outside after the sermon. When the imam said, ‘There is pressure on me, that’s why I didn’t read it,’ I got angry at this answer and said, ‘You are the imam of the state, who can put pressure on you?’ Then he went and got a battering report, but the report says that his leg hurts, not a battering as claimed. I also reported the incident to our provincial governor. As someone representing the state, I did not assault anyone as alleged.”

K., the imam who was subjected to violence, stated the following: ” (…) If I had any ulterior motive, I would have changed the sermon. He shouted ‘Hodja’ in the middle of the sermon. I came back two paragraphs, I am human. There may have been a skip. Even if it happens, he has no right to beat me. They declared me a traitor on social media. The district governor is doing everything to justify himself. We live in a state of law. (…) The bodyguards did not let anyone in. A few people from the community knocked on the door of the room. The district governor told the bodyguards, ‘Don’t let anyone in’ (…)”

The Ministry of Interior made the following statement to the press regarding the violence: “Diyarbakır – Kulp District Governor Burak Akeller reminded the imam of the mosque who ‘did not read the part about our martyrs’ in the Friday sermon and ensured that the text sent by the Directorate of Religious Affairs was read in full. An investigation was initiated by the Ministry regarding the allegations raised after the incident. The comments and criticisms made by some social media accounts without waiting for the outcome of the investigation are purposeful. We are following the issue closely.”

(01/174) Torture and Ill-Treatment in Prison…

It is learned from the news coverage of January 20, 2024, that 11 prisoners in Antalya S Type Prison were sentenced to 11 days of solitary confinement after disciplinary proceedings initiated against them for using the expression ‘Mr. Öcalan’ in their petitions to Ministry of Justice. It is also learned from the news coverage of the news reports that in the prison, bunk beds were added to the rooms for 3 people, turning them into rooms for 5 people and narrowing the living spaces of prisoners.

It is learned from the news coverage of January 20, 2024, that Zeynep Erdem, a prisoner in Bayburt M Type Prison, was not allowed to attend her mother’s funeral on the grounds of ‘security’.

It is learned from the news coverage of January 20, 2024, that 4 prisoners in a prison in Burdur were transferred to Bandırma T Type Prison against their will.

It is learned from the news coverage of January 20, 2024, that prisoners in Kayseri Women’s Prison were taken to gynecological examinations in handcuffs.

It is claimed in the news coverage of January 21, 2024, that political prisoners in Tekirdağ F Type Prison No 1 were punished with solitary confinement and their release was prevented and postponed.

It is learned from the news coverage of January 21, 2024, that some prisoners in Marmara L Type Prison No 5 are kept under isolation conditions.

(01/175) Meeting Request with Abdullah Öcalan not Responded to…

It is learned that the appeal made on January 19, 2024, to the chief public prosecutor’s office in Bursa by families and tutelary of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, and Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş in Imralı Prison, to visit them was not responded to.

(01/176) People Detained in Şırnak…

3 of 10 people who were detained on January 16, 2024 in Şırnak through house raids on the grounds of social media posts, were arrested on January 19, 2024 on the charge of ‘making propaganda for an illegal organization’. 7 people were released on judicial control condition. The names of the arrested people could not be learned.

(01/177) Person Detained in Sivas…

Sivas Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation after the footage of a person named S. K. during the General Assembly of the Safa Mosque and Qur’an Course Construction and Sustenance Association in Sivas became widespread on social media. S. K. was detained on charges of ‘insulting religious values’ and released on house arrest on January 22, 2024.

(01/178) People Detained in Istanbul…

21 people who were detained on January 16, 2024 in Istanbul due to ‘being a member of an illegal organization’ through operations covering 28 cities, were released on judicial control condition on January 19, 2024.

(01/179) Association Executives on Trial in Mersin…

The first trial of the case against Kadri Ezer and Cengiz Dere, executives of Çukurova Association for Assistance to Families of Prisoners and Detainees (Çukurova TUAY-DER), started on January 19, 2024. The court decided to continue the detention of Kadri Ezer and released Cengiz Dere on judicial control condition and adjourned the trial to March 25, 2024.

On 23 May 2023, 24 people including Mezopotamia Agency (MA) reporter Delal Akyüz and members and executives of Çukurova TUAY-DER were detained in house raids in Mersin, Antalya, Adana, Ankara and Izmir through a Mersin based investigation against the association. Association executives Kadri Ezer and Cengiz Dere were arrested on 26 May 2023 on charges of ‘financing an illegal organization’ and ‘being a member of an illegal organization’.

(01/180) Journalist on Trial in Diyarbakır…

It is learned from the news coverage of January 20, 2024, that the jail sentence of 2 years and 1 month given to journalist Nurcan Yalçın on the charges of ‘being a member of an illegal organization’ and ‘making propaganda for an illegal organization’ at Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No 9 on November 22, 2021, was overturned by Penal Department No 2 of Diyarbakır Regional Court of Appeals upon an appeal on the grounds of ‘incomplete investigation’.

(01/181) Journalist on Trial in Diyarbakır…

It is learned that Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor’s Office made an appeal to Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No 5 on November 9, 2021, against the acquittal of journalist Ayşe Kara on the charge of ‘being a member of an illegal organization’ through Democratic Society Congress (DTK) investigation, and Diyarbakır Regional Court Penal Department No 2 reversed the acquittal on the grounds of ‘incomplete investigation’ and ‘insufficient research’. It is stated that the case file is sent to Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No 5 for retrial.

(01/182) Journalist on Trial in Bursa…

On January 18, 2024, Bursa Penal Court of First Instance No 18 continued to hear the case against Jinnews reporter Rozerin Gültekin, who was detained in Bursa on June 12, 2022. The indictment demands a sentence for Rozerin Gültekin on the charge of “violating Law No 2911 on Meetings and Demonstrations”. The court adjourned the trial to March 21, 2024.

(01/183) People on Trial for the Bomb Attack in Istanbul…

On January 22, 2024, the trial of the case against 36 people including 18 arrestees, for the bombing attack on Istiklal Street in Beyoğlu district of Istanbul on November 13, 2022, in which 6 people lost their lives, continued at Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 13. The court released 3 people and adjourned the trial to February 12, 2024.

(01/184) Ban of Access to Web Content…

It is learned from the news coverage of January 20, 2024, that at least 58 news articles about CVK Mineral Madencilik A.Ş. at different addresses were banned from access by the Istanbul Criminal Peace Judgeship No. 1 on November 28, 2023 on the grounds of ‘violation of personal rights’.

[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,, Cnnturk, Tr724, İleri Haber, Siyasi Haber, Alınteri, Kızılbayrak,, Yüksekova Haber, T24, Diken, Gazete Karınca, Gazete Duvar. Haber Sol, El Cezire, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Reuters, AFP.