REPORT: NO COUNTRY FOR PURGE VICTIMS

Lives of the purge victims are in shambles three and half years after the end of the state of emergency

Purged civil servants in Turkey and their next of kins are being discriminated against and blacklisted from public programmes and applying for new jobs.

 

The Arrested Lawyers Initiative and Human Rights Defenders e.V documented at least 30 types discriminatory practices denting the sacked officials’ ability to work in an attack on their livelihoods in their new report titled No Country for Purge Victims.

 

Besides being sacked from their positions these practices are affecting all aspects of their social and economic lives including areas such as care allowance insurance, disability subsidies, tax concessions and the right to work.

 

The report reveals that purged civil servants are blacklisted in the databases of the Employment and the Social Security Agencies and consequently in all of the databases of all public and quasi-public entities – how these people were dismissed under an Emergency Decree is also recorded in such databases.

 

Besides having been blacklisted, circulars and dictums published by various public entities ban the purge victims from either participating in public programmes such as employment courses, benefitting tax concessions or scholarships, acquiring a new profession, or working in the most basic jobs such as school bus driver.

 

In addition, purged civil servants cannot be foster families or even worse have their adopted child taken away from them, plus purged civil servants are also discriminated against in relation to Covid-19 economic relief and natural disaster aid.

 

The report finds that these indefinite secondary sanctions constitute a penalty under Article 7 of ECHR.

 

Turkey’s ad hominem dismissal decrees may be characterized as a penalty, rather than a temporary measure in light of: (i) the scope and severity of consequences of dismissals and its perpetual status (explained in the first blog post); (ii) that dismissals entail deprivations heavier than those for a convicted felon; (iii)  that dismissals do not comply with PACE Resolution 1096 and the Guideline on Lustration; and (iv) ECtHR’s case law on the definition of punishment within the meaning of Art 7 § 1 of the ECHR.

 

In conclusion, the report reveals how the basic fabric of daily life is being denied to those officials that have been dismissed.

 

“Even opening a bank account becomes a difficult challenge as laws are tailored to make it inaccessible to them. While military service, whose structure is clearly defined in laws, is imposed on purge victims in different ways, in clear departure from the procedure,” says the report.

 

The list of bans or practices, as documented by the report, illustrates the depth of agony and sufferings inflicted on sacked workers as private companies increasingly collaborate with authorities or act in fear of political backlash to deny the basic services to people in the post-coup era.

 

 

The report adds: “The emergency rule, more than one and a half years after its end, remains to be in place with dire consequences for its targeted population. This reality, often overlooked and ignored by observers, needs to be taken into account when analyzing the state of political and legal affairs in Turkey.”

 

Professor Helen Duffy (@HelenDuffy_HRP), Prof. of International Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at  Leiden University, Director of Human Rights in Practice:

Where vague and broad-reaching ’emergency’ measures are imposed without a clear legal framework, due process of law and effective remedies before independent courts, and  their effects are extended beyond the state of emergency to become the new normal, it is the death knell for a society governed by law. The implications of the purging of public sector workers, human rights defenders and others in Turkey are profound, for the full range of economic, social, civil and political rights of those directly affected and their families, for democracy and rule of law.

 Professor of law, Kerem Altıparmak (https://twitter.com/KeremALTIPARMAK)

Although state of emergency decrees are not, as far as the domestic law is concerned, the same as conviction handed out following criminal proceedings, they, as far as their implications are concerned, have even more serious implications than having been convicted and having served the sentence. This shows that having been purged by a state of emergency decree has, in terms of the nature of crime and its condemnability, very similar implications to that of being punished through criminal proceedings. This has nevertheless been carried out without a fair trial and without allowing the people concerned a right to defense. Since the enactment of first state of emergency decree, I have been arguing from the start that ad hominem listing of people in state of emergency laws is punishment in the sense of Article 6 of European Convention of Human Rights and I am in the opinion that no one may be punished as such without having a fair trial first. 

Professor of political science, Ümit Cizre (https://twitter.com/umitcizre)

Let us voice and support the struggle to remain alive of the victims of emergency decree laws who have truly been condemned to civil death through outright bans, deprivation of rights and discrimination. Those valued brothers and sisters of us have for years been in a heart-wrenching struggle to exist which should shake to the core even the most apolitical person. It is not possible to give them back what they might have already lost. All in all, what needs to be done is quite usual, natural and minimum: as individuals and the society as a whole, to demonstrate sensibility instead of “ignorance”; as politicians/political parties, press on with determined intervention and pressure.

 

A list of other discriminatory practices can be found below:

  1. Purged civil servants are blacklisted in the databases of the Employment and the Social Security Agencies with the code 36/OHAL/KHK
  2. Purged civil servants cannot be foster families
  1. Purged civil servants cannot be mayors, aldermen or mukhtars (a local elected administrator for villages).
  2. Purged civil servants cannot be lawyers
  3. Purged civil servants cannot be accountants
  4. Purged civil servants cannot work as architects, engineers, laboratory workers, or as technicians in building inspection companies
  5. Purged civil servants cannot attend vocational courses
  6. Purged civil servants cannot work in private educational institutions
  7. Purged civil servants cannot work as sailors
  8. Purged civil servants cannot work as on-site (workplace) doctors, or as occupational safety specialists.
  9. Purged civil servants are denied the licenses needed to run businesses.
  10. Purged civil servants who work as veterinarians cannot have an artificial insemination certificate and cannot perform their professional duties in agricultural support programs.
  11. The database of the General Directorate of the Land Registry (TAKBIS) includes a list of suspicious people which consists of those dismissed under emergency decrees. Those included on this list cannot participate in real estate transactions, either as a party (vendee or vendor) or as a witness.
  12. Upon an instruction by the Ministry of Justice, the Union of Turkish Public Notaries produced a list of suspicious people, which consists of those dismissed under emergency decrees. People included on this list cannot carry out any procedures as notaries, other than giving power of attorney. This means that they cannot carry out hundreds of legal procedures, including selling their cars or signing construction contracts.
  1. The database for the Social Relief Program (SOYBIS) includes a list of those who have been dismissed under emergency decrees. Disabled people whose first caregivers (such as parents, sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law) are dismissed under emergency decrees, cannot benefit from social care funds.
  1. Those dismissed under emergency decrees, and their spouses and children, cannot benefit from the General Health Insurance for people with a low income and from the social rights that are offered to disabled people.
  2. Purged public servants cannot have passports and travel documents.
  3. Purged public servants cannot open bank accounts and are discriminated against in financial transactions and procedures
  4. Purged public servants are discriminated against in regard to insurance services
  5. Purged public servants are discriminated against in relation to business development and incentive credits.
  6. Purged public servants are discriminated against in relation to mandatory military services
  7. Purged academics are discriminated against in academic publishing.
  8. Purged public servants cannot enter the exams for associate professorships.
  9. Purged public servants cannot receive science scholarships.
  10. Purged public servants and their families are discriminated against in relation to university admissions and tuition fees.
  11. Purged public servants cannot be school bus drivers.
  12. Purged public servants are discriminated against in taxation.
  13. Purged physicians (M.D.) are not admitted to programmes leading to specializations in medicine
  14. Purged public servants are discriminated against in relation to COVID19 economic reliefs.
  15. Purged public servants are discriminated against in terms of natural disaster aid.

Joint Report: No Country for the Purge Victims!

The Arrested Lawyers Initiative and the Human Rights Defenders published a joint report documenting the deprivations which Turkey’s purge victims suffer.

According the report, those who purged under the Emergency Regimeshall be deprived of their ranks and their positions as public officials;

* may not use their titles, if any, e.g., ambassador, governor, etc;

* shall not be re-admitted to the organization in which they had previously held office;

* shall be stripped of rank (for the already retired public servants), and of combat medals;

* may not be re-employed and assigned, either directly or indirectly, to any public service;

* may not become the founders, partners and employees of private security companies,

* shall be evicted from public residences or foundation houses; and

* moreover, their passports, gun licenses, seamanship or pilots’ licenses, shall be cancelled.

Besides the direct consequences, mentioned above, The purged civil servants cannot

* be a foster family,

* be lawyers and accountants,

* be mayors, aldermen or mukhtars (local elected administrator for villages), 

* work as architects, engineers, laboratory worker, or as technicians in building inspection companies,

* attend vocational courses,

* work in private educational institutions,

* work as an on-site (workplace) doctor or as an occupational safety specialist,

* work as sailors,

* have passports and travel documents,

* open bank accounts and are discriminated against in financial transactions and procedures,

* benefit from the General Health Insurance for people with low income and from the social rights offered to disabled people.

Moreover,

* the purged civil servants who work as veterinarians cannot have an artificial insemination certificate and cannot perform their profession duties in agricultural support programs,

* the purged civil servants are denied the license needed to run businesses.

* The database of the General Directorate of the Land Registry (TAKBIS) includes a list of suspicious people, which consists of those dismissed under emergency decrees. Those included on this list cannot participate in real estate transactions, either as a party (vendee or vendor) or as a witness.

* Upon an instruction by the Ministry of Justice, the Union of Turkish Public Notaries produced a list of suspicious people which consists of those dismissed under emergency decrees. People included in this list cannot carry out any procedure as notaries other than giving a power of attorney. This means they cannot carry out hundreds of legal procedures, including selling their cars or signing construction contracts.

* The database for the Social Relief Program (SOYBIS) includes the list of those dismissed under emergency decrees. Disabled people whose first caregivers (such as parents, sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in- law) are dismissed under emergency decrees cannot benefit from social care funds.

* The purged public servants are discriminated against in regard to insurance services.

* The purged public servants are discriminated against in business development and incentive credits.

* The purged public servants are discriminated against in relation to mandatory military services.

* The purged academics are discriminated against in academic publishing.

* The purged civil servants are blacklisted in the databases of the Employment and the Social Security Agencies with the code 36/OHAL/KHK.

10. Dezember – Internationaler Tag für Menschenrechte

Leider ist uns schmerzhaft bewusst, dass selbst nach 71 Jahren nach der Verabschiedung der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte im Jahr 1948, Menschenrechte alles andere als selbstverständlich sind.

In der Türkei, in Xinjiang-China, Myanmar, Jemen, Syrien, Iran, Russland und in anderen Ländern sind Menschen ihren fundamentalen Rechten beraubt. Offizielle Statistiken zeigen, dass weltweit 71 Millionen Menschen, wegen Kriege, Konflikte, politische Verfolgung und Naturkatastrophen ihre Heimat verlassen mussten.

Der „Mensch“ und seine „Würde“ stehen in allen Justizsystemen im Mittelpunkt. Der Mensch hat Rechte, die nicht übertragbar und teilbar sind. Leider werden diese Rechte und die Würde der Menschen von der türkischen Regierung, welches ohne ethische und juristische Prinzipien regiert, willkürlich mit den Füßen getreten.

Heute und hier möchten wir sie auf die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in der Türkei aufmerksam machen. Die Türkei verstößt gegen alle Artikel die in der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte der UN und der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention des Europarates manifestiert sind.

1- In der Türkei wird das „Recht auf Leben“ verweigert.

Die Türkei ist heute ein Offenes Foltergefängnis. In den letzten drei Jahren sind mehr als 2.340 Folterfälle bekannt, gegen die die türkische Justiz nichts unternimmt. Darüber hinaus sind 84 Menschen auf verdächtige Weise in den Gefängnissen ums Leben gekommen.

Den Menschen, die mit Dekreten des Ausnahmezustands entlassen wurden, werden jegliche Art von Arbeit aufzunehmen verweigert  und stehen einem „Zivilen Tod“ gegenüber.

2- Das Recht auf „Nicht-Gefoltert Zu Werden“ wird nicht gewährleistet.

Menschen, werden in der Türkei willkürlich gefoltert. Es vergeht kein Tag in dem keine Folterberichte bekannt werden. Vor allem Menschen der Gülen-Bewegung und Kurden sind Opfer einer systematischen Folter-Politik.

Seit Juli 2016 wurden mehr als 2340 Folterfälle bekannt. Sowohl in Berichten von Amnesty International und Human Rights Watch, als auch in UN-Berichten werden auf diese Verbrechen gegen die Menschheit aufmerksam gemacht.

3- Das Recht auf „Arbeit“ wird ignoriert.

Mit den “Ausnahmezustand-Dekreten” wurden mehr als 150.000 Beamten und Beamtinnen entlassen. Darunter 33.500 Lehrer, 7.000 Ärzte und Krankenpfleger, 31.500 Sicherheitsbeamte, 6.000 Akademiker und 13.000 Soldaten und Berufssoldaten. Hinzu kommen mehr als 100.000 Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer von der privaten Wirtschaft die aus politischen Gründen entlassen wurden.

4- Das Recht auf „Eigentum“ wird nicht gewährt.

Die Eigentümer und Guthaben hunderter Vereine, Stiftungen und Privaten Schulen wurden ohne jegliches gerichtliches Verfahren von der Regierung konfisziert.

Während des Ausnahmezustandes wurden 1207 Private Unternehmen mit einem Wert von 10 Milliarden US-Dollar an staatlich ernannte Treuhänder übertragen.

Die Grundstücke von den vertriebenen Kurden im Südosten der Türkei wurden rechtswidrig konfisziert und Ihnen wird verweigert in ihre Dörfer zurückzukehren.

5- Es gibt keine Vereinigungsfreiheit

164 Stiftungen und 1595 Vereine wurden verboten.

Zwei der größten Dachverbände und 28 Gewerkschaften wurden verboten.

6- Es gibt keine Meinungsfreiheit, Medien sind Gleichgestellt.

189 Medienhäuser und mehr als 2000.000 Internetseiten sind in der Türkei verboten. Zurzeit sind 319 Journalisten und Redakteure in türkischen Gefängnissen.

Die Türkei ist bei Meinungs– und Pressefreiheit auf Platz 157 von 180.

7- Das Recht auf ein faires Gerichtsverfahren wurde bewusst unterminiert und abgeschafft.

Ein Drittel der Richter und Staatsanwälte (ca. 4.000) wurden direkt nach dem von der Regierung inszeniertem Staatsstreich entlassen. Neue Indizien belegen, dass diese Listen lange vor dem 15. Juli 2016 vorbereitet wurden.

605 Rechtsanwälte sind wegen ihren Beziehungen zu Ihren Mandaten inhaftiert.

Richter und Staatsanwälte, aus Angst und Furcht entlassen und verhaftet zu werden können keine gerechte Entscheidungen treffen.

Entscheidungen des Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte, wie bei der Entscheidung bezüglich Selahattin Demirtas werden nicht umgesetzt.

Entscheidungen des Verfassungsgerichts werden von den Erstinstanz Gerichten als null und nichtig erklärt, wie es in den Entscheidungen von den Journalisten Mehmet Altan und Sahin Alpay zu sehen war.

Willkürliche und lange Untersuchungshafte sind leider keine Ausnahme.

Es gibt keine effektive Innerstaatliche Rechtsbehelfe.

„Rechtsstaatlichkeit“ ist die einzige Hoffnung für die Türkei, in der das Erdogan-Regime leider einen Diskurs mit Hass-Sprache und Diskriminierung weiterführt und auf die gezielte Spaltung der Gesellschaft setzt. Präsident Erdogan und seine Handlanger üben bewusst Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit aus und sind an Genoziden bestimmter ethnischen und religiösen Minderheiten beteiligt.

Das Erdogan-Regime entfernt die Türkei jeden Tag weiter von der Rechtsstaatlichkeit und der Demokratie ab.

Als Mitglieder der “Human Rights Defenders” verurteilen wir heute Präsident Erdogan und seine Handlanger auf das Schärfste und fordern das Erdogan-Regime und die türkische Justiz dazu auf die Rechtsstaatlichkeit wieder einzuführen.

Wir appellieren heute auch an die UN, an das Europarat und dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte sich mit den Menschenrechtsverletzungen in der Türkei zu beschäftigen und eine Lösung zu finden.

Wir verfolgen mit Bedenken und bedauern es zutiefst zu sehen, dass manche europäische Staats- und Regierungschefs, Zugeständnisse von ihren demokratischen und rechtsstaatlichen Werten machen, um den sogenannten „Flüchtlings-Deal“ mit der Erdogan-Regierung aufrecht zu erhalten. Wir erhoffen uns von der EU und der Bundesregierung eine effektivere Initiative zu ergreifen, um der Türkei dabei zu helfen so schnell wie möglich und nachhaltig auf den Weg der Rechtsstaatlichkeit zu kommen.

Freedom of the press in Turkey: Far Worse Than You Think

Almost 300 journalists in Turkey, a member state of the Council of Europe and a candidate country to the European Union, are languishing behind bars or facing outstanding arrest warrants, a report released by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has revealed.

“The crackdown on press freedom in Turkey is far worse than you may think,” said Abdullah Bozkurt, the President of the SCF.

 

https://stockholmcf.org/freedom-of-the-press-in-turkey-far-worse-than-you-think-2/

European Convention on Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protects the human rights of people in countries that belong to the Council of Europe.

The Council of Europe was founded after the Second World War to protect human rights and the rule of law, and to promote democracy.

The Convention consists of numbered ‘articles’ protecting basic human rights.

The Convention guarantees specific rights and freedoms and prohibits unfair and harmful practices.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Universal Declaration) is an international document that states basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled.

The Universal Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948. Motivated by the experiences of the preceding world wars, the Universal Declaration was the first time that countries agreed on a comprehensive statement of inalienable human rights.