WITCH HUNT IN TURKEY: Stop Mass Arrests!

STATEMENT : 18th October 2022, Concerning Mass Detentions in Turkey

For almost 7 years, mass arrests have been carried out in Turkey against the Gülen movement. Since 2014, more than 5,800[1] police operations have been carried out and, according to official figures, more than 300,000 people have been arrested. On average, at least 70 people are arrested every day.

Thousands of people continue to be detained on charges that do not constitute crimes under the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and United Nations human rights bodies.

Today (October 18, 20222) a new stage of unlawful arrests was launched, detention sentences were issued against 704 people -men, women, young and old- on the grounds that they were “trying to help the families of those in prison or released from them”.

The Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu[2] stated, “… we have found that about 150 to 300 euros is distributed to these families, and these operations are carried out to arrest the donors and recipients of this aid…”.  

In an environment where nearly two million people have been declared terrorists in the last five years[3] , tens of thousands of people are being fired and as many are being arbitrarily arrested, now those who help the affected families and their loved ones are also being imprisoned.

Widespread and systematic human rights violations in Turkey, currently targeting  a specific social/religious group – the Gülen movement and its members – as well as other ethnic or religious groups such as the Kurdish minority and the Alevis, are actually the result of chronic and deep-rooted problems in the system and Turkey’s unwillingness to live up to its obligations preserved in regional and international human rights conventions.

The recent statement[4] of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in relation to Turkey states,

…that the Working Group has noted a significant increase in the number of cases involving arbitrary detention in Turkey over the past three years. The Working Group expresses grave concern about the pattern followed by all these cases and recalls that, in certain circumstances, widespread or systematic detention or other severe deprivation of liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law may be considered a crime against humanity….

 Against this background, we call on the Turkish government to

  • Immediately cease systematic and arbitrary arrest, prosecution, and detention of political opponents and human rights defenders; drop charges against arbitrarily accused persons, including those detainees who have not been charged in accordance with international standards and against whom there is no credible evidence.
  • Amend laws governing the use of force by law enforcement officers to comply with international legal standards,
  • Initiate relevant amendments to the Criminal Code that prohibit arbitrary detention,
  • Comply with the demands of the UN Human Rights Committee and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and release arbitrarily detained persons and take legal action against those responsible,
  • Amend Article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code and Law No. 3713 (Anti-Terror Law) to be in line with ECtHR jurisprudence,
  • Adopt necessary legislative and judicial reforms to prevent further violations of Articles 5, 6, 7, and 10 of the ECHR.

We call on the UN Working Group Against Arbitrary Detention to

  • to conduct a country visit to Turkey, as a significant period of time has passed since the last visit to Turkey in October 2006.

We call upon the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to

  • Launch a special investigation to uncover the reasons for the non-implementation of the ECtHR rulings.

We call on the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to

  • Act more decisively in implementing and enforcing the ECtHR’s rulings.

We call on CoE member states to

  • to consider initiating “infringement proceedings” against Turkey, thus demonstrating its determination against political persecution.

We call on the European Union

  • Consider initiating sanctions against those responsible for serious human rights violations in Turkey under the newly adopted human rights sanctions regime,
  • Anchor the modernization of the Customs Union to concrete improvements in democratic reforms in the areas of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the rule of law and a liberal civil society and pluralism.

We call on international NGOs to

  • Provide more resources to document ongoing human rights violations and practices in Turkey,
  • Consider forming a justice initiative to hold perpetrators accountable under the principle of global justice.
  • advocate before the European Union that perpetrators be sanctioned under the Union’s human rights sanctions regime.

[1] https://humanrights-ev.com/hexenjag-auf-die-gulen-bewegung/

[2] https://www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/son-dakika-ankarada-feto-operasyonu-bakan-soylu-543-kisi-yakalandi

[3] https://twitter.com/myeneroglu/status/1463974412311568386?s=20&t=wckLUQmrW70jYQZ6Fi8lGQ

[4]https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/Opinions/Session89/A_HRC_WGAD_2020_66.pdf Par.67

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS ON THE GREEK-TURKISH BORDER

On the occasion of the World Refugee Day 2022 we are publishing our new Report: Human Rights Violations on the Greek-Turkish Border & Testimonies of Push Back Victims. 

This report has been prepared to draw attention to the human rights violations that are occurring on the Turkish-Greek border, with a special focus on Turkish asylum seekers, who are trying to take refuge in European countries, fleeing from the AKP Government of the Republic of Turkey, which has recently become increasingly authoritarian. Turkey is gradually moving away from contemporary and institutional democratic values1,2 and is increasingly turning into a kleptocratic authoritarian country that is ruled by the oppression and unlawful practices of the AKP government. Treatment of dissident groups, especially that against members of the Gülen movement, Alevis and Kurds, has become intolerable. According to statistical data, since 2015, 2 million citizens have been investigated on the grounds of their membership of a terrorist organization. Furthermore, nearly 125,000 public officials have been dismissed from their duties, and 4,500 judges and prosecutors were summarily dismissed after the coup attempt in 20163. Executive control and political influence over the judiciary in Turkey has led to courts systematically accepting bogus indictments, detaining and convicting, without compelling evidence of criminal activity, individuals and groups that the Erdoğan government regards as political opponents4. This concern is also mentioned in the European Commission’s Turkey 2021 Report, in its country evaluation, under the section “Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights”5 . Furthermore, the United Nations (“UN”) Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has underlined the following: “The Working Group expresses grave concern about the pattern established by all these [FETO related] cases […] may constitute crimes against humanity”. It is worth emphasizing here that, under its decision, the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention not only found those measures to be illegal, but also considered them to be a “crime against humanity”6. Since they are not allowed to receive treatment, many prisoners have to try to survive, under difficult conditions, in prisons, and they cannot access adequate health services. People who belong to groups that are considered to be in opposition to the AKP Government under President Erdoğan are found guilty of completely legal acts, such as subscribing to certain newspapers and/ or magazines, being members of certain unions, associations, and foundations, making donations to specific social institutions, or even merely due to the schools that they attended. Opposition members living in Turkey, who find it hard to survive in these harsh conditions, are trying to seek political asylum in European countries by crossing to Greece via the Aegean Sea or the River Maritsa. These people are not economic refugees, but political refugees, who are seen as being enemies by Erdogan’s government. Although international human rights documents grant legal protection to persons with political refugee status, and although Greece, like all other European democracies, has ratified these agreements and included them in its domestic legal code, we are witnessing more frequent push back incidents on the Greek – Turkish border, such actions thus ending with the imprisonment of most Turkish asylum seekers, who are being pushed back into Turkish territory and into the hands of the Turkish security forces. As a result of this, they are being sentenced to prison in Turkey after they are caught. This report has been prepared in order to draw attention to the situations of those political refugees who are fleeing from Turkey, which is happening alongside the problem that Greece has been facing caused by economic migrants from the Middle East who are seeking asylum in EU countries. The current point that has been reached in the migrant crisis has been documented with the testimonies of the victims of these events and their close relatives, and the resulting texts speak of Greece’s concern to protect its borders, the legal situation and the guarantees made by international human rights documents and conventions for political refugees, the severe human rights violations that are experienced by Turkish political refugees, and the push-back experiences of those same asylum seekers who have tried to take refuge in Greece. Chapter 1: Executive Summary & Methodology 2 While there have been Turkish citizens who have drowned and lost their lives7 during these push-back events, there have even been people who, although they were citizens of European countries or had the legal right to reside in European countries8, were still pushed back into Turkey in violation of UN and European human rights accords. These include victims who are citizens of EU countries, such as Germany or France, who were not allowed to leave Turkey by legal means, and who, as a result, crossed the Turkish-Greek border by clandestine means in order to take refuge in Greece, and who were then pushed back into Turkey At the end of this report, we have tried to propose a humane migrant crisis management process by including suggestions that fall within the framework of the guarantees that have been brought by international law and universal human rights documents. This report has been prepared jointly by nongovernmental human rights organizations that are located in the European Union countries and in the United States of America. 

METHODOLOGY 

The events and narratives in this report have been prepared by interviewing victims who have experienced push-back from Greece into Turkey. Information about the identities of those people who are involved in the events that are mentioned in the report are kept confidential, and in the case that there is any international investigation or research, the identity and contact information relating to these victims will be shared with the relevant authorities. Some of the victims were able to evade capture by the Turkish security forces upon their forced return, but the majority of those Turkish citizens who have been pushed back over the border have been detained by Turkish security forces, and have eventually been arrested and incarceratedby the courts. The majority of these victims are still imprisoned. Based on letters that these victims have written from prison, or the letters and documents that they have sent to their relatives, all the events have been turned into written documents. A certain number of victims, after being pushed back during their first border crossing attempt, were finally successful as a result of their 2nd or 3rd attempts to cross the border did not have the consequence of their being caught and pushed back. Part of the narrative in this report is based on the testimonies of those people who were able to reach European countries without being caught by the Turkish and Greek security forces, and who have achieved residency status in Europe as a result of family reunification decisions. During the preparation of the report, the testimonies of those lawyers in Greece who represented political refugees from Turkey were also consulted. Above all, we would like to thank Rana Özcelik form the European Justice Initiative, who helped us in conducting the interviews. This report was written by Lawyers, Political Scientists and Journalists in both Europe and the United States. Dr. Mustafa Yasar Demircioglu HRD e.V. Law Commission

 

The Report in German Language: 

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.

Erdogan’s kidnapping network strikes in Kyrgyzstan Information statement on the kidnapping of Orhan İnandi – Bishkek/Kyrgyzstan

Berlin, June 1, 2021

With this statement we would like to inform you about the recent abduction cases of civilians of Turkish origin abroad by the Turkish Intelligence Service. Since the coup attempt in July 2016, the Turkish government has repeatedly attempted to intimidate or even eliminate supporters of the global Hizmet movement (“Gülen movement”) and opponents of the Erdogan regime through illegal means. Even abroad, Turkish intelligence has not shied away from kidnapping civilians.

The most recent cases of such abductions are Selahaddin Gülen and Orhan İnandi. On the morning of June 1, Orhan İnandı, the founder and president of the Turkish-Kyrgyz Sapat School Network operating in Kyrgyzstan, was abducted from his personal passenger car outside his own home. İnandı was last contacted by his family at 6 p.m. Monday. His car was found near his house with the doors open. His family immediately informed Kyrgyz police about the teacher’s disappearance and called for an urgent investigation.

In Kyrgyzstan, the Sapat network has been active in Kyrgyz education since 1992. Today, 30 percent of the school network’s shares belong to the Kyrgyz Republic. Within the school network there are 16 high schools, one international university, one international school and three elementary school.

İnandı had been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1995 and had been the president of the school network since 2001. According to the Sapat Schools, İnandı received the title of “Excellence in Education of the Kyrgyz Republic” and the Honorary Diploma of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2002, and the Medal of Gratitude of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2003 for his contribution to the improvement of the education system in the country. İnandı also holds citizenship of the Kyrgyz Republic.
According to İnandı’s family, there are reportedly two planes waiting at the airport in Bishkek and the Uzbek capital Tashkent that are not on the flight lists of any of the airlines operating at those airports, raising suspicions that these planes could be used to return the teacher to Turkey.

In early May, Erdoğan made a public rally that notable arrests would be made in a timely manner. According to a recent Freedom House report on global transnational repression, Turkey is the number one country that has conducted renditions from host states since 2014. The Turkish government has been persecuting its perceived enemies in at least 30 different countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia since July 2016. “Ankara’s campaign has primarily targeted people associated with religious leader Fethullah Gülen’s movement, which the government blames for the coup attempt,” the report states.

We hereby wish to create public awareness of human rights violations in the form of illegal abductions and kidnappings of people outside Turkey and welcome all forms of support and solidarity.

Erdogans Entführungsnetzwerk schlägt in Kirgisistan zu Informationsbekundung zur Entführung von Orhan İnandi – Bishkek/Kirgisistan

Wir möchten Sie über die jüngsten Entführungsfälle von türkischstämmigen Zivilisten im Ausland durch den Türkischen Geheimdienst in Kenntnis setzen. 

Die türkische Regierung versucht seit dem Putschversuch vom Juli 2016 immer wieder Anhänger der globalen Hizmet-Bewegung (“Gülen-Bewegung”) und Gegner des Erdogan-Regimes auf illegale Wege einzuschüchtern oder gar zu beseitigen. Selbst im Ausland hat der Türkische Geheimdienst keine Scheu davor, Zivilisten zu entführen.

Die jüngsten Fälle derartiger Entführungen sind Selahaddin Gülen und Orhan İnandi. Am Morgen des 1. Juni wurde Orhan İnandı, der Gründer und Präsident des in Kirgisistan tätigen türkisch-kirgisischen Sapat-Schulnetzwerks vor seinem eigenen Haus aus seinem persönlichen PKW entführt. İnandı wurde zuletzt am Montag um 18 Uhr von seiner Familie kontaktiert. Sein Auto wurde in der Nähe seines Hauses mit geöffneten Türen gefunden. Seine Familie informierte sofort die kirgisische Polizei über das Verschwinden des Lehrers und forderte eine dringende Untersuchung.

In Kirgisistan ist seit 1992 das Sapat-Netzwerk im kirgisischen Bildungswesen tätig. Heute gehören 30 Prozent der Anteile des Schulnetzwerks der Kirgisischen Republik. Im Rahmen des Schulnetzwerks gibt es 16 Gymnasien, eine internationale Universität, eine internationale Schule und drei Grundschulen.

İnandı war seit 1995 in Kirgisistan tätig und seit 2001 Präsident des Schulnetzwerks. Laut Aussage der Sapat-Schulen erhielt İnandı 2002 den Titel „Exzellenz in der Bildung der Kirgisischen Republik“ und das Ehrendiplom der Kirgisischen Republik, sowie 2003 die Dank-Medaille der Kirgisischen Republik für seinen Beitrag zur Verbesserung des Bildungssystems im Land. İnandı besitzt außerdem die Staatsbürgerschaft der Kirgisischen Republik.

Laut Angaben der Familie İnandı sollen am Flughafen von Bischkek und der usbekischen Hauptstadt Taschkent zwei Flugzeuge warten, die nicht auf den Fluglisten einer der an diesen Flughäfen tätigen Fluggesellschaften aufgeführt sind, was den Verdacht aufkommen lässt, diese Flugzeuge könnten verwendet werden, um den Lehrer in die Türkei zurückzubringen.

Anfang Mai machte Erdoğan öffentlich eine Kundgebung, dass zeitnah namhafte Festnahmen erfolgen würden. Laut einem kürzlich veröffentlichten Bericht von Freedom House über globale transnationale Repression ist die Türkei die Nummer eins unter den Ländern, die seit 2014 Überstellungen aus Gaststaaten durchgeführt haben. Die türkische Regierung verfolgt ihre vermeintlichen Feinde seit Juli 2016 in mindestens 30 verschiedenen Ländern in ganz Amerika, Europa, dem Nahen Osten, Afrika und Asien. „Ankaras Kampagne hat sich in erster Linie gegen Menschen gerichtet, die mit der Bewegung des religiösen Führers Fethullah Gülen verbunden sind, die die Regierung für den Putschversuch verantwortlich macht“, heißt es in dem Bericht.

Wir möchten hiermit eine öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit für die Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Form von illegalen Verschleppungen und Entführungen von Menschen außerhalb der Türkei schaffen und heißen jede Form der Unterstützung und Solidarisierung willkommen.

Human Rights Defenders e.V. – info@humanrights-ev.com

Berlin, 1. Juni 2021

UNLAWFULLNESS IN TURKEY

In this brochure; the violation of fundamental and

universal human rights such as the right to life, the right to respect for private and family life, the right to property and the right to a fair trial in Turkey are examined.

The findings in the brochure are presented chronologically, with

information compiled from reports of local and international institutions and open sources.

The study analyzes the period between 2013 – April 2021 to determine whether or not there is an independent and impartial judiciary and a fair trial in Turkey. Additionally, it reviews the outcomes of the political intervention in the judicial proceedings.

It also examines whether the current administration abuses the

international mechanisms to capture dissidents abroad and the

extradition requests lack legal basis and are politically motivated.

The data and examples published in the brochure have been selected among a large number of cases to show the whole framework.

Please use the link to get the full report: Unlawfulness in Turkey_Pages Final

Press Release: Immediate stop of violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

We are deeply concerned at the escalation of violence in the Palestinian territories and in Israel during the past days. We condemn in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism or violence and extend our condolences to the families of the victims on both sides.

We denounce the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip, directly harming civilians. These are criminal and unjustifiable acts. All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.

 

We also condemn the loss of hundreds of Palestinians, among them many women and children. While recognizing Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against any attacks, the Israeli military operation must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.

 

Bearing in mind that that the recent upsurge of violence in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza was triggered due to Israel’s settlement policy, we do stress that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law. The Israeli authorities should cease these activities and provide adequate permits for legal construction and development of Palestinian communities.

 

Furthermore, we appeal for full respect of the Holy Sites. Any changes in the status quo would only have seriously destabilizing effects on the already tense atmosphere.

 

We underline that any violent action can only fuel extremism on both sides; urging all parties to refrain from any action that would worsen the situation by way of incitement, provocation, excessive use of force or retaliation.

 

We call on political leaders from all sides to work together through visible actions to de-escalate the situation and stress that non-violent means and respect for human rights and humanitarian law are the only way to achieve a sustainable solution and a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Arbitrary mass arrests in Turkey

HRDfactsheet: 2021/1

POLITICAL PERSECUTION AGAINST
THE GÜLEN MOVEMENT

Since 2014, the Turkish state apparatus is willingly targeting the Gülen movement and its sympathizers. A notorious tool used by the Turkish security agencies authorities and the judiciary are the daily waves of arbitrary arrests and detentions of citizens allegedly having links to the Gülen Movement.

In total, more than 5,000 mass arrests operations have been carried out since 2014 and the number of jailed persons exceeds 123.000. On average, at least 3 mass-arrests operations with up to 70 detentions are executed on a daily base. 

In our factsheet we are showing some numbers, naming the reasons and drawing some recommendations to stop these arrests in Turkey.


To download our factsheet in English please use the following link. 

To download our factsheet in German please use the following link.

Open Letter to President Erdogan in Solidarity with Human Rights Activist and MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu

Together with the  International Observatory of Human Rights we, joined by scores of leading human rights organizations and esteemed members of civil society groups from across the world who have written this letter to express concerns about the current sheer human rights violations committed by Turkey against many individuals such as Mr. Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu. He is an honorable Turkish citizen who has been involved in tireless efforts to champion human rights in Turkey and continues to work with many institutions that share the same values and who are struggling to this end.

Gergerlioğlu, a human rights activist and an MP, was first threatened recently by Uşak Police Chief who accused him of involvement in “terrorism.” AKP Group Chairman Özlem Zengin and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu echoed the same baseless accusations—finger-pointing Mr. Gergelioglu denies categorically.

The fact remains that 23 female students who study at Uşak University had been subjected to strip searches on two separate incidents over a duration of five days during their detention starting from on August 31, 2020. This sheer violation of human rights drew strong condemnation on social media outlets once the strip searching of the ladies was revealed.

Mr. Gergerlioğlu relayed this news in the Turkish Parliament and called for an end to the unlawful practice of strip searches.

Two of the five women who were subjected to the strip searches revealed over social media the details of the atrocity they endured.

Countless human rights activists and appalled private citizens supported the victims and categorically denounced this unlawfulness which is no way is compatible with human dignity.

The strip searches conducted were supposedly conducted for “security reasons” by the Uşak Police.

We the signatories demand an effective investigation into this inhumane act.

MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, who brought the problem up in Parliament and made it public should not be subjected to serious accusations such as “involvement in terrorism” only because he is demanding justice and protection of the innocent women.

AKP Group Deputy Chair Özlem Zengin targeted MP Gergerlioğlu, and said; “So far, I have never seen a deputy who terrorizes the Parliament as much as Mr. Gergerlioğlu.”

Shortly after AKP statement was released, Uşak Police Chief Mesut Gezer released a threatening comment:

“We are here to fight with those who slander us, these sanguinaries who shed blood, … We will not let them breathe in this country.”

Following this statement, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu also pointed his fingers at Mr. Gergerlioglu, and said: “Indeed, this man is a terrorist, we have filed numerous complaints. I’m calling on the judiciary to do whatever is necessary about him. ”

Immediately afterwards, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that an investigation was launched against Gergerlioğlu and the people who voiced their support on social media.

The authors of this report would like to underline that we are seriously concerned about long-standing mass detentions and human rights violations in Turkey. Public officials are easily accusing human rights defenders and MPs of being “terrorists”.

IOHR and the signatories to this letter stand in solidarity with Mr. Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu. We call on the authorities in Turkey to investigate and stop all threats directed by public officials, politicians and prosecutors at Mr. Gergerlioğlu and other human rights defenders.

Signatories

  1. Dietmar KÖSTER, Member of European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Germany)
  2. Özlem DEMIREL, Member of European Parliament, The Left Group in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL (Germany)
  3. Rev. Dirk Ficca, Executive Director of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (USA)
  4. Sophie ROHONYI, Member of the Federal Parliament (Belgium)
  5. Christophe LACROIX, Member of the Federal Parliament (Belgium)
  6. Georges DALLEMAGNE, Member of the Federal Parliament (Belgium)
  7. Carlo SOMMARUGA, Senator (Switzerland)
  8. Gyde JENSEN, President of the German Bundestag Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid Commission (Germany)
  9. Sevim DAGDELEN, Die Linke, Chairwomen of the German-Turkish Parliamentary Friendship Group, Member of the German Parliament (Germany)
  10. Gokay AKBULUT, Die Linke, Member of the German Parliament (Germany)
  11. Andrej HUNKO, Member of the German Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Germany)
  12. Kai GEHRING, Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, Member of the German Parliament (Germany)
  13. Ulla JELPKE, Die Linke, Member of the German Parliament (Germany)
  14. Simone SUSSKIND, Member of the Brussels Parliament and the Federal State, Founder and Executive Director of Actions in the Mediterrenian (Belgium)
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  22. Pierre BAYENET, Parliamentarian and Lawyer, Geneva (Switzerland)
  23. Laurence FEHLMANN RIELLE, Member of the Swiss National Council, Chair of the Legal Affairs Commission (Switzerland)
  24. Sylvain THÉVOZ, Parliamentarian, Co-chairman of the City of Geneva Socialist Party (Switzerland)
  25. Jean-Charle RIELLE, Parliamentarian, Geneva (Switzerland)
  26. Emmanuel DEONNA, Parliamentarian, Geneva (Switzerland)
  27. Rémy PAGANI, Parliamentarian, Former Mayor of Geneva (Switzerland)
  28. Ingebjørg GODSKESEN, Member of the Norwegian Parliament and Former Rapporteur for Turkey from the Council of Europe (Norway)
  29. Lloyd RUSSELL, Brighton MP from the UK parliament (England)
  30. Caroline LUCAS, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion (England)
  31. Dr. Peter PILZ, Former Member of the Austrian Parliament (Austria)
  32. Elisabeth DECREY WARNER, Former President of the Parliament, Geneva (Switzerland)
  33. Jean-Marc DEVAUD, Former Mayor, Meyrin, Geneva (Switzerland)
  34. Abdullah DEMIRBAŞ, Former Mayor of the Municipality of Sur in the city of Diyarbakir (Turkey)
  35. Abdulhakim DAŞ, Former Deputy of HDP- Peoples’ Democratic Party (Turkey)
  36. Nesrin NAS, Former Deputy (Turkey)
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  38. Mahmut Alınak, Former Deputy (Turkey)
  39. Johan VANDE LANOTTE, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Professor, Ghent University (Belgium)
  40. Johan LEMAN, Emeritus Professor at KU Leuven, Former Director of Centre for Equal Opportunities and Fight against Racism (Belgium)
  41. Jean ZIEGLER, Emeritus Professor of the University of Geneva, Former Swiss Parliamentarian, Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (Switzerland)
  42. Hugues DUMONT, Professor at Saint-Louis University, Former Dean of the Faculty of Law of Saint-Louis University (Belgium)
  43. Burak ÇOPUR, Professor and Political Scientist (Germany)
  44. Ahmet AYKAÇ Professor of Economics, Founder, General Partner, and Chairman at ISTCAP Partners (France)
  45. Kisten GOVENDER, South African Legal Practice Council member (South Africa)
  46. Taner AKÇAM, Sociologist, Historian and Author, Professor at the University of Minnesota Shoah and Genocide Studies Center (Germany)
  47. Pascale VIELLE, Professor at UCLouvain and Member of the Scientific Committee of the “Center for Human Rights” at UCLouvain (Belgium)
  48. Prof. Dr. Gençay GÜRSOY, Chairman of the Turkish Medical Association Central Council (Turkey)
  49. Zacharie ZACHARIEV, Ph.D. at Paris Sorbonne and Sofia Universities, Former Director at UNESCO (France)
  50. Levent MAZILIGÜNEY, Ph.D., Attorney at Law, Human Rights Defender (Turkey)
  51. David A. KESSLER, Ph.D. – Kent State University (USA)
  52. Eric JEFFERIS, Ph.D. – Faculty Program Coordinator, Kent State University (USA)
  53. Sophia PANDYA, Professor, California State University at Long Beach (USA)
  54. Ramiro Jesús SANDOVAL, Professor at National Autonomous University of Mexico-UNAM (Mexico)
  55. Juan Manuel PORTILLA GÓMEZ, Professor at National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM (Mexico)
  56. Ori Z Soltes, Professor in the Theology department at Georgetown University (USA)
  57. Anne MORELLI, Professor at “Université libre de Bruxelles” and Belgian historian, specializing in the History of Religions and Minorities (Belgium)
  58. Hacer ANSAL, Professor of Isik University (Turkey)
  59. Kuvvet LORDOĞLU, Professor of Marmara University (Turkey)
  60. Nil MUTLUER, Researcher (Germany)
  61. Eric SOTTAS, Former Secretary General of the World Organization against Torture, OMCT (Switzerland)
  62. Ahmet INSEL, Economist, Editor, Journalist and Political Scientist (Turkey)
  63. Baskın ORAN, Academician, Political Scientist, Politician and Human Rights Activist (Turkey)
  64. Mehmet RASGELENER, Economist (Turkey)
  65. Onur HAMZAOĞLU, Doctor of Medicine (Turkey)
  66. Hakkı TAŞ, Doctor of Medicine (Turkey)
  67. İsmail BEŞIKÇI, Sociologist (Turkey)
  68. Kadir CANGIZBAY, Sociologist (Turkey)
  69. Murat BELGE, Academician, Translator, Literary Critic, Columnist, Civil Tights Activist and Turkish Tour Guide (Turkey)
  70. Binnaz TOPRAK, Academician and Former Deputy (Turkey)
  71. Muhammed YASIN, Academician and Activist (Turkey)
  72. Taner BAYRAK, Academician (Turkey)
  73. Semra SOMERSAN, Academician (Turkey)
  74. Mevlut ULGEN, Academician (Turkey)
  75. Serdar M. DEĞIRMENCIOĞLU, Academician and Writer (Turkey)
  76. Bülent BILMEZ, Academician and Writer (Turkey)
  77. Prof. Dr. Ümit CIZRE, Academician and Writer (Turkey)
  78. Sibel ÖZBUDUN, Academician, Writer, Human Rights Activist (Turkey)
  79. Carmen Monica CERCELESCU, Lawyer, Communication Specialist in Law, Communication Department Chief of The National Union of Romanian Bars (Romania)
  80. Fethiye ÇETIN, Lawyer, Writer, Human Rights Activist (Turkey)
  81. Sami EVREN, Former President of the Confederation of Public Workers Unions (Turkey)
  82. Akın ATALAY, Media Boss, Attorney (Turkey)
  83. Ahmet Hulusi KIRIM, Attorney at the Istanbul Bar (Turkey)
  84. Erdal DOĞAN, Attorney at the Istanbul Bar (Turkey)
  85. Ergin CINMEN, Lawyer (Turkey)
  86. Kemal AKKURT, Lawyer (Turkey)
  87. Mebuse TEKAY, Lawyer (Turkey)
  88. Şiar RIŞVANOĞLU, Lawyer (Turkey)
  89. Ziya BAYRAK, Lawyer (Turkey)
  90. Fethiye ÇETIN, Lawyer (Turkey)
  91. Konnan KOFFI, President of the International Observatory for Non-Violence (France)
  92. Akın BIRDAL, Politician and Human rights activist (Turkey)
  93. Aydın ENGIN, Journalist, Playwright, Screenwriter and Politician (Turkey)
  94. Ufuk URAS, Politician (Turkey)
  95. Ümit FIRAT, Politician (Turkey)
  96. Mehmet Nafiz KOÇ, Politician (Turkey)
  97. Eşber YAĞMURDERELI, Writer, Screenwriter, Poet, Short Story Writer, Activist (Turkey)
  98. Attila TUYGAN, Writer, Editor, Translator, Researcher and Human rights activist (Turkey)
  99. Orhan ALKAYA, Poet, Writer, Actor (Turkey)
  100. Vecdi SAYAR, Critic, Writer, Director (Turkey)
  101. Uğur AKER, Writer and Economist (Turkey)
  102. Prof. Dr. Eser KARAKAŞ, Writer and Economist (Turkey)
  103. Prof. Dr. İştar GÖZAYDIN, Professor for Law and Politics, Founder of Helsinki Citizens Assembly (Turkey)
  104. Cengiz AKTAR, Political Scientist, Journalist and Writer (Turkey)
  105. Erdoğan AYDIN, History Researcher, Journalist, Author (Turkey)
  106. Cumali UYAR, Journalist and Writer (Germany)
  107. Ercan İPEKÇI, Journalist and Lawyer (Turkey)
  108. Yalçın ERGÜNDOĞAN, Journalist and Writer (Turkey)
  109. Sengun KILIÇ, Journalist and Writer (Turkey)
  110. Doğan ÖZGÜDEN, Journalist and editor (Belgium)
  111. İnci HEKIMOĞLU, Journalist (Turkey)
  112. İnci TUĞSAVUL, Journalist (Belgium)
  113. Güngör ŞENKAL, Linguist and Writer (Austria)
  114. Temel DEMIRER, Writer and Human rights activist (Turkey)
  115. Ayşegül DEVECIOĞLU, Writer (Turkey)
  116. Fikret BAŞKAYA, Writer (Turkey)
  117. Mustafa PAÇAL, Writer (Turkey)
  118. Reyan TUVI, Writer (Turkey)
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  120. Pervin ERBIL, Writer (Turkey)
  121. Melek ULAGAY, Writer (Turkey)
  122. Ragıp ZARAKOLU, Writer (Turkey)
  123. Bülent TEKIN, Writer (Turkey)
  124. Nazar BÜYÜM, Writer (Turkey)
  125. Sait ÇETINOĞLU, Writer (Turkey)
  126. Babür PINAR, Poet, Writer (Turkey)
  127. Hanna BETH-SAWOCE, Writer (Sweden)
  128. Hovsep HAYRENI, Writer (Belgium)
  129. Necmiye ALPAY, Writer (Turkey)
  130. Viki ÇIPRUT, Writer (Turkey)
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  132. Nesteren DAVUTOĞLU, Writer (Turkey)
  133. Erdoğan KAHYAOĞLU, Writer (Turkey)
  134. Hakan TAHMAZ, Writer (Turkey)
  135. Recep MARAŞLI, Writer (Germany)
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  137. Şükrü HAMARAT, Building engineer (Turkey)
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  139. Haldun AÇIKSÖZLU, Movie director (Turkey)
  140. A. Serdar KOÇMAN, Sworn Translator (Turkey)
  141. Madiambal DIAGNE, President of the International Union of the Francophone Press (Senegal)
  142. Iulia NUELEANU, Journalist, Chief Editor, Former State Counsellor (Romania)
  143. Alev ER, Journalist (Turkey)
  144. Cengiz ÇANDAR, Journalist (Turkey)
  145. Necati ABAY, Journalist (Turkey)
  146. Bülent ATAMER, Journalist (Turkey)
  147. Valentin STELIAN BĂDESCU – Associate Scientific Researcher, Lawyer at Bucharest Bar (Romania)
  148. William C. PETERS, J.D., LL.M. – Coordinator for Legal Studies, SUNY Plattsburgh (USA)
  149. Audrey KESSLER, Owner of The Write Hand of Ohio (USA)
  150. İsmail Cem ÖZKAN, Graphic artist (Turkey)
  151. Walter VAN STEENBRUGGE, Partner at Van Steenbrugge Advocaten (Belgium)
  152. Johan HEYMANS, Partner at Van Steenbrugge Advocaten and Assistant at the University of Antwerp (Belgium)
  153. Constantin IONUT COJOCARU – University Lector, Journalist, History Researcher, President of the Glasul Istoriei Association (Romania)
  154. Fatma DIKMEN, Former KNK member (Turkey)
  155. François DE VARGAS, Former Secretary General of the Association for the Prevention of Torture-APT, Former Secretary of the NGO Public Eye (Switzerland)
  156. José L. GOMEZ DEL PRADO, International Human Rights Expert, Former Member UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries (Switzerland)
  157. Lars SEMMERUD, Administrative Leader at “Bydelsfedre” (Norway)
  158. Helga ØVSTHUS, Board Leader at “Unlimited” (Norway)
  159. Monica MARCELLA, Board Leader at “La Humla Suse” (Norway)
  160. Amina FRENSE, Founder-Director of South African Editor’s Forum (South Africa)
  161. Felix KAIZA, Independent Media Consultant (Tanzania)
  162. Mehmet ÖZER, Artist (Turkey)
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  164. Ferhat TUNÇ, Artist (Turkey)
  165. Şanar YURDATAPAN, Composer, Songwriter, Human Rights Advocate (Turkey)
  166. Isaac LONGWE, Human Rights Defender, Amnesty International (East Africa)
  167. Halil SAVDA, Human Rights Defender (Turkey)
  168. Zeynep TANBAY, Human Rights Defender (Turkey)
  169. Pınar ÖMEROĞLU, Human Rights Defender (Turkey)
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  171. Ali GÖKKAYA, Human Rights Defender (Turkey)
  172. Esra KOÇ, Human Rights Defender (Turkey)
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  174. Hanife YÜKSEL, Human Rights Defender (Turkey)
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  177. Mehmet ULUIŞIK, Human Rights Defender (Germany)
  178. Habib MIRADJI, Director of Azaniapost operating in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
  179. José Oswaldo URBINA PEREZ, Cruz Saco Educational Institution General Manager, Lima Chamber of Commerce Education Commission Member (Republic of Peru)
  180. William CARREÑO PÉREZ, Education Commission Advisor of the Congress of the Republic of Peru (Republic of Peru)
  181. Aaron COHEN (USA)
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  195. German Institute for Global and Area Studies (Germany)
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Die Verhaftung von 48 Rechtsanwälte*innen und 7 Rechtsreferendar*innen in Ankara (11 September 2020) und die Verhaftung von 32 Rechtsanwälte*innen in Izmir (22 September 2020)

Dieser Artikel wurde von Lawyers in Exile vorbereitet und von Human Rights Defenders e.V. übersetzt

Mit der neuen Gesetzgebung bezüglich der Anwaltskammern, und der Rede Präsident Erdogans an der Jahresauftakt Veranstaltung der Justiz mit den Sätzen „Es ist nicht möglich das Anwälte die Terroristen verteidigen auch so agieren. Wenn sie doch noch dies tun müssen sie einen Preis dafür bezahlen“  gab Präsident Erdogan das Signal für eine neue Phase der Unterdrückung und Verfolgung von Anwälte*innen. Kurz nach dieser Rede beschloss die Staatsanwaltschaft von Ankara heute (11. September 2020), 48 Anwälte, 7 Rechtsreferendar*innen, 4 zuvor entlassene Richter*innen und einen Juristen wegen „Mitgliedschaft in einer terroristischen Vereinigung“ festzunehmen.

Zehn Tage nach dieser Entscheidung, am 22. September 2020, ordnete die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft von Izmir die Inhaftierung von 32 Anwälte*innen an, darunter Studenten der Rechtswissenschaftlichen Fakultät. Die festgenommenen Personen werden voraussichtlich 12 Tage lang in U-Haft sein und erst danach vor Gericht gestellt.

Anwälte und Juristen, die in den Operationen inhaftiert sind, sowie andere Anwälte, die möglicherweise in Istanbul und anderen Provinzen der Türkei inhaftiert werden sollen, werden festgenommen, weil sie als Anwälte derer auftreten, die nach Ansicht der Regierung Dissidenten sind und der Beteiligung am „Terrorismus“ beschuldigt werden.

Bei der von der Staatsanwaltschaft von Ankara durchgeführten Operation wurde gesagt, dass die Anwälte und Rechtspraktikanten 24 Stunden lang niemanden sehen dürften und sie entgegen dem Gesetz 12 Tage lang festgehalten würden. Zu den Informationen gehörte auch, dass es während der Durchsuchungs- und Haftverfahren zu Unregelmäßigkeiten kam und dass Anwältinnen trotz mangelnden Widerstands von hinten mit Handschellen gefesselt wurden.

39 der in Ankara inhaftierten Anwälte*innen wurden am letzten Tag (12. Tag) ihrer Haftzeit mit einem Antrag auf Festnahme an das Friedensstrafgericht verwiesen. Nach der Erklärung, die am Mittwoch, dem 23. September, bis 05:00 Uhr dauerte, beschloss der 3. Friedensstrafgericht von Ankara, 6 Anwälte zu verhaften, 15 Anwälte mit elektronischen Handschellen unter Hausarrest zu stellen und 18 Anwälte müssen Verwaltungsmaßnahmen (zweimal in der Woche sich bei der zuständigen Polizeidirektion melden).

39 Anwälte wurden aufgrund ihrer beruflichen Tätigkeit ihrer Freiheit beraubt. Die Anwälte wurden wegen ihrer beruflichen Tätigkeit und der Ausübung ihrer Tätigkeit, welche sie gemäß den internationalen Normen ausübten, befragt was wiederrum als Beweis für eine Straftat aufgewiesen wurden. Die Befragung, Inhaftierung oder Verhaftung der Anwälte aus diesen Gründen ist ebenfalls ein Verstoß gegen die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention.

Einige dieser Fragen wurden als Rechtfertigung für die Verhaftung und den Hausarrest der Anwälte*innen gestellt:

  • Wo, wann und in welcher Anwaltskanzlei haben Sie Ihr Rechtspraktikum absolviert?
  • Haben Sie einen Partneranwalt in Ihrer Anwaltskanzlei?
  • Haben Sie jemals in einer anderen Anwaltskanzlei gearbeitet?
  • Welche Art von Fällen nehmen Sie an?
  • Wie viele Fälle haben Sie bisher aufgenommen, wie viele davon sind FETO-Mitglieder?
  • Wie lautet die Adresse Ihrer Anwaltskanzlei?
  • Wie erreichen / finden Ihre Kunden Sie?
  • Schließen Sie einen Vertrag mit Ihren Kunden ab?
  • Wie viele Verträge haben Sie bisher abgeschlossen?
  • Wie zahlen Ihre Kunden Ihre Gebühr?
  • Geben Sie Ihren Kunden eine Zahlungsquittung?
  • Was ist Ihre durchschnittliche Gebühr? Wie bestimmen Sie die Gebühr?
  • Warum haben Sie keine Zahlung von einem bestimmten Kunden erhalten?
  • Warum schlagen Sie Ihren Kunden vor, ihre Aussage zu ändern?
  • Welche Schulen, Kurse und Vorbereitungsschulen haben Sie während Ihrer Ausbildung besucht?
  • Welche Schulen, Kurse und Vorbereitungsschulen haben Ihr Ehepartner und Ihre Kinder besucht?
  • Verwenden Sie Social Media-Plattformen?
  • Wenn ja, welche sozialen Netzwerke nutzen Sie und seit wann?
  • Welche Arten von Posts teilen Sie?

Wie aus diesen Fragen hervorgeht, wurde eine Terroruntersuchung gegen die Anwälte wegen ihrer beruflichen Tätigkeit eingeleitet. Sie wurden von Hunderten von Polizisten festgenommen. Die Entscheidungen über Festnahme und Hausarrest wurden ausschließlich aufgrund der Aktivitäten der Anwälte getroffen.

Es ist ohne Zweifel, dass die breite Interpretation der Definition von „Terror“ in der Türkei politisch ist, und als Instrument von der Regierung benutzt wird, um die kritische Stimmen zum Schweigen zu bringen und die Opposition zu unterdrücken.[1] Diejenigen, die im Rahmen der anti-Terror Gesetzte verhaftet, inhaftiert und verurteilt werden, sind entgegen der Behauptungen der Regierung nur aufgrund ihrer politischen Ansichten und ihrer Kritik an der Regierung solchen rechtswidrigen Handlungen ausgesetzt.[2]

Nach dem Putschversuch in 2016 wurden mehrere hunderte Anwälte*innen politisch verfolgt und verhaftet. Es begann mit der Konya Anwaltskammer und verbreitete sich landesweit immer intensiver.[3] Bis zum heutigen Tag, wurden 1600 Anwälte*innen festgenommen, 600 wurden verhaftet und 441 sind wegen „Mitgliedschaft in einer Terrororganisation“ verurteilt.[4]

Die Verfolgungen und Verhaftungen von Rechtsanwälte*innen, dient für den Zweck die Anwälte*innen zum Schweigen zu bringen, welche die Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Folterfälle der Sicherheitsbehörden in der Türkei vor Gericht tragen und veröffentlichen und damit zu bekämpfen versuchen. 

Die Verfolgung von Anwälten erleichtert Folter und Misshandlung von Inhaftierten und hindert sie daran, die Achtung ihrer grundlegenden Menschenrechte zu verlangen.

Die Tatsache, dass die fraglichen Festnahmen in Ankara durchgeführt wurden[5], die die höchste Anzahl von COVID-19-Infektionen hat, ist ein weiterer Grund zur Sorge. Dies geschah zu einem Zeitpunkt, als der Europarat und die Menschenrechtsorgane der Vereinten Nationen betont haben, dass Haftmaßnahmen wie Verhaftung und Inhaftierung während der Pandemie nicht durchgeführt werden sollten, es sei denn, solche Maßnahmen sind absolut notwendig.

Gemäß den UN-Grundprinzipien zur Rolle der Rechtsanwälte, müssen Regierungen sicherstellen, dass die Anwälte*innen:

a) in der Lage sind, alle ihre beruflichen Funktionen ohne Einschüchterung, Behinderung, Belästigung oder unsachgemäße Einmischung wahrzunehmen,

b) keine strafrechtlichen oder administrativen, wirtschaftlichen oder sonstigen Sanktionen für Maßnahmen erleiden oder angedroht werden, die im Einklang mit anerkannten beruflichen Pflichten, Normen und ethischen Pflichten ergriffen werden,

c) dürfen nicht mit ihren Mandanten oder den Ursachen ihrer Mandanten infolge der Wahrnehmung ihrer Aufgaben identifiziert werden.

Diese Garantien sind kein professioneller Luxus, der Anwälten gewährt wird, sondern eine Notwendigkeit, die Rechte und Freiheiten des Einzelnen zu schützen. Daher sind strafrechtliche Ermittlungen gegen Rechtsanwälte im Rahmen eines besonderen Verfahrens (das zusätzliche Sicherheitsvorkehrungen beinhaltet) durchzuführen, solange es nicht zu einer Situation von “flagrante delicto” kommt.

Wie der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (in den Rechtssachen Alparslan Altan + Hakan Bas gegen die Türkei) festgestellt hat, verstößt die Auslegung und Anwendung von flagrante delicto durch die türkische Justiz gegen den Grundsatz der Rechtmäßigkeit und des Rechts auf Freiheit. Dementsprechend stellt die Massenverhaftung von Anwälten mit Polizeirazzien, die seit dem 15. Juli [2016] eine neue Normalität geworden ist, einen offensichtlichen Verstoß gegen das Gesetz dar.

Die Inhaftierung von 60 Anwälte*innen und Jurist*innen, von denen die meisten Frauen sind, ist ein wichtiger Teil des Ziels der Regierung, Anwälte zum Schweigen zu bringen. Wenn man darüber schweigt, werden alle Bürger ihrer Rechte und Freiheiten beraubt.


[1] See: https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=25482

[2] https://arrestedlawyers.org/2020/07/06/abuse-of-the-anti-terrorism-laws-by-turkey-is-steadily-increasing/

“… statistics highlight that Turkish public prosecutors have filed more than 392,000 charges under Article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code within the last seven-years. What is worse, between 2016 and 2019 more than 220,000 individuals have been sentenced for membership of an armed terrorist organisation.”

[3] https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/turkey0419_web.pdf

[4] https://arrestedlawyers.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/mass-prosecution-of-lawyers-in-turkey-aug-2020.pdf

[5] https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/capital-ankara-has-the-highest-number-of-confirmed-cases-in-turkey-minister-157927