AMENDMENT PROPOSALS for the DRAFT REPORT on the 2019-2020 Commission Reports on Turkey (2019/2176(INI))

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Broken Chalk is a human rights organization and mainly concentrates on violations in the educational field. We were acting as a platform; however, we became a fully registered organization in the Netherlands in October 2020.

Our team has prepared some amendment proposals for the Draft Report on the 2019-2020 Commission Reports on Turkey by European Parliament that we would like to present to you and your office.

As mentioned in the Draft Report, the relationship between the EU and Turkey is now at its lowest point. The number of human rights violations in Turkey is increasing day by day. As you may observe, the number of people facing human rights violations in Turkey is much more than known ever.

It is mentioned in the European Commission Turkey 2020 Report that Turkey has prioritized the fight against the dismantling of the Gülen movement.[1]

Interior Minister for Turkey, Soylu said, “Since 15 July 2016, 99 thousand 66 operations have been carried out, 282 thousand 790 detentions and 94 thousand 975 arrests have been carried out. The number of people who are still detained under this crime is 25 thousand 912”.[2] The only evidence for most of the above cases is to have a link with the Gülen movement.[3]

European Court for Human Rights agreed with the Turkish Government. To stop the court from being overwhelmed, in January 2017, Turkey would establish an Inquiry Commission on the State of Emergency to provide a judicial review level to those dismissed by decree during the state of emergency period.[4] As of 3 July 2020, 126,300 applications were made to the Commission, and decisions were issued in 108,200 cases. Of those, 96,000 were rejected – meaning the original decree decision was upheld – and in 12,200 cases, the application for appeal was accepted.[5]

At this point, we would like to present our amendments for the Draft Report; we hope that you will work for the European Parliaments to add the following amendments to the Report.

Proposals for The rule of law and fundamental rights

 Amendment  1

Present Text Text with Amendment
(8)        Is appalled by the serious backsliding on fundamental freedoms revealing the dire human rights situation in Turkey and the continued erosion of democracy and the rule of law; (8)        Is appalled by the serious backsliding on fundamental freedoms revealing the dire human rights situation in Turkey and the continued erosion of democracy and the rule of law; since 15 July 2016, 99 thousand 66 operations have been carried out, 282 thousand 790 detentions and 94 thousand 975 arrests have been carried out. The number of people who are still detained under this crime[6] is 25 thousand 912.[7] To have alleged affiliation with the Gülen movement should not be taken as a crime.[8] To be a member of a legal but closed association should not be taken perceived to be opposing the Government.[9]

Amendment  2

Present Text Text with Amendment
(10)      Notes with deep concern that, despite the formal lifting of the state of emergency in July 2018, its impact on democracy and fundamental rights continues to be strongly felt;. (10)      Notes with deep concern that, despite the formal lifting of the state of emergency in July 2018, its impact on democracy and fundamental rights continues to be strongly felt. Since July 2016, authorities have published lists of those dismissed from public service and put markers against them in the state social insurance system’s registration system (SGK). Those people have been legally banned from working in public sector again; marking them in the SGK system significantly reduces their chances of finding alternative employment in private sector and stigmatizes them socially.[10] The government has seized or appointed administrators for approximately 1,000 businesses, worth an estimated USD12 billion, accused of having links to the Gülen movement[11] including private schools, 16[12] universities and educational intuitions (2761 entities were closed down[13]). To handover, back these companies and intuitions to their owners.

 

Amendment  3

Present Text Text with Amendment
(11)      Deeply regrets that this repressive form of rule has now become a deliberate, relentless, systematic state policy, which extends to any critical activities, such as Kurdish activism, or even to events that took place prior to the attempted coup, such as the Gezi protests; (11)      Deeply regrets that this repressive form of rule has now become a deliberate, relentless, systematic state policy, which extends to any critical activities, such as Kurdish activism, to defend the rights of members or sympathizers of Gülen Movement, or even to events that took place prior to the attempted coup, such as the Gezi protests;

Amendment  4

Present Text Text with Amendment
(12)      Regrets that the current overly broad anti-terrorism provisions and the abuse of the anti-terror measures have become the backbone of this state policy; reiterates its firm condemnation of the violence by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2002; (12)      Regrets that the current overly broad anti-terrorism provisions and the abuse of the anti-terror measures have become the backbone of this state policy; in which 69,259 people have been on trial, and 155,560 people have been under criminal investigation on terrorism charges in cases linked to the Gülen movement, which Turkish authorities deems this movement as a terrorist organization, and 29,487 of those have been held in prison either on remand or following conviction;[14] reiterates its firm condemnation of the violence by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2002;

Amendment  5

Present Text Text with Amendment
(13)      Considers that the erosion of the rule of law and the systemic lack of independence of the judiciary continues to be one of the most pressing and worrying issues; condemns the increased surveillance by the executive and the political pressure affecting the work of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and bar associations; (13)      Considers that the erosion of the rule of law and the systemic lack of independence of the judiciary continues to be one of the most pressing and worrying issues; condemns the increased surveillance by the executive and the political pressure affecting the work of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and bar associations; in some cases higher courts correct excesses of prosecutors and lower courts, but these higher court judgments arrive too late to mitigate the chilling effect caused by the criminal proceedings.[15]

Amendment  6

Present Text Text with Amendment
(14)      Is deeply worried about the disregard by the Turkish judiciary of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rulings and the increasing non-compliance of lower courts with the judgments of the Constitutional Court; (14)      Is deeply worried about the disregard by the Turkish judiciary of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rulings and the increasing non-compliance of lower courts with the judgments of the Constitutional Court; Former deputy chief justice of Turkey’s Constitutional Court Alparslan Altan is still behind the bars despite the decision of ECtHR.[16]

Amendment  7

Present Text Text with Amendment
(17)      Notes with great concern the way that the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) has been specifically and continuously targeted by the Turkish authorities; strongly condemns the continued detention of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş; (17)      Notes with great concern the way that the Gülen movement and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) have been specifically and continuously targeted by the Turkish authorities; strongly condemns the continued detention of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas;

Amendment  8

Present Text Text with Amendment
(18)      Calls on Turkey to release all    imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, academics and others who have been detained on unsubstantiated charges and to enable them to carry out their work without threat or impediment in all circumstances; strongly condemns the re-arrest and continued detention of Osman Kavala, a prominent civil society figure;

 

 

(18)      Calls on Turkey to release all imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, academics, teachers, mothers with their babies[17] and others who have been detained on unsubstantiated charges, who did not commit any crime other than being affiliated with groups the regime sees as political threats[18] and to enable them to carry out their work without threat or impediment in all circumstances; strongly condemns the re-arrest and continued detention of Osman Kavala, a prominent civil society figure; of Memduh Boydak, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Closed Melikşah University, Tekin Ipek brother to Hamdi Akin Ipek, founder of Closed Ipek University and Prof. Sedat Laciner, former rector of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. To release the 1333 sick prisoners, 457 of which are in severe conditions.[19] To release Journalist Hanım Büşra Erdal eligible for release on probation according to Turkish legislation on sentences’ execution.[20]

 

Proposals for Wider EU-Turkey relations and Turkish foreign policy

Amendment  9

Present Text Text with Amendment
(35-NEW)

 

 

(35-NEW)   Turkish Government puts pressure on authorities in the Western Balkans to extradite alleged participants of the Gülen movement and seize the educational institutions known as affiliated with the Gülen Movement. Kosovo[21], Albania[22], and Moldova[23] extradite some people to Turkey; to stop the pressure in the Western Balkan countries on educational institutions[24] to seize them.

We kindly propose and request the amendments above to be included in the Final Report. If you need more information or explanation on any of the amendments above, we are always ready to supply.

 

Broken Chalk

 

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/turkey_report_2020.pdf

[2] https://tr.sputniknews.com/turkiye/202007151042459379-soylu-15-temmuz-2016dan-bu-yana-282-bin-790-gozalti-ve-94-bin-975-tutuklama-gerceklestirildi/

[3] https://www.dfat.gov.au/sites/default/files/country-information-report-turkey.pdf

[4] https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/COUNTRY_19_2781

[5] https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/COUNTRY_19_2781

[6] Soylu said in his speech in the scope of the fight against Gulen movement, Soylu did not state against the coup attack.

[7] https://tr.sputniknews.com/turkiye/202007151042459379-soylu-15-temmuz-2016dan-bu-yana-282-bin-790-gozalti-ve-94-bin-975-tutuklama-gerceklestirildi/

[8] https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2020/06/10/Why-is-Turkey-s-Erdogan-persecuting-the-Gulen-movement-

[9] https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/turkey_report_2020.pdf

[10] https://www.dfat.gov.au/sites/default/files/country-information-report-turkey.pdf

[11] https://www.dfat.gov.au/sites/default/files/country-information-report-turkey.pdf

[12] Known as 15 but recently The Şehir University in Istanbul was closed by a presidential decree of 30 June 2020.

[13] https://rm.coe.int/report-on-the-visit-to-turkey-by-dunja-mijatovic-council-of-europe-com/168099823e

[14] https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/turkey

[15] https://rm.coe.int/report-on-the-visit-to-turkey-by-dunja-mijatovic-council-of-europe-com/168099823e

[16] https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-constitutional-courts-new-mission-is-to-ignore-unlawful-acts-and-to-legitimize-them-says-jailed-former-deputy-chief-justice/

[17] Today, at least 743 children below the age of six live behind bars in Turkey. About half have not even reached the age of 3, says Saban Yilmaz, who heads the parliamentary human rights commission. From https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-babies-behind-bars/a-49320769

[18] https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/turkey-covid-19-prisoners-release/

[19] https://m.bianet.org/bianet/insan-haklari/207245-ihd-hapishanelerde-457-si-agir-1333-hasta-mahpus-var

[20] https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-authorities-refuse-to-release-political-prisoners-who-served-their-prison-times/

[21] https://br.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-kosovo-idUSKBN1H51JL

[22] https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/turkey_report_2020.pdf

[23] http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/fre?i=001-193614

[24] https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/albania-closes-schools-run-by-feto-terror-group/1985350

8 MARCH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DAY’S IN AMSTERDAM

 8 Mart 2020 / AMSTERDAM



Since July 15, 2016, Turkey’s already fraying democratic mechanisms have reached the brink of collapse due to the administration’s collective persecution of all political opponents and critics. In the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in 2016, the Turkish government arrested, detained, sacked, and tortured hundreds of thousands of innocent people without due process in the arbitrary name of rooting out “terrorism.”
The government’s heavy-handed persecution has reached the lives of thousands of women, along with their infants and children in many cases. The current administration uses arbitrary arrests and lengthy pretrial detentions to imprison courageous women who have opposed oppression in their own capacity. Today, the number of women arbitrarily incarcerated as political prisoners stands at more than 11,000 with a staggering increase in the number of new victims. Among those persecuted are more than 780 mothers who have been imprisoned with their infants and numerous others who have been violently separated from their children. In Turkey, imprisoned women, and prisoners of conscience in particular, live in unsanitary prisons and are denied their rights to nutritional food, access to basic and complex healthcare, and feminine hygiene products.



We,as Broken Chalk Platform, stand for the rights of the women victims of the ongoing persecution in Turkey. We demand the freedom of innocent women jailed in Turkey and the protection of the rights of incarcerated women.
On this day, March 8, we proclaim our sincerest support for #IWD2020 as human rights advocates concerned for women’s rights in Turkey and the rest of the world. Along with millions of others united in spirit on International Women’s Day, we demand an equal and enabled world for women.

BROKEN CHALK / NEDERLAND

Broken Chalk: Not Only Prepare the Reports but Also Follow Them Up

As Broken Chalk volunteers, we did not only submit the reports but also followed up.

Our actions were,

We attended the 35th UPR Pre-Session Turkey in December 2019 in Geneva. Try to get in touch with the permanent missions of each country that are present in the meeting. We present our factsheet to the permanent missions. Moreover, give more information on human rights violations in Education in Turkey. We had a short meeting with some countries like Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg.

We send an e-mail to all permanent missions of UN member countries about our submissions.

We attended the 35th UPR Session Turkey in January 2020 in Geneva to see the effect of our works on the recommendations of each country. Moreover, we had a meeting with some countries such as Germany, Iceland, Denmark, Fiji, Croatia, Norway, Italy, and many more countries. We handover our factsheets directly over 30 countries.

In the end, Turkey received 321 recommendations from 124 countries and did not accept 19 of the recommendations.

20 December UN International Human Solidarity Day in Amsterdam

20 December 2019 / Amsterdam



Today, we are gathered regarding 20 December United Nations Humanitarian Solidarity Day. As International Broken Chalk Platform, we are hereby to be the voice of all educators, students and all humanity who have been deprived of their lives as a result of pressures or wars, who have not been able to reach equal and quality education in the world, who cannot live in peace and justice, who have been prisoned unlawfully, who have been subjected to torture, and who have lost their lives as a result of pressu res or wars.

In all around the world, millions of people have been forced to leave their countries as a result of many unlawfulness and wars, where all these people started to live as refugees in the countries that they apply for asylum. In recent years, thousands of Turkish educators and other professionals, including us, have been forced to become refugees in Europe and other countries as a result of the oppression of Erdogan regime.

Turkey’s Erdogan Regime has put into practice its aimed dictatorial regime with more confidence day by day with the help of the so-called coup attempt on 15 July and the State of Emergency, which are followed by many unjust practices. By violating the principle of separation of powers, impartiality and independence of the jurisdiction, the Erdogan Regime desires to control all the opponents, especially Kurds, Alevis, Liberals and Hizmet movement.

There are 54 documented, suspicious death incidents in prisons. Those were apparently caused by torture and lack of medical care. For instance, Gökhan Açıkkollu died under detention due to torture. His medication was not provided, and the images of his death were published on social media.

Due to unlawful and injustice practices of the current government, hundreds and thousands of people had to leave their country illegally by risking their lives. However, there are many people lost their lives during their journeys across the Aegean Sea and Evros River

As a result of unlawful and fascist practices of the Erdogan regime, 780 babies are kept in prison together with their mothers. In addition, there are thousands of babies and children struggling for life under difficult conditions due to both mothers’ and fathers’ are prisoned at the same time.

Since 2016, there have been 29 abduction incidents in Turkey so far. However, abductions operated by Erdogan Regime are not limited to the borders of Turkey; they have been others targeting the educators living abroad. The Turkish Foreign Minister has been boastful about the abduction of 100 people from 18 countries by the Turkish National Intelligence Agency. These people are known to have been exposed to severe torture. Teachers and other professionals have been abducted in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Albania, Bulgaria, Gabon, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan and Qatar.

In the past, Turkey’s Erdogan regime, who wants to be the member of the European Union, labelled people as terrorist to those who were helping people and put those people in prison. And also today, people are found guilty and are imprisoned just because they are helping people by the same regime.

Changing the conditions of today’s world – particularly difficult conditions that we come across in Turkey, announcing these to humanity and ensuring the rule of law is only possible through the solidarity of the humanity.

Broken Chalk /NEDERLAND – @BrokenChalkNL