CASE OF TURAN AND OTHERS v. TURKEY – a summary of the case

The case highlighted applications mainly concern the arrest and pre-trial detention of the applicants – all of whom were sitting as judges or prosecutors at different types and/or levels of court.

Background to the case were as follows:

  1. During the night of 15 to 16 July 2016 a group of members of the Turkish armed forces calling themselves the “Peace at Home Council” attempted to carry out a military coup aimed at overthrowing the democratically installed National Assembly, government and President of Turkey.
  2. The day after the attempted military coup, the national authorities blamed the attempt on the network linked to Fetullah Gülen, a Turkish citizen living in Pennsylvania (United States of America) and considered to be the leader of FETÖ/PDY.

 

  1. On 16 July 2016 the Bureau for Crimes against the Constitutional Order at the Ankara public prosecutor’s office initiated a criminal investigation ex proprio motu into, inter alios, the suspected members of FETÖ/PDY within the judiciary. According to the information provided by the Government, this investigation against judges and prosecutors, including members of high courts, was initiated in accordance with the provisions of the ordinary law, on the ground that there had been a case of discovery in flagrante delicto falling with the jurisdiction of the assize courts.

 

 

  1. instructions issued to the Directorate General of Security on the same day, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor noted that the offence of attempting to overthrow the government and the constitutional order by force was still ongoing and that there was a risk that members of the FETÖ/PDY terrorist organisation who were suspected of committing the offence in question might flee the country. He asked the Directorate General of Security to contact all the regional authorities with a view to taking into police custody all the judges and public prosecutors whose names were listed in the appendix to the instructions – including some of the applicants –, and to ensure that they were brought before a public prosecutor to be placed in pre-trial detention under Article 309 of the Criminal Code.
  2. On 20 July 2016 the Government declared a state of emergency for a period of three months as from 21 July 2016; the state of emergency was subsequently extended for further periods of three months by the Council of Ministers.

 

  1. During the state of emergency, the Council of Ministers passed several legislative decrees under Article 121 of the Constitution (see Baş, cited above, § 52). One of them, Legislative Decree no. 667, published in the Official Gazette on 23 July 2016, provided in its Article 3 that the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (Hakimler ve Savcılar Yüksek Kurulu ‑“the HSYK”) was authorised to dismiss any judges or prosecutors who were considered to belong or to be affiliated or linked to terrorist organisations or organisations, structures or groups found by the National Security Council to have engaged in activities harmful to national security.

 

  1. On 18 July 2018 the state of emergency was lifted.

 

 

Actions against judges/prosecutors by the Turkish state:

Laws under which the Turkish state took action:

The following laws were used to take action against the prosecutors / judges by the Turkish state.

Investigation

Section 76

  1. The initial investigation in respect of offences committed by the President, the Chief Public Prosecutor, the deputy presidents, the chamber presidents and the members of the Supreme Administrative Court in connection with or in the course of their official duties shall be conducted by a committee composed of a chamber president and two members selected by the President of the Supreme Administrative Court.

 

The procedure for the prosecution of personal offences

Section 82

  1. The proceedings regarding the personal offences committed by the President, the Chief Public Prosecutor, the deputy presidents, the chamber presidents and the members of the Supreme Administrative Court shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions concerning the personal offences committed by the President, the Chief Public Prosecutor and the members of the Court of Cassation.

 

Outcome of the Judicial action by the Turkish state against prosecutors/ judges:

The Turkish state has taken judicial action against prosecutors/judges concerning the arrest and pre-trial detention of the applicants.

 

In the case Turan vs The State of Turkey the court noted the following:

 

  1. Decides, unanimously, to join the applications;
  2. Declares, unanimously, the complaint under Article 5 § 1 of the Convention concerning the lawfulness of the applicants’ initial pre-trial detention admissible;
  3. Holds, unanimously, that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention on account of the unlawfulness of the initial pre-trial detention of the applicants who were ordinary judges and prosecutors at the time of their detention;
  4. Holds, unanimously, that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention on account of the unlawfulness of the initial pre-trial detention of the applicants who were members of the Court of Cassation or the Supreme Administrative Court at the time of their detention;
  5. Holds, by six votes to one, that there is no need to examine the admissibility and merits of the applicants’ remaining complaints under Article 5 of the Convention;
  6. Holds, unanimously,

(a) that the respondent State is to pay each of the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 5,000 (five thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and costs and TURAN AND OTHERS v. TURKEY JUDGMENT 29 expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable on these amounts, which are to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;

  1. Dismisses, unanimously, the remainder of the applicants’ claim for just satisfaction. Done in English, and notified in writing on 23 November 2021, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

 

The state of judges/prosecutors in Turkey – a summary:

 

The actions by the Turkish state shows that its actions to initiate actions against Judges/prosecutors was arbitrary. This is why the court decided to impose fines on such actions. While, military coup is definitely hostile action against the executive, the arrest of judges and prosecutors were broad and arbitrary in its scope. Judges and Prosecutors are representatives of the critical third pillar of a country that is the Judiciary. Judiciary often acts as a check against overreach by the executive and legislature. In this way it ensures that people’s fundamental rights do not get trampled due to the actions of legislature/ executive whether knowingly/unknowingly.

 

The state of judges/ prosecutors in Turkey can be seen as vulnerable. The judges are vulnerable to actions by the Turkish state which believes in detention, arrest of judges without verifiable reason. This may be of significant concern because it leads to chilling stifling of judicial independence. The fundamental fact is that after the 2016 coup the arrest of prosecutors/ judges were based on suspicions of being a part of a movement that was allegedly responsible for a coup overthrowing the executive. While, overthrowing of a democratically elected government cannot be justified, the arrest of all judges who a part of a particular list shows a lack of respect for established forms. The Turkish government decided to ask the Directorate General of Security to contact all the regional authorities with a view to taking into police custody all the judges and public prosecutors whose names were listed in the appendix to the instructions – including some of the applicants –, and to ensure that they were brought before a public prosecutor to be placed in pre-trial detention under Article 309 of the Criminal Code. This is a complete violation of a proper process of prosecution in which there should have been investigation, enquiry, evidence gathering. After this there should have been arrest and then placing the evidence in court. None of this happened.

 

The Turkish authorities have shown complete lack of respect either for judges as individuals who have fundamental freedoms nor have they considered the impact it will have on the ability of judiciary to restrain harmful government action. In summary this is what the case and its verdict as well as Turkish govt’s actions highlight after a coup. While, coup against the state is unjustifiable detention of judges without proof of involvement in coup is also unjustifiable.

 

Retrieved from:

A dishonourable shame – How the disappearences of teachers and educators spell the complete lack of honour and respect for teachers and educators in Turkey

In every individual’s life education and the learning of value systems contributes to a critical part of the development of an individual. Values teaches individuals habits, manners, appropriate behavior, respect for individuals among many other important life skills.

 

The people who play a key role in imparting these values is teacher / professor. Most individuals attain education during which time people come across some sort of a teacher / educator who teaches the critical values of life. Such education continues in some way or the other until a person finishes university. For their contribution they get the honoured across the world.

 

However, one needs to consider one question. What if someone instead of honouring them for these contributions decides to place such people in lock up. Unfortunately, the Turkish government does exactly this.

 

A report by the working group on involuntary disappearances which reports to the United Nations Human Rights commission mentions about how the Turkish state abducts such teachers just because they are opposed to the government in Turkey. The report states that:

 

“When Turkish authorities fail to secure the extradition through legal means, they resort to covert operations, in cooperation with law enforcement agencies from the third countries, including intelligence agencies and police. This primarily includes swift illegal actions to place vulnerable individuals outside the protection of the law and their subsequent transfer. In some cases, these acts have directly contravened judicial orders against illegal deportation. Faced with increasing pressure to comply, host states conduct around-the-clock surveillance, followed by house raids and arbitrary arrests in undercover operations by law enforcement or intelligence officers in plainclothes. The individuals’ names are cross-checked against prepared lists, before being taken to unmarked vehicles by force”.

 

Moreover, the basic rights of such people are denied.

 

 

 

 

In most of such disappearences, “Their family members are unaware of their fate and whereabouts. According to testimonies obtained, the victims of these operations have recounted unabated abuse perpetrated by intelligence agents, primarily aimed at obtaining forced confession. Most prevalent forms of torture include food and sleep deprivation, beatings, waterboarding, and electric shocks. This is coupled with threats against lives, security and personal integrity of family members and relatives”.

 

There are several specific examples where the victims have endured the brunt of the Turkish state for speaking against and opposing it. In Gabon for instance three “Turkish nationals and teachers, their three spouses and seven children were arrested and held in incommunicado detention for 23 days, before they were forcibly returned to Turkey due to their alleged affiliation with a foreign terrorist group. They were deported from Gabon to Turkey”. This is not the only case.

 

Another teacher was “abducted by Pakistani state intelligence, held in secret or incommunicado detention for 17 days, and then involuntarily returned to Turkey. The house of the Kaçmaz family was raided by intelligence agents in the middle of the night while the family was asleep, presumably after days of surveillance. According to the source, the agents behaved brutally, having pushed, shoved and slapped the parents and the children. The family was deprived of any contact with the legal counsel or the extended family, while their identification documents were forcibly taken during the arrest. Whilst being detained incommunicado, the family was reportedly subjected to physical and verbal abuse aimed at coercing them to voluntarily return to Turkey”. While, these are only a few examples there are many such teachers who are getting abducted.

 

No teacher/ educator should face the consequences of being educators. In fact in most countries provide full respect to their teachers / educators. It should be the duty of human rights organizations, defenders and the society to ensure that there is respect for its educators. Only then can a society continue to progress in various periods.

 

 

quotes from:

https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=25209

Double speak – the hypocrisy of EU’s woeful lack of recognition of pathetic treatment of refugees

The European Union is largely recognized to be a successful union of 27 member states. All the 27 member states have the right to free movement of goods, services, people, and so on. By EU law and practice this also extends to the movement of refugees. However, law and practice in many cases have nothing in common. 

 

The latest actions of the European Union highlight the doublespeak wherein there is a narrative for public consumption. However, the practical on-ground reality is something vastly different from the on-ground reality. Some latest reports highlight that an eight-month probe by journalists from seven countries uncovered a system run by special units who usually hide their identity by wearing unmarked uniforms and face-covering balaclavas. 

 



The Der Spiegel news magazine in its investigation obtained and highlighted videos of 11 pushbacks described by Der Spiegel allegedly show men beating refugees before bringing them back across the border into Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, Der Spiegel is not the only magazine that has highlighted this pathetic treatment of the refugees to state the least. Other videos and witness testimonies point to special Greek coastguard units detailed to intercept asylum seekers’ boats in the Aegean Sea and set them adrift aboard orange life rafts, some paid for with EU cash.

 

Lighthouse reports which wrote the report concerning EU’s doublespeak highlighted that In Romania, we captured for the first time how Romanian police units are pushing people, back people, to Serbia. The videos, published by Libération, were supported by testimony from people who had been summarily expelled who also reported serious assaults during these same incidents captured on film. DW reports that According to human rights organizations, there were more than 16,000 pushbacks at the Croatian-Bosnian border last year alone. Similar incidents have recently been observed at the border between Belarus and Poland. There are also frequent reports of such operations at the Turkish-Greek border and on the high seas.

 

There are two types of refugees in the EU. One section of them uses a border of a country that has a border to Europe. A second category is refugees from a country that has a border with the EU. It is the second category of refugees who are at risk because when they get pushed back they get arrested in a country that is a country that is not a part and thus is not bound by EU law. The refugees may face human rights violations in non-EU countries like torture.

 

However, there is very little being done by the European Union to take action against authorities who openly violate EU laws and guidelines and treat the refugees in a pathetic and despicable manner. The state by EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has said that “This must be investigated” in the context of the pushbacks by refugees and she has also stated that “There is also convincing evidence of misuse of EU funds”, not all EU member states seems to agree. For example, the Greek foreign minister refused to “apologize” for Greece’s ongoing involvement and stated categorically that “Greek borders are the borders of the EU and we act within the framework of international and European law to protect them”. 

 

These varied actions and statements expose Doublespeak. The hypocrisy of the EU’s woeful lack of recognition of pathetic and crass treatment of refugees. The statement by the EU Home Affairs Commissioner is not tantamount to placing pressure on countries whose border security officials are trying to physically push back migrants. After all, there isn’t a lack of unity by member states on the issue of what to do with errant police officers. The Greek Foreign minister is on record refusing to apologize for the actions of the Greek border guard. It is this doublespeak of the Greek border guard and the overall attitude of the European Union which emphasizes open borders and rights for people to be granted refugee status as soon as they enter EU territory. The double-speak is a woeful lack of recognition of the serious rights violations faced by refugees when police forces use force to push them out of the EU. It is a blatant violation of EU and International law and the EU’s silence in this instance and their general statements on welcoming refugees is hypocrisy and it is this double-speak between the statements and reality as seen in Greece and other EU countries.

 

Sources from which information was retrieved:

  1. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/7/croatia-greece-romania-illegal-pushbacks-borders.
  2. https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/journalistic-investigation-exposes-violent-pushbacks-at-eu-borders/.
  3. https://www.dw.com/en/when-are-pushbacks-at-the-eus-external-borders-illegal/a-59442530.
  4. https://thegermanyeye.com/eu-calls-for-investigation-into-illegal-pushbacks-in-croatia-and-greece-4462.
  5. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/croatia-confirms-violent-migrant-pushback-border-with-bosnia-2021-10-08/.
  6. https://www.lighthousereports.nl/investigation/unmasking-europes-shadow-armies/.

 

 

Turkey Tribunal judges concluded that “the acts of Turkish Government, could amount to crimes against humanity”

On 24th September 2021, the Judges who formed a part of the Turkey tribunal gave their final judgment on the situation of the freedom of the press, abductions, impunity, judicial independence, and torture. The judges also gave their opinion on whether witness testimony against the Turkish government amounted to the Turkish state conducting potential crimes against humanity against the victims.

The Turkish government had an opportunity to depose in front of the tribunal and present its point of view. However, the government had not sent any representative for the hearing of the Turkey tribunal. Therefore, the tribunal hearing took place without two sides to represent its point of view as would be the case during a normal hearing in a court or a tribunal.

The judges came to some scathing conclusions about the role/involvement of the Turkish state in its disrespect/contempt for human rights. In the case of torture, the judge noted that “The Tribunal is of the view that there is a systematic and organized use of torture in Turkey” and that there is the widespread use of torture against “people suspected of ordinary crimes”. This can be seen as a sign of contempt and disrespect for human rights because the right to a fair trial is a human right under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. An important concept of a free and fair trial as laid out by article 11 section 1 is that

Everyone charged with a penal offense has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.

Torture of an individual due to suspicion is an egregious human rights violation because the police are not tasked with taking law and order into their own hands. In a normal democracy, it is for the courts to decide who exactly is guilty or not.

In this context, it is therefore important to note the scathing remarks of the judges on the issue of judicial independence. The judges note that “even though the applicable legal framework provided effective safeguards, the rule of law was destabilized very swiftly by the government’s reaction to the Gezi Park protest in June 2013 and furthermore to the concrete threat of prosecution of high-ranking state officials for corruption in December 2013”. The judges also notes that “the Tribunal notes with concern the mass dismissals of approximately 4.560 judges and prosecutors in the aftermath of the attempted coup d’état, based on a list drawn up by the High Judicial Council”. In addition the judges also noted that “multiple judges and prosecutors who had adopted decisions or performed investigations disapproved by the government, were summarily arrested and placed in pre-trial detention on suspicion of membership of a terrorist organization after the attempted coup d’État. This constitutes, in the view of the Tribunal, severe intimidation of the judiciary”. While there are several other points on the independence of judiciary made by the judges in the tribunal, the reality as noted by the judges is that judicially in Turkey is being systematically intimidated. Therefore, it gives an opportunity for the police to torture individuals with a judiciary which may not do much to hold the police accountable.

In regards to other human rights issues in Turkey, the judges made some other scathing remarks. As far as abductions are concerned the judges note that:

“The Tribunal furthermore observes a recurring pattern used to execute the enforced disappearances. Regarding domestic enforced disappearances, firstly, the perpetrators do not seem to be worried about an intervention by the law enforcement authorities since the forcible deprivations of liberty are carried out in broad daylight, in the presence of eyewitnesses or security cameras; secondly, the abductions are carried out in a similar manner, namely using the same type of vehicles, often by provoking a car accident and by a bag being put over the heads of the alleged victims after which they are pushed into a black transporter van”.

In so far as freedom of expression is concerned The Tribunal noted that “the repression against the press and freedom of expression points to a larger policy of the State to silence critical voices and limit people’s access to information”. Moreover, the judges state that “The restriction of freedom of expression, in particular press freedom, through the extensive use of criminalization, prosecution, and pre-trial detention of journalists, has been exacerbated by the events of 15-16 July 2016. These restrictions inhibit both the media and the public from actively exercising these freedoms, essential in a democratic society. In addition, they deeply impact the families and communities of their direct targets”.

In terms of impunity, The Tribunal was “of the opinion that there has been a persistent and prevailing culture of impunity in Turkey since 1980, which has reached unprecedented levels in recent years, particularly since the attempted coup d’état of 15 July 2016”. In particular, the judges noted that

The Tribunal acknowledges the Report’s identification of five interconnected causes which contribute to impunity and show the organized and institutionalized nature of the problem: (i) the deficient legal structure, (ii) the political rhetoric reinforcing the patterns of impunity, (iii) the lack of political will to hold state agents accountable, (iv) the ineffective and delayed investigations by prosecutors, and (v) the lack of an independent judiciary.

Due to these conditions, the tribunal noted that it “is of the view that the acts of torture and enforced disappearances committed in Turkey, in applications brought before an appropriate body and subject to the proof of the specific knowledge and intent of the accused, could amount to crimes against humanity”.

These judgments expose the all-around contempt and disrespect for human rights by the Turkish government. Those who question, oppose or disagree with the government or ensure that the government is bound to its limits face impunity, kidnapping, torture, persecution, purgery. This is aided by an executive that has no checks on it by either legislature, judiciary, or the media. The fundamental feature of respect i.e. accountability is all but missing in the Turkish system be it executive,  judiciary, police, or media. These structures have bent to the will of the executive and the wholesale compromise of these institutions exposes the wholesale contempt of the Turkish government because they can commit rights violations and get away with and no one can ask any questions. This is the takeaway of the judgments.

Content from:

1. https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights.

2. https://turkeytribunal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/TURKEY-TRIBUNAL-FINAL-OPINION-24-SEPT-final.pdf.

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

To Download PDF: EP_Turkey_Report_2020_BrokenChalk_Amendment_Proposal

To Download Word: EP_Turkey_Report_2020_BrokenChalk_Amendment_Proposal

To download the original DRAFT REPORT on the 2019-2020 Commission Reports on Turkey (2019/2176(INI))

 

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