While protesters in Turkey are demonstrating against the perceived lack of action of the Turkish government against IS with many protesters dead after violent clashes with the police, the trial against the civilians and police officers who killed another protester during another protest, last year’s Gezi Park protest, continues.
This Thursday, the fourth hearing in the case of Ali Ismail Korkmaz took place. Ruhat Sena Aksener and I were present to observe the trial for Amnesty International to increase the chance of a fair trial and to see that justice will be done. Continue reading
Amnesty International issued Urgent Action regarding the death of an Afghan asylum-seeker and other asylum-seekers who are at risk of being returned to Afghanistan. Please encourage your friends and family to join this urgent letter writing campaign before August 5.
Lutfillah Tadjik, a 17 year-old Afghan asylum seeker was allegedly beaten to death by a Turkish police officer from the Foreigners Directorate Returns Centre in Van on May 31. Now, other six Afghans asylum-seekers who witnessed the assault are at risk of being returned to Afghanistan without having access to the refugee status determination procedure and before the ongoing investigation into Lutfillah Tadjik’s death has been completed.
Please write immediately in Turkish or your own language:
- Calling on the authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances of Lutfillah Tadjik’s ill-treatment and death;
- Urging them not to remove any witnesses to the assault from Turkey, and ensure that they receive adequate protection against any threats or intimidation;
- Urging them not to return any of the Afghan detainees, in particular those who were witnesses to the assault, pending a prompt and fair examination of their asylum claims under the terms of the Foreigners and International Protection Law No. 6458 and in line with international standards;
- Calling on them to ensure that asylum-seekers under 18 are treated in accordance with international law, in particular the principle of the best interests of the child.
Please send appeals to the following authorities BEFORE AUGUST 5:
Van Chief Prosecutor Mehmet Kaya (Salutation: Dear Prosecutor)
Van Cumhuriyet Başsavcısı
Fax: +90 (0) 432 212 04 89
+90 (0) 432 215 20 07
Minister of Interior Mr. Efkan Ala (Salutation: Dear Minister)
Fax: +90 (0) 312 418 17 95
And copies to:
Minister of Justice Mr. Bekir Bozdağ
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 (0)312 419 33 70
For those who live in the US, please send copy to:
Ambassador Serdar Kılıç
Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC
2525 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
If you live outside the US, please check diplomatic representatives in your country by clicking here.
This Urgent Action can be accessed on Amnesty International website here.
The army of police, the limits on freedom of transport, the deserted center of the city. A year after Gezi, this is the face of the new Turkey, where dissent is stifled with overwhelming force and massive police presence.
Clearly, the Turkish government has learned lessons from the protests which shook the country a year ago. Unfortunately, they are the wrong ones: it has only redoubled its efforts to crush dissent and has learned to employ overwhelming police force to prevent outbreaks of dissent in locales that are accessible to international media.
With the shocking images of last year’s crackdown fading from the world’s memory, attention has slowly shifted elsewhere. Amnesty International, in a lengthy and well-researched report issued today, entitled Turkey: Adding injustice to injury: One year on from the Gezi Park protests in Turkey, ensures that the true nature of Turkey’s post-Gezi crackdown are clear.
Turkey: Adding injustice to injury: One year on from the Gezi Park protests in Turkey
Posted in Amnesty International, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park, Press Freedom, Taksim, Turkey
Tagged Abuses, Amnesty International, Gezi Park, Gezi Park protests, Turkey
Used by permission. © Tolga Sezgin / Nar Photos
Some very important issues related to Turkish human rights coming up next week. We’ll do our best to keep the blog up to date with current information: Continue reading
Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park, Taksim, Turkey
Tagged Amnesty, Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Gezi Park, Selmin Caliskan, Taksim
Commemorating Abdullah Comert Adnan Onur Acar / NarPhotos Used by permission
Check out my new blog on the anniversary of Gezi on our main Human Rights Now page. I write, in part:
On the first anniversary of the Gezi Protests and their brutal suppression in Turkey, central Istanbul resembled nothing so much as a city under occupation. Public transportation into the city center was cancelled. Ferry service from the Asian to the European side of the metropolis was ended by the late afternoon. You could leave, but you couldn’t come back.
This is the image of the new Turkey, where dissent is stifled with overwhelming force and massive police presence.
A year ago today, Ali Ismail Korkmaz was beaten to death by police. From the start, Turkish authorities seemed determined to undermine the quest for justice in the case. Following the attack, the Governor of Eskisehir said that police hadn’t been involved and that Ali Ismail Korkmaz had been beaten up ‘by his friends.’ Footage from a CCTV camera was deleted in the days following the incident, but was subsequently recovered by experts from the gendarmerie. Continue reading
Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Excessive Force, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park, Taksim, Turkey, Uncategorized
Tagged Ali Ismail, Ali Ismail Korkmaz, Amnesty, Andrew Gardner, Gezi Park, impunity, Taksim, Turkey
I arrived in Istanbul a few hours ago. As it turns out family events happened to bring us to the city on the anniversary of the Gezi protests and ensuing crackdown.
The streets of Besiktas, where I am staying, are lined with police buses. Major arteries to in the city are being shut down in expectation of protests this evening.
Personally, I’m primarily worried about tear gas seeping into the house where I am staying to discomfort my daughter. Explaining tear gas to my three year old is a little more than I am prepared for.
For myself, I’m hoping to meet up with some Amnesty people this evening to observe events. And planning to keep my head down.
St. Lawrence University
Memorial for Sarisuluk in Ankara (open access source from Vikipedi)
In the case of Ethem Sarısülük, each new hearing brings with it new frustration. This week’s hearing only continues, a process that has been marked by delays, irregularities, and ugly absurdities.
Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park, Impunity, Turkey
Tagged Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Ethem Sarisuluk, impunity, Ruhat Sena Aksener, Sarısülük
In a statement issued today (May 27), Amnesty gave updated information regarding the two individuals killed in the recent violence in the Okmeydani district of Istanbul: