16 November 2018:
The Human Rights Association made the following statement:
"On 16 November 2018 early in the morning, Dean of Faculty of Law at Bilgi University Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı, lecturer at Mathematics Department Boğaziçi University Prof. Dr. Betül Tanbay, producer and writer Çiğdem Mater, employees of Anadolu Cultural Assoc. Meltem Aslan Çelikkan, Yiğit Ekmekçi, Hakan Altınel and Asena Günal were detained during raids into their houses. No details could be obtained other than that the investigation file dated back to 2014.
"We hereby would like to note that, we condemn this treatment against human rights defender Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı who has long been waging a struggle for rule of law and who has trained many jurists, as well as against other detainees, which has been perpetrated in consideration of the rights defender identities of these individuals.
"We would like to once again note that detention of these respected individuals by raids into their households, with the aim of criminalising them, upon instructions by the Chief Public Prosecutors, rather than summoning them though notification and taking their defence statements as per Article 145 of CCP, is unlawful and should be ceased. This treatment of Turgut Tarhanlı and other detainees indicates the arbitrary implementation of laws in Turkey and also illustrates that political power can treat anyone as he wishes so by means of imposing pressure through the judiciary.
"We call on the political power to cease such methods of imposing pressure and demand immediate release of the detainees."
An operation was launched against two academics from Boğaziçi and İstanbul Bilgi Universities and people from civil society on November 16. It has been reported that a detention warrant has been issued for 20 people.
As part of the operation, the following 13 people have been taken into custody: Prof. Dr. Betül Tanbay from the Department of Mathematics at Boğaziçi University and an Academic for Peace signatory to the declaration "We will not be a party to this crime"; Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı, Dean of the Faculty of Law of İstanbul Bilgi University; Anadolu Kültür Executive Board Deputy Chair Yiğit Ekmekçi; executive board member Ali Hakan Altınay; General Coordinator of Anadolu Kültür Asena Günal; its former director general and Co-Director of Truth Justice Memory Center Meltem Aslan; Bora Sarı from Anadolu Kültür; Ayşegül Güzel, Filiz Telek, Yiğit Aksakoğlu, Yusuf Cıvır, Hande Özhabeş and producer Çiğdem Mater. (EMK/SD)