Prosecutor asks parliament permission to prosecute Kurdish deputy on terrorism charge
A Diyarbakır prosecutor has submitted a summary of proceedings to the Turkish parliament accusing Leyla Güven, a deputy from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), of disseminating terrorist propaganda, the Mezapotamya news agency reported on Tuesday. The prosecutor cited one of Güven’s speeches delivered on Sept. 11 in Diyarbakır as evidence.
In the highly disputed speech, the Kurdish deputy harshly criticized the government for removing three Kurdish mayors in Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van over alleged terrorism charges. Güven said as long as the Kurdish question remained unresolved, young people would continue to join the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group and armed conflict would be prolonged.
Former HDP deputy released from prison after Turkey's Constitutional Court ruling
A jailed former member of parliament for the pro-Kurdish party, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, was released from prison on Friday after Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that his conviction violated his rights, secularist opposition daily Cumhuriyet reported. The Turkish Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that sentencing the former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy for statements he made during speeches in 2013 was a violation of his right to freedom of expression.
In an interview after his release, Önder said Turkey’s Constitutional Court's ruling on July 26 that the Turkish judiciary had violated academics’ right to freedom of expression by charging them with terror offences for signing a petition for peace was a breaking point. "Prisons became a natural station waiting for those who struggle for peace and democracy in this country," Önder said to T24.
Turkish court issues second arrest warrant in a week for jailed former HDP leader
A Turkish court sentenced on Friday the jailed former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), to prison for her relation to a wave of violence sparked in 2014 by demonstrations in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, Rudaw reported. She was sentenced to prison for the second time a week after another arrest warrant for her was issued by a public prosecutor.
Ankara’s 16th Heavy Penalty Court tried Figen Yuksekdag on charges including leading a “terror organisation” and anti-government protests, and “inciting hatred and animosity,” Rudaw said. The former HDP co-chair has been held since November 2016, when she and her fellow co-chair, Selahattin Demirtaş, were arrested on similar charges.
Turkish prosecutors on Sept. 20 issued arrest warrants for Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ in relation to a wave of violence sparked in 2014 by demonstrations in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast against Turkey’s lack of action to protect the Syrian border city of Kobane from the Islamic State (ISIS). Yüksekdağ is one of 10 HDP lawmakers currently imprisoned in Turkey. Yüksekdağ’s application for release was rejected by the court in Ankara, which said it had been given no justification warranting her release. Read the full article
Tens of thousands under confidential investigation over Gülen links
Turkish authorities are investigating a total of 152,399 people as suspects with links to Gülen movement, nationalist opposition daily Sözcü reported on Sunday. Ankara maintains the Gülen movement was behind a long-running scheme to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
New names will emerge as confessors' testimonies, ByLock and payphone investigations continue, Sözcü said. Turkish authorities believed an encrypted communication app called ByLock was used almost exclusively by the members of the Gülen movement. In the purge that followed the coup, many were detained purely because they were found to have the app on their phones.
152,399 are under confidential investigation for alleged links to Gülen movement and the total number of people who are either on trial or investigated amounts to 221,966, according to Sözcü. Meanwhile, 29,202 have been behind the bars over the links to Gülen movement as of Sept. 13, 2019, the daily said. 6,502 are jailed pending trial while 22,700 are convicted.
Turkey arrests 111 military members over Gülen links
An İstanbul court tuled to arrest 111 noncommissioned officers who were detained a few days earlier as part of a large-scale crackdown on followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, the Diken news website reported.
Detention warrants were issued for a total of 222 officers. At least 141 suspects were taken into police custody after raids in 54 provinces and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC). A total of 138 were subsequently referred to court after their questioning by the chief public prosecutor’s office.
The court ordered the release of 27 officers pending trial while ruling to arrest the others. Turkey accuses the movement of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, although it strongly denies any involvement. Since the abortive putsch, over 17,000 soldiers have been dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces due to alleged links to the movement.
Islamist opposition party’s former chair faces 9-year sentence over Gülen links
A Turkish prosecutor has indicted Mustafa Kamalak, the former chairman of the Islamist opposition Felicity Party (SP), on allegations of supporting the faith-based Gülen movement, demanding a prison sentence of up to nine-and-a-half years, the OdaTV news website reported on Thursday.
Turkey declared the Gülen movement a “terrorist” organization after a 2016 failed coup that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuses the movement of masterminding, although it strongly denies any involvement.
Kamalak was elected chairman of the SP after the death of Necmettin Erbakan, the father of Turkey’s Islamist movement, in 2011. He later left the position to Temel Karamollaoğlu, the incumbent chair of the party. According to the report the indictment was drafted after a complaint was filed with the prosecutor in 2017.
Kamalak’s 2015 remarks criticizing the government seizure of Koza-İpek Holding, which was accused of being affiliated with the Gülen movement, were cited as evidence in the indictment, the report said.
Turkey’s new marginalised minority
According to official Turkish figures, the number of people dismissed from their jobs by emergency decrees since the failed 2016 failed coup attempt, is 125,678. If we include those who lost their jobs in private sector as a result of government’s decisions, the number rises to 131,922.
Losing their jobs is not the final punishment for victims of the decrees. Seen as domestic enemies, they are not allowed to work even for private companies. They are not also allowed to have passports. Many of them are accused of belonging to the Gülen movement, an Islamist group formerly allied to the ruling party.
The victims can be identified as Turkey’s new post-modern minority, and being so, they are the most recent examples of domestic enemies. Read the full article
Over 17,000 FETÖ suspects purged from military: Minister Akar
More than 17,000 FETÖ suspects have been purged from Turkey's military since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, the country's national defense minister announced.
Underlining that the Turkish Armed Forces continued to strengthen as "traitors" among its ranks were removed, Hulusi Akar said that the expulsions- 17,498 so far- would continue until "not a single traitor" wore a Turkish military uniform.
Turkish prosecutors issue warrants over soldiers’ alleged links to Gülen movement
Turkish prosecutors have issued arrests warrants for 102 current and former members of Turkey’s armed forces, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Monday. The suspects are being sought over alleged communications with members of the outlawed Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of being behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016.
Fifty-six of the suspects have so far been arrested in Istanbul.
In a separate development, Anadolu said a prosecutor in the Turkish capital of Ankara issued warrants for 13 colonels, three of them in active service. The warrants are part of a crackdown launched by the government following the coup attempt. Tens of thousands have since been imprisoned and more than 100,000 have lost their jobs.
Turkish officials say the crackdown is needed to purge those associated with the Gülen movement from positions of influence. Others suggest the Turkish government’s actions are aimed at silencing and intimidating all dissenting voices within Turkish society, pointing to the often flimsy nature of the evidence used to support accusations and charges. Source
Gülistan Karabulut and Erol Karabulut, two Turkish citizens and the parents of 3-year-old old Ekrem Karabulut, have been sent to a prison in Balıkesir province over alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016.
According to Mehmet Ali Aslan, a former pro-Kurdish deputy, Ekrem is left alone in the intensive care unit of Ege University Hospital. The former deputy also said in a tweet on September 3 that the mother, Gülistan Karabulut, is pregnant with a second child.
The couple is being sought over “membership in an armed terrorist organization” and “attempting to destroy the unity of the state and nation.”