HRFT Human Rights Report 1-5 November

Military Operation to North and East Syria…
Within the military operation of Turkish Armed Forces to north and east Syria; Ministry of National Defence made a declaration on October 31, 2019 and announced that 1 soldier died (İsmail Sarıcan) and 6 soldiers got wounded due to an explosion.


It is learned from the news coverage of November 4, 2019 that, 5 militant died in a clash between Turkish Armed Forces and HPG militants in Heftanin area of Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government on October 23, 2019. Within the military operation of Turkish Armed Forces to north and east Syria; Ministry of National Defence made a declaration on November 4, 2019 and announced that 1 soldier died (Suat Topçu) due to an explosion.

Interventions and Detentions Related to Reactions Against Military Operation to North and East Syria…
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) member Fatma Güreş who was detained in Iskenderun district of Hatay on October 31, 2019, on the grounds of social media posts about Turkish Armed Forces operation to North and east Syria, is released on the same day. 4 people (HDP executive and members Salih Varışlı, Fikret Pirinç and Mazhar Bayam) who were detained in Hatay on November 2, 2019, on the grounds of social media posts about Turkish Armed Forces operation to North and east Syria, are released on judicial control conditions on the same day.
On November 2, 2019, 3 people are detained for same reason in Mersin. The detained people are: HDP Youth Assembly members Tuba Salman, Şahin İlhan and Yılmaz Budak.
It is learned that 5 people who were detained for same reason in Ceyhan district of Adana on November 2, 2019 are released on judicial control conditions on the same day.

People Subjected to Racist Assault in Antalya…
It is learned from the news coverage of November 1, 2019 that, 3 students in a public dorm in Antalya were subjected to racist assault of a group. A. B., one of those students stated the following: “Muharrem and Şahin, two people from Grey Wolves nationalist organisation came to our room and said ‘There is no room for Kurds and HDP members here’ and forced us out of the room. They took us in room 301 and beat us. There were almost 20 people in that room.”

Allegation of Torture in Van…
It is claimed in the news reports of October 31, 2019 that, Dikbıyık village of Gürpınar district of Van is blocked by soldiers and villagers are tortured by them.

Torture and Ill-Treatment in Prison…
It is learned from the news coverage of November 2, 2019 that, Mustafa Demirbaş, a prisoner in Iskenderun T Type Prison, is penalised with prevention from all activities for a month, because he greeted another prisoner.
Keziban Yılmaz, co-mayor of Kayapınar district of Diyarbakır and Rojda Nazlıer, co-mayor of Kocaköy district of Diyarbakır who were suspended and arrested on October 22, 2019, and Diyarbakır co-mayor Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı who was arrested on the same time, were transferred to Kayseri Closed Prison. It is learned from the news coverage of November 3, 2019 that 3 co-mayors were transferred by a shuttle divided into cells, while they were handcuffed during 10 hours’ non-stop travel.

Prisoner Fell Ill at Courtroom…
It is learned from the news coverage of October 31, 2019 that Abdülkadir Denli (70) an ill prisoner kept in Kırıkkale F Type Prison had a heart spasm during his trial at Mardin Heavy Penal Court No 3 on October 31, 2019. It is reported that he was taken to Mardin E Type Closed Prison after being kept in Mardin Public Hospital for a while.

Torture and Ill-Treatment in Prison…
It is learned from the news coverage of October 31, 2019 that prisoners in Amasya E Type Prison were not given Yeni Yaşam newspaper.
It is learned from the news coverage of October 31, 2019 that prisoners in Bolu F Type Prison were not given Yeni Yaşam, Azadiya Welat and Özgür Halk newspapers; prisoners were taken to infirmary only once a month; prisoners are referred to hospitals with delay and forced to be examined in handcuffs; radios of prisoners are seized; letters sent to prisoners are not given to them and letters they wrote are sent with delay, the number of books per prisoner is limited to 10. It is also learned that a prisoner named Nurullah Semo is kept in solitary cell and was subjected to physical and verbal violence of wardens.
It is learned from the news coverage of October 31, 2019 that Sub-Committee on Prisoners’ Rights in Grand National Assembly of Turkey declared a report covering their visit to Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison on September 6, 2019 and stated that 1354 people are kept including 100 children and 281 foreigners, although the capacity of prison is limited to 950. It is also stated in the report that, the food given to foreigner prisoners is less than others; ill prisoners are not given proper dietary food; ill prisoners are either referred to hospitals with delay or not referred at all; prisoners are forced to be examined in handcuffs; prisoners are forced to strip search at the entrance; personal belongings of prisoners are seized during ward searches; books and periodicals with no ban are not given to prisoners and petitions are not put in process.

Police Intervention Against “I Want My Job Back” Protest in Ankara…
The police intervened the press declaration of public labourers who had been dismissed by a state of emergency decree and have been struggling 1087 days to regain their jobs, intended to be held in front of Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street on October 31 2019 at 13.30, and at 18.00.
It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on October 31, 2019, 2 people (Acun Karadağ and Nazan Bozkurt) and at 18.00 2 people (Acun Karadağ and Nazan Bozkurt) were detained.
Thus in total 4 people were detained due to press declaration intended to be held in Yüksel Street on October 31, 2019. It is learned detained people were released on the same days they were detained.

Police Intervention to a Protest in Düzce…
On October 31, 2019, the police intervened the press declaration of Alev Şahin, who rallies for 1000 days in Düzce in order to regain her job from which she was dismissed by a state of emergency decree and detained Alev Şahin, Eser Budak, Mahmut Konuk, Merve Demirel, Hakan Keskin and İdil Kara. It is learned that 6 people are released on the same day.

Police Intervention to a Protest in Izmir…
25 people who were detained in police intervention to the protest of Türkerler Holding workers, for unpaid wages, in Halkapınar district of Izmir on October 30, 2019 are released on October 31, 2019.

Police Intervention Against “I Want My Job Back” Protest in Ankara…
The police intervened the press declaration of public labourers who had been dismissed by a state of emergency decree and have been struggling 1090 days to regain their jobs, intended to be held in front of Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street on November 1, 2, and 3, 2019 at 13.30, and at 18.00.
It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on November 1, 2019, 3 people (Nazan Bozkurt, Merve Demirel and Melek Çetinkaya) and at 18.00 2 people (Acun Karadağ and Mehmet Dersulu) were detained.
It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on November 2, 2019, 2 people (Acun Karadağ and Mehmet Dersulu) and at 18.00 2 people (Acun Karadağ and Merve Demirel) were detained.
It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on November 3, 2019, 2 people (Acun Karadağ and Mehmet Dersulu) and at 18.00 2 people (Mehmet Dersulu, Alev Şahin and Nazan Bozkurt) were detained.
Thus in total 13 people were detained due to press declaration intended to be held in Yüksel Street on November 1, 2, and 3, 2019. It is learned detained people were released on the same days they were detained.

Detained People in Mardin…
On October 31, 2019, Yusuf Temel, 1 of 12 people who were detained in house raids in Çataltepe, Adak, Doğancı and Develi neighbourhoods of Derik district of Mardin on October 21, 2019 is arrested by the court on the charge of ‘being an illegal organisation member’. 11 people (Şeyhmus Temel, Abdurrahman Temel, İbrahim Temel, Mahmut Temel, Seyit Savcı, Bedirhan Savcı, Enver Demli, Nezir Demli, Tahir Adal, Mehmet Bilgen and Mehmet Sıddık Aksak) are released on judicial control conditions.

People Detained in Diyarbakır…
It is learned from the news coverage of October 31, 2019 that 2 people are detained in house raids in Karahasan village of Lice district of Diyarbakır. The names of detained people are: Ahmet Erdak and Mehmet Erdak.

Parliamentary Member on Trial…
The trial of the case against HDP Batman MP Feleknas Uca, on the charge of ‘being an illegal organisation member’ for her press declarations in 2015 and 2016, is held at Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No 5 on October 31, 2019. The court decided to send a writ for official translation of the speeches from Kurdish to Turkish and adjourned the trial to January 2020.

Reina Massacre Case…
The trial of the case known as “Reina Massacre Case”, against 58 people including 18 arrestees for the armoured attack to a night club in Beşiktaş district of Istanbul on January 1, 2017 where 39 people died, is held at Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 27 on October 31, 2019.
After defence hearings the court decided to continue detention of arrestees and adjourned the trial to January 27, 2020.

Journalist and Executives of ESP and SGDF on Trial…
The case against 9 people including Ali Sönmez Kayar, Etkin News Agency reporter; Sıtkı Güngör, central executive board member of Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP); Narin Duru, member of The Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions (KESK); and Ali Deniz Esen, central executive board member of The Confederation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF), on Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 32, on the charge of ‘being an illegal organisation member’ is held on October 31, 2019. The court decided to lift judicial control conditions for defendants other than Sıtkı Güngör, to lift the ban on leaving the country for Sıtkı Güngör and adjourned the trial to December 13, 2019. Sıtkı Güngör, Ali Deniz Esen, Narin Duru, Eren Bulut and Ali Sönmez Kayar were detained on February 1, 2018 in Istanbul and were arrested on February 6, 2018. These 5 people were released on judicial control conditions on October 31, 2018.

Former Parliamentary Member on Trial for ‘Insulting the President’…
The trial of the case against Mehmet Tüm, former MP of Republican People’s Party (CHP), on the charge of ‘insulting the President’ for a declaration of CHP Party Assembly in 2016, is held at Ankara Heavy Penal Court No 12 on October 31, 2019. The court adjourned the trial to February 20, 2020.

Prevention of Saturday Mothers’ Protest in Istanbul…
Police obstructed all the streets around Galatasaray Square in Istanbul to prevent Saturday Mothers who rally every Saturday for 23 years in the same place to gather for the 762nd time on November 2, 2019. Upon police prevention, the group including representatives of political parties, human rights defenders and artists along with families of disappeared people held a press declaration on the street of Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul office.

Prevention of Human Rights Defenders’ Event in Istanbul…
“F sit-in”, which is organized for the 397th time by Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch Prison Watch Committee, to demand release of ill prisoners, on November 2, 2019, is prevented by the police. The police obstructed all the streets around Galatasaray Square. Human rights defenders made the press declaration in front of IHD Istanbul office.

Detained People in Diyarbakır…
It is learned that 2 people (Ahmet Erdak and Mehmet Erdak) who were detained in house raids in Karahasan village of Lice district of Diyarbakır on October 31, 2019, are released on November 1, 2019.

Person Detained in Kars…
It is learned that, Abubekir Erkmen is detained in house raids in Digor district of Kars on November 1, 2019. Erkmen has been elected as co-mayor of Dağpınar town of Digor district on March 31 elections, but was not given certificate of election on the grounds of being dismissed from public service by a state of emergency decree.

Detained Co-Mayor and Other People in Van…
It is learned that 15 people including Saray district co-mayor Caziye Duman are detained in house raids in Tuşba, İpekyolu and Edremit districts on November 1, 2019. The detained poeple are: Caziye Duman, HDP executive Edibe Babur, Gürpınar district co-mayor candidate Rojbin Akdağ, Mukaddes Karakoç, Edremit district council member Handan Karakoyun, Tuşba deputy mayor Berken Kızılboğa, Free Women’s Movement (TJA) members Hawar Derya, Hatice Akdağ, Peace Mothers Pervin Özgür, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) executive Neriman Urar.

Detained People in Diyarbakır…
On November 3, 2019, 2 people (Leyla Akgül and Bağlar district council member Yusuf Ziya Yavuz) are detained in Diyarbakır. The reason of detention is unknown.

Arrested Revolutionary Party Members and Executives in Mersin…
4 of 7 members and executives of Revolutionary Party (Ezgi Akdağ, Onur Ak, Serdar Ulaş Budak and Tüten Akkum) who were detained in Mersin on October 23, 2019, are arrested by the court on the charge of ‘being an illegal organisation member’ on November 1, 2019. 3 people are released.

Former HDP Co-Chair on Trial…
On September 7, 2018, Selahattin Demirtaş, former HDP co-chair was sentenced by Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 26 to 4 years and 8 months for ‘making propaganda for an illegal organisation’, for his speeches at Newroz celebration in Istanbul on 2013. On November 1, 2019, the court decided to halt the execution and release Selahattin Demirtaş in accordance with legal amendment. Selahattin Demirtaş was arrested on November 4, 2016, and on September 2, 2019, Ankara Heavy Penal Court No 19 decided to release him. However, Ankara penal Court of Peace No 1 issued an arrest warrant for Selahattin Demirtaş on September 20, 2019, through a new investigation.

Former HDP MP on Trial…
On November 1, 2019, Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No 5 concluded on the appeal made on October 25, 2019 in accordance to legal amendment and decided to halt execution and release Abdullah Zeydan, former Hakkari MP of HDP who was arrested on November 4, 2016. However, Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor’s Office objected the verdict on the same day and the court cancelled release decision on the grounds of “the risk of absconding and tampering with evidence”.

Suruç Massacre Case…
The case on Urfa Heavy Penal Court No 5, for the massacre in Suruç where 33 people died on July 20, 2015, continued to be held on November 1, 2019. The court rejected to arrest Abdullah Ömer and to hear Ahmet Davutoğlu, prime minister back then, as a witness and adjourned the trial to January 31, 2019.

Detentions and Arrests in Alleged Link to Coup Attempt…
On November 1, 2019, 4 people are detained through an Ankara based investigation on Navy Forces Command personnel. On November 2, 2019, 5 people are detained in Eskişehir.

Suspended District Council Members…
It is learned from the news coverage of November 3, 2019 that, 4 members of Tuşba district council in Van, are suspended by Ministry of Interior on the grounds of an investigation against them. Suspended district council members are: İsmet Tan, Mizgin Bor, Serap Güvenç and Hatice Kiye.

Trustee Appointed to Saray…
It is learned that Saray district co-mayor Caziye Duman in Van is suspended by Ministry of Interior on November 2, 2019 and Saray sub-governor Mehmet Halis Aydın is appointed as trustee. With this last appointment, the number of trustees appointed since local elections on March 31, 2019, raised up to 14 including 3 metropolitan cities.

ECHR Decision on Repatriation Centers in Turkey…
It is learned from the news coverage of November 1, 2019 that, European Court of Human Rights concluded on the appeal of Russian citizen G. B., about poor conditions and ill-treatment at Istanbul Kumkapı Repatriation Center and Gaziantep Repatriation Center where they were kept with their 3 children in 2015. The court decided that Turkey has violated Article 3 of European Convention of Human Rights and should pay 2500 Euros to G. B. and 20.000 Euros to each child as to immaterial damages.

Ban of Events in Muş…
Muş Governorate made a declaration on October 28, 2019 and announced that, all open and indoor events such as demonstrations, press declarations, meetings, sit-ins, opening stands and tents, festivals, concerts, delivering leaflets and so on are banned for 15 days as of November 4, 2019.
Murdered Women…
According to the report issued by We Will Stop Femicide Platform on November 4, 2019, at least 38 women were murdered by men, 18 women were subjected to violence with intention of murder and 13 children were subjected to sexual abuse in October 2019 in Turkey.

Operations and Attacks in Southeast…
It is learned from the news coverage of November 4, 2019 that 1 HPG militant died in a clash between security forces and HPG militants in Erciş district of Van on July 24, 2019.

Torture and Ill-Treatment in Prison…
It is learned from the news coverage of November 4, 2019 that, Erkan Benli, a prisoner in Samsun Bafra T Type Prison, is penalised to 12 days of solitary confinement for a phone call he made.
It is learned from the news coverage of November 4, 2019 that Ebru Günay, People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Mardin MP and member of Grand National Assembly Human Rights Inquiry Committee, declared a report on right violations in prisons. According to the report, in Sincan Women’s Closed Prison, letters sent to prisoners are seized on the grounds of photos in envelopes which contain “more than 3 people’s images”, and radios and books of prisoners are also seized. In Elazığ Prison, prisoners are forced to stand in military order during roll-calls and those who reject it are subjected to physical violence of wardens, prisoners are put in padded cells, prisoners are not given hot water, and their personal belongings are seized, prisoners are given disciplinary penalties up to 3 months, and some prisoners are kept in solitary cells for more than 1 year. In Tarsus T Type Closed Prison prisoners are forced to strip search at the entrance of prison, ill-prisoners are not treated on time, and prisoners are forced to be examined in handcuffs, and some prisoners have to sleep on floor due to overcapacity.

Police Intervention Against “I Want My Job Back” Protest in Ankara…
The police intervened the press declaration of public labourers who had been dismissed by a state of emergency decree and have been struggling 1091 days to regain their jobs, intended to be held in front of Human Rights Monument in Yüksel Street on November 4, 2019 at 13.30, and at 18.00.
It was reported that during police intervention against the press declaration which was planned to be held at 13.30 on November 4, 2019, 3 people (Nazan Bozkurt, Merve Demirel) and at 18.00 2 people (Acun Karadağ and Mehmet Dersulu) were detained.
Thus in total 4 people were detained due to press declaration intended to be held in Yüksel Street on November 4, 2019. It is learned detained people were released on the same days they were detained.

Police Intervention Against a Protest in Ankara…
The police intervened the protestors in front of Çankaya Public Health Directorate on November 4, 2019, who rally to regain their jobs from which they had been dismissed by state of emergency decrees, and detained 2 people (Mahmut Konuk and Eser Budak). It is learned that 2 people were released the same day.

Police Intervention Against a Protest in Istanbul…
The police intervened the sit-in protest at Bakırköy Square on November 4, 2019 of Nursel Tanrıverdi who rally to regain her job from which she had been dismissed by state of emergency decree, and detained her by using physical violence.

Detained Co-Mayor and Other People in Van…
2 of 15 people including Saray district co-mayor Caziye Duman who were detained in house raids in Tuşba, İpekyolu and Edremit districts on November 1, 2019, are arrested on the charge of ‘being an illegal organisation member’. The names of arrested people are: Kebire Budakbeyoğlu Karakaya and Mukaddes Karakoç. It is learned that 13 people are released on judicial control conditions.

Detained People in Diyarbakır…
2 of 3 people (Leyla Akgül and Bağlar district council member Yusuf Ziya Yavuz) who were detained in house raids in Diyarbakır on November 3, 2019, are arrested by the court on the charge of ‘committing offence on behalf of an illegal organisation’ on November 4, 2019. 1 person (Hatun Yıldız) is released.

Co-Mayor on Trial…
The case against 22 people 3 of which are arrested including Derik district co-mayor Abdülkerim Erdem, on Mardin Heavy Penal Court No 4 is held on November 4, 2019. After defence hearings the court decided to continue detention of 3 people, and adjourned the trial to January 20, 2020.
Derik district co-mayor Abdülkerim Erdem was arrested on February 26, 2016, and was released on June 18, 2019. A trustee was appointed to Derik Municipality by the Ministry of Interior on September 11, 2016.

Detentions and Arrests in Alleged Link to Coup Attempt…
On November 5, 2019, 10 people are detained in operations covering 10 cities through an Adana based investigation.

Trials in Alleged Link to Coup Attempt…
The final trial of the case against Mustafa Kemal Özçelik, former member of Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, is held at Penal Department No 9 of Supreme Court on November 4, 2019. The court sentenced Mustafa Kemal Özçelik to 9 years for ‘being an illegal organisation member’, and then reduced the sentence to 2 and 3 years first, according to effective remorse law and then to 1 year 10 months and 15 days for good conduct and deferred the announcement of the verdict.
The final trial of the case against 43 people including 24 arrestees, is held at Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 37 on November 4, 2019. The court sentenced former colonel Hüseyin Ergezen to heavy life imprisonment for ‘violating the Constitution’ and to 25 years in total on the charges of ‘hijacking or seizure of transport vehicles’ and ‘violation of the immunity of residence’. The court sentenced former colonel Süleyman Demirci, former major Ecir Şık, former major Mustafa Serbest, former lieutenant İsa Pek, former major Ümit Lütfi Altıntakan, former lieutenant Sercan Özdemir and former colonel Ali Başaran to heavy life imprisonment on the charge of ‘violating the Constitution’. The court sentenced 6 people to life imprisonment for the same reason, and 20 people to jail penalties from 12 years to 18 years for ‘aiding to violate the Constitution’. The court acquitted 7 people and separated the cases against 2 people. It is learned that the court board made an official complaint against 2 of complainant lawyers after declaring the verdict.

Journalists on Trial in Istanbul…
The retrial of journalists and writers Ahmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül, Fevzi Yazıcı and Yakup Şimşek is held on November 4, 2019 at Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 26. On July 5, 2019, Penal Department No 16 of the Supreme Court has reversed the heavy life imprisonment sentences which was given to journalists Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül, Fevzi Yazıcı and Yakup Şimşek on the charge of ‘violating the Constitution’, by Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No 26 and was approved by Penal Department No 2 of Istanbul Regional Court.
The court sentenced Ahmet Altan to 10 years and 6 months, and Nazlı Ilıcak to 8 years and 9 months on the charge of ‘knowingly and willingly aiding an illegal organisation without being a member of it’ and decided to release them considering time they spent in prison. The court sentenced Fevzi Yazıcı and Yakup Şimşek to 11 years and 3 months each and Tuğrul Özşengül to 12 years for ‘being an illegal organisation member’ and decided to continue detention of them. The court acquitted Mehmet Altan.

Labor Killings…
Worker Health and Worker Safety Council (ISIG) revealed on November 4, 2019 that at least 155 workers including 2 children, 7 women, and 8 asylum seekers died while working in October 2019. According to ISIG data at least 1477 workers died due to labor killings/labor accidents within the first 10 months of 2019.

Trustee Appointed to Kızıltepe…
It is learned that Kızıltepe district co-mayor Nilüfer Erik in Mardin is suspended by Ministry of Interior on November 4, 2019 and Kızıltepe sub-governor Hüseyin Çam is appointed as trustee. With this last appointment, the number of trustees appointed since local elections on March 31, 2019, raised up to 15 including 3 metropolitan cities.

[1]The reports on the human rights violations of the Documentation Center are claims unless they are certified. The claim of violation either is certified through thoroughly investigations of HRFT Documentation Center, including by judicial verdicts, and becomes a definite data or it is not included to the annual report.
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[5] Daily Human Rights Reports are prepared on the information gathered by the Documentation Center from its own network and the following dailies and internet portals: Vatan, Milliyet, Hürriyet, Habertürk, Evrensel, Birgün, Cumhuriyet, Fırat Haber Ajansı, Jinnews, ETHA, Mezopotamya Ajansı, Yurt, Yeni Yaşam, NTV, Yeni Asya, Bianet, Halkinsesi.tv, Cnnturk, Tr724, İleri Haber, Siyasi Haber, Alınteri, Kızılbayrak, Sendika.org, Yüksekova Haber, T24, Diken, Gazete Karınca, Gazete Duvar. Haber Sol, El Cezire, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Reuters, AFP.