Crimes Against Kurds

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Crimes Against Kurds

Saturday 15th October, 2022.

Yesterday morning, four people, including Kurdish musician Sarya Ertaş, were detained in house raids in Turkey’s largest Kurdish-majority province Diyarbakır (Amed) in South East Turkey, over unspecified charges. While the number of detentions increased to eight in the raids that continued in the following hours, the Mezopotamya Agency reported arrest warrants were issued for 30 people. The province's chief public prosecutor did not inform the lawyers about the arrests because of a confidentiality clause in the investigation file.

Saturday 8th October, 2022.

Kurdish families oppose a state-backed entertainment festival planned to be held in the Sur district of Diyarbakır (Amed), in the very same area where many Kurdish families lost their children during the siege conflicts of 2015/16. According to estimated figures, 4,985 buildings were also destroyed by Turkish security forces. Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry will launch the festival in partnership with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Diyarbakır between 8th and 16th October.

Saturday 24th September, 2022.

Barış Keve, who was in prison over charges of membership to a terrorist organization, lost his life on 18th September after he was transferred five days previously from a prison in Edirne in northwest Turkey to a prison in Malatya in east Turkey. The authorities said Keve had killed himself and declined to give his family the autopsy report of the prisoner, who was kept in a solitary cell, Mezopotamya said.

Barış Keve, who died under suspicious circumstances according to his family, was buried in his hometown of Kurdish-majority Van.

Sunday 4th September, 2022.

Adem Kara (21) is the latest of many Kurdish people who have lost their lives at the hands of the Turkish authorities. Kara was seriously wounded on 1 September, when a policeman who tried to detain him allegedly shot him as he was "running away". Kara was fatally wounded and later died in hospital. Witnesses confirmed that Kara was running away, but claimed that three shots were fired. A police officer was taken into custody in relation to the incident. The governor, Mahmut Demirtaş of Turkish southeastern province of Mardin made a statement 2 days later and said a Kurdish man who died of fatal wounds on 1st September was the victim of a gun that had "gone off when a police officer had tripped".

Wednesday 31st August, 2022.

A court in Diyarbakır (Amed), southeast Turkey has unceremoniously delivered to family members the remains, now bones, of Hakan Arslan, a young man killed when the Turkish government sent military forces to crack down on cities in the mostly Kurdish southeast in 2015. Hakan Arslan’s father, Ali Rıza Arslan, travelled to the Diyarbakır court building to collect his son’s remains nearly seven years after he was killed. Footage shows the bereaved father leaving the court holding on to a plastic bag containing his son’s bones. Hakan Arslan’s remains were discovered in February 2021 by workers in an excavation site near a church in Diyarbakır’s historic Sur district. Arslan was one of many casualties in the militarised security operations, which also saw 24-hour curfews imposed on large sections of the city, displacing thousands of residents.

Sunday 28th August, 2022.

An 80-year-old Kurdish woman with serious health problems was sent back to prison on Wednesday, because no interpreter was supplied during her examination by the Turkish Forensics Institute. Makbule Özer is serving a two-year sentence for aiding and abetting a terrorist The woman, who has been hospitalised several times, was taken to İstanbul on 24 August for an examination by the Forensics Institute, whose report will be crucial for her release from prison. However, the officials at the Institute refused to listen to Özer’s account of her health problems, citing the absence of a Kurdish-Turkish interpreter, according to her lawyer.organisation, in Turkey’s eastern border province of Van (Wan).

Wednesday 10th August, 2022.

A court in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority Diyarbakır (Amed) province ruled to remand 16 Kurdish journalists in prison. The journalists had been arrested as part of a larger group of 21 in June, and sent to prison after eight days in police custody while five of their colleagues were released.

Lawyers for the journalists, who are facing terrorism charges over the stories they have covered and outlets they work for, have been unable to access the case files to prepare an adequate defence for their clients, they said during the hearing. This is due to a restriction order on the case.

Wednesday 27th July, 2022.

As a result of the explosion of military ammunition in the Kurdish majority district Başkale of Van, a 12-year-old was seriously wounded. The child took his sheep to graze on the pasture on the border line in the Kiratî neighbourhood, where he was seriously wounded as a result of the explosion of military ammunition on Tuesday morning. After the explosion he was taken to the Başkale Public Hospital by locals. After the first treatment here, he was transferred to Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Dursun Odabaşı Hospital. The father Father Hanifi Eryılmaz said that one of his children’s wrists was broken and he had severe wounds on his right leg and face.

Monday 11th July, 2022.

Turkish police searches of two separate video production companies in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Diyarkabır (Amed) finally ended after 32 day. At the end of the unusually lengthy search process that took almost five weeks, the police did not provide the lawyers of the two companies with an official document containing a list of all the seized material. Representatives of Piya Production and Ari Production told MA that 19 cameras, all computer hard disks, sound mixers, microphones and several monitors had been seized. The operation targeting Kurdish journalists, news agencies and production companies was launched on 8 June with dawn raids on houses and offices in Diyarbakır with 22 people including 20 journalists arrested.

Monday 27th June, 2022.

A major military operation has been launched by Turkish forces in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority district of Yüksekova (Gever) around the villages of Şîşemzîn, Xurekana Seyîda and Xurekana Temo on Sunday, and at least 13 villagers have been arrested during the operation. The detained villagers, women and elderly among them, were reportedly subjected to beatings by Turkish troops as they were taken away. Eleven villagers were released after questioning at the gendarmerie headquarters in Yüksekova. Lawyers who came to the gendarmerie headquarters to provide legal services for the detainees were also beaten and dragged along the ground by troops

Thursday 9th June, 2022.

Turkish police have arrested 21 Kurdish journalists, dragging 16 from their homes in Diyarbakır (Amed) in late night raids and five others during the day. During the raids the police also confiscated phones and digital documents. Offices of the all-female agency Jin News were also raided at 4.30am local time, and computers and external drives as well as journals and books were confiscated. The journalists will be charged with terrorist propaganda and broadcasting in support of a convicted organisation leader.

Tuesday 17th May, 2022.

Tens of thousand of supporters filled the football stadium on Monday for the decisive game between Amedspor, the most popular football club for Kurdish football fans in Turkey, and Tarsus İdman Yurdu. Police used water cannons and pepper gas to push back a large crowd who were left outside the stadium and wanted to get in.

The four armoured water cannon trucks continued to fire high pressurised water at the young supporters until they ran out of water.

Tuesday 10th May, 2022.

The nine-year-old boy who was shot in Turkey’s border city of Ceylanpınar (Serêkanî) on Saturday by an unidentified gunman died in hospital. Yusuf S. was on his way to his grandfather’s house, some 400 metres from the Turkish-Syrian border, when he was shot in the head with a bullet fired from the Syrian city of Serêkaniyê on the other side of the border, under occupation by the Turkish military and its proxy Syrian National Army (SNA). Yusuf, who’d been first taken to the state hospital in Ceylanpınar, was later transferred to a private hospital in the city of Urfa (Riha) for further treatment.

Sunday 8th May, 2022.

A branch official of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Muş, was only able to read out 20 seconds of her press statement on Saturday before the Turkish police started manhandling her and dragged her away.

The statement was a protest against a recent attack and harassment by police of the HDP head office in the Turkish capital Ankara on Thursday following a scuffle when some people tried to place a black wreath at the party’s offices.

Saturday 30th April, 2022.

Hüdai Morsümbül, a teacher in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin, was issued a fine for communicating in Kurdish and Arabic with his students and for teaching them Kurdish and Arabic words. An official letter sent to Morsümbül said that he taught, in violation of the frame of the Turkish course, Kurdish and Arabic words to students, and had them write words in Kurdish and Arabic, despite past complaints and warnings. "It was decided that you are to be fined an equivalent of 1/30 of your salary," the letter, signed by an official named Adem Şimşek, said.

Saturday 16th April, 2022.

In the fourth fatal incident within the last three years in Turkey's southeastern border province of Hakkari, a 21-year old individual was killed by soldiers as he was returning from a visit to the other side of the border. 21-year-old Tahsin Yalçın and his two friends were returning home from their visit to Iraqi Kurdistan at around 3 AM local time when soldiers opened fire at the group. Yalçın who received a chest wound died in the incident.

Monday 11th April, 2022.

A police officer who intentionally ran over and critically injured a lawyer in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Şırnak (Şirnex) on Sunday said he was mentally disturbed at the time of the incident, and that he was hearing voices in his head. The incident occurred when Serkan Karakaş, a lawyer, had to stop his car around 10:30 am due to a technical problem, and got out to see what the problem was. Karakaş, who was left in a critical condition, with a fractured kneecap and ruptured ligament in his knee after the incident, had to have a lengthy surgical operation. It has been reported that the operation was successful, although doctors noted that further operations might be required for a full recovery.

Wednesday 6th April, 2022.

Yahya Karabaş, a villager from the Kurdish southeast of Turkey was detained for four days and subjected to torture by Turkish soldiers after being detained from his village on 31 March. Soldiers raided a number of houses in the village of Timok (Gömüşörgü) in Batman’s Kozluk district, beating 15 people and taking them into custody. Ten of the 15 were released on the same day. "Then someone I didn’t see put a sack over my head from behind. They put me in the car and took me away. I didn’t know where they were taking me. They drove me around for about two hours. I was verbally abused by the people in the car, after getting me out of the car, they started dunking my head in and out of water, then they said We’ll kill you here and no one will know, where are the Kurdish fighters?"

Friday 25th March, 2022.

A mother and her 5-year old twins were taken into custody during Newroz celebrations in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority district of Bismil because 'the twins were wearing traditional Kurdish dresses'. The mother, Zeynep B., was asked questions by the police such as, "Where did you get these dresses from?" and "Didn’t you know that they are forbidden?" The mother replied, saying that they had participated in previous Newroz celebrations wearing similar dresses and that they were their traditional dresses. The police made a report, and then the mother and the twin girls had to take off their traditional dresses before they could participate in the celebrations.

Monday 21st March, 2022.

Tens of thousands in Turkey's Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır have managed to overcome attempts by the police to stop people from entering the festival Newroz celebration area despite water cannon and pepper spray. As Diyarbakır Newroz celebrations has always been of a particular importance among all Newroz events in Turkey, a large number of journalists from various news outlets are reporting. More than 650 individuals, a vast number of children among them, were detained during and after the Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakır.

Saturday 5th March, 2022.

Four Kurdish villagers are detained by the police while foraging for mushrooms. The four men are subjected to torture in custody, and photos that prove their treatment in the Van Police Directorate dominate Turkey’s alternative media. Still, the government-controlled mainstream media refuses to acknowledge the horrific images. They chose to pretend it never happened. The only recognition came when the villagers were accused of being terrorists.

Wednesday 23rd February, 2022.

A group of 30 racists attacked three Kurdish students sitting in a café in the grounds of Akdeniz University Campus in Antalya, southern Turkey yesterday. Botan Artuç and Feyzi Akan, two of the students who were attacked, were treated at the Akdeniz Medical Faculty Hospital, while Hatice Tonğ was taken to the Ataturk State Hospital. The racist group had been on campus taunting the Kurdish students since the early hours of the morning, according to reports. The students added that the police had remained unresponsive while the attack on the Kurdish students was taking place.

Tuesday 1st February, 2022.

After a police intervention on Kurdish street musicians in Istanbul, an MP and a senior official of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) made a public announcement in the Turkish parliament yesterday in a protest about the intervention. Meral Danış Beştaş, the vice-chair of HDP’s parliamentary group, said the intervention was a reflection of the hostility against the Kurdish people generally. "This is the reflection of the hostility against the Kurdish people, in this case targeting Kurdish language and music. The police who do not prevent violence against women on the streets stop a music group’s performance and ban the music."

Monday 24th January, 2022.

In the latest near-fatal incident caused by an armoured vehicle in a Kurdish-majority city, a young man has been run over and seriously injured by an armoured vehicle, and was only allowed to be removed to hospital 40 minutes later. A 23-year-old student named Abdulgaffar Dayan was run over by an armoured vehicle on his way to college in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Cizre (Cizîr). Dayan was seriously injured in the incident, suffering from internal bleeding, but permission was not given for him to be taken to the hospital for treatment until after a substantial delay, witnesses saw him being dragged about 50 metres after the impact.

Friday 7th January, 2022.

Cameraman Rojhat Doğru was tried at the 8th Criminal Court in Diyarbakır (Amed) on seperate charges of “disrupting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country”, “attempted murder”, “membership of the organisation” and “making propaganda of the organisation” with the court sentencing him to multiple sentences of life imprisonment and 12 years and 1 month in prison. Rojhat Doğru was working as a journalist and cameraman during the Kobani protests in the south-eastern towns of Turkey in 2014. Later journalist Doğru received an award from the Southeastern Journalists Association for the footage he recorded during the massive protests.

Wednesday 15th December, 2021.

Six years after a military operation targeted the inhabitants of the city of Cizre when dozens of civilians who had taken refuge in the basements of buildings were killed, appeals for most of the cases have been dismissed by the Turkish Constitutional Court. On the sixth anniversary of the declaration of a months-long curfew and the start of military operations that left at least 189 civilians dead in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Cizre (Cizîr), lawyer, Newroz Uysal outlined the current situation regarding the cases at Turkey’s Constitutional Court.

Saturday 4th December, 2021.

Special sergeant Musa Orhan was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on charges of sexually assaulting a Kurdish woman, İpek Er (18) and causing her death. However, at the hearing held at the Siirt High Penal Court No.1 yesterday (3 December) the court refused the demand to remand him in custody. Orhan attended to the court via videolink from Ankara and did not make a statement, only requesting acquittal. Musa Orhan faced charges of raping 18-year-old Er leading to her suicide in August 2020 in the southeastern province of Siirt (Eruh).

Thursday 18th November, 2021.

Mahmut Olgun was physically attacked by guards at Silivri Prison for writing a book in Kurdish as they took him for a so-called "disciplinary punishment" of 5 days in a solitary confinement cell.

Human rights defenders have been long campaigning to highlight human rights abuses in Turkey’s prison system, including severe isolation practices, physical attacks, acts of torture and strip searches.

Sunday 7th November, 2021.

Two People’s Defence Forces (HPG) fighters were killed in a clash in the rural area of Yardere during a military operation of Turkish armed forces in the Ömeryan district of Mardin (Merdin) on 25 October. After the operation two villagers living in the area, Ibrahim (72) and Faize (70) Dinler were beaten in their home and taken into custody. The couple, whose formal arrest was demanded by the prosecutor’s office for allegedly being members of “the organisation”, were referred to Mardin Peace Court of Criminal Jurisdiction. They were questioned about caves on their land. The old couple were released under judicial control by the court where they were transferred after nine days in custody.

Thursday 21st October, 2021.

A five year-old Kurdish girl has been taken to hospital after being hit by an armoured police vehicle and seriously injured, yesterday. CCTV footage of the incident, which took place in the Viranşehir (Wêranşar) district of Urfa (Riha), in southeastern Turkey, revealed in detail how the little girl was caught under the front wheel of the armoured vehicle as the vehicle continued driving. The little girl, N.D., was taken to hospital in Viranşehir with serious injuries.

Wednesday 6th October, 2021.

Remarks by the wife of imprisoned former pro-Kurdish party leader, Selahattin Demirtaş, that neither he nor any member of his family feel the slightest remorse over his imprisonment, has infuriated government officials and backers of the governing coalition in Turkey. In a rare move by a mainstream TV channel, Başak Demirtaş, the wife of the imprisoned former pro-Kurdish party leader Selahattin Demirtaş, appeared as a guest in a morning show, triggering reactions on social media with both positive and negative comments. Başak Demirtaş indicated during the show that she and her two daughters weren’t able to meet with Selahattin Demirtaş in open visits for 19 months.

Tuesday 28th September, 2021.

The police came to the Seyitler neighbourhood in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority Batman province early on the morning of 28 September and wanted to do a body search on Suat Şahin during a criminal record check, 21 years old Suat objecting to the body search, was then shot in the middle of the street and received serious gunshot wounds to his leg and kidney. He was taken to a private hospital where he remains in a critical condition. While the incident happened in the morning, the family was only informed by the police at night.

Saturday 4th September, 2021.

Seven-year-old Kurdish child, Miraç Miroğlu, was killed by a Turkish police armoured vehicle yesterday in Turkey’s southeastern city of Idil. Miraç, was riding his bicycle when a speeding armoured vehicle hit him, hurling him metres away and shattering his bicycle. An immediate police investigation is said to be taking place into the incident.

Thursday 12th August, 2021.

Kurdish prisoners in Elazağ Prison No. 1 in Turkey were subjected to violent attacks by guards, who told them, "Your people ignited the forests!" Even though wildfires are known to be common in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions during the summer months, Turkey has accused the outlawed-designated Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of being responsible for the wildfires. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated at a press conference on 21st July that they were “considering the possibility of sabotage” being the cause of the fires.

Thursday 5th August, 2021.

On 27th July, there was an explosion as an armoured vehicle carrying military personnel was passing by in the Yuksekova (Gever) district of Hakkari (Colemerg). After the explosion, soldiers inspecting the site of the explosion detained several villagers and also shepherds from the nearby villages of Çukurca (Pagê) and Aşağı Ölçek. Seven of the detained villagers were arrested for allegedly “disrupting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country.” Shepherds Levent Dere and Harun Örtas, who were reportedly subjected to severe torture in custody for days, were also arrested. Lawyers were denied access to those arested.

Thursday 15th July, 2021.

The drought this year has worsened conditions for farming communities, already significantly affected by the economic crisis which has led to high inflation rates negatively impacting on the agriculture and animal husbandry. On the outskirts of Erek Mountain in Van (Wan) in Turkey, Esmer Kumli is toiling hard in the field, harvesting wheat with a sickle because she cannot afford to hire a combine harvester. She says gas prices have risen so significantly that they will not even be able to afford to have the grain ground this year.

Monday 5th July, 2021.

In the Gevaş district of the eastern city of Van (Wan), seasonal agriculture Kurdish women workers suffer terribly as a result of the shockingly low wages, the long back breaking working hours in the intense working enviroment working under the hot summer sun in the tomato fields of Van. Women who work under the sun all day from 6am to 6pm are only paid a daily wage of 65 TL (approximately £5 per day/45p an hour). Some trying to support their families, some trying to cover their school expenses, child workers aged 14-15 are also working on these tomato fields. During a work-day they have only one hours break for lunch, nothing more.

Monday 21st June, 2021.

The forced displacement of the Kurdish population in Turkey was a deeply traumatic process. Hundreds of thousands of families were forced to migrate from their villages in the 1990s. 3 million Kurdish people were forcibly displaced, especially in the Kurdish provinces between 1990 and 1995. He stressed that the Kurds were also then subjected to “discrimination” in the Turkish western cities where they were forcibly displaced to. Field studies also show that almost one out of every two Kurds want to return to their homelands. According to the research conducted by Bilgi University in 2011, the rate of those Kurdish citizens who want to return their homelands is 40 percent.

Thursday 3rd June, 2021.

Fatma Özdemir is a 66-year-old Kurdish woman making a living by selling herbs she has grown in the beautiful Hevsel Garden of Diyarbakır (Amed). She came to the city 27 years ago after her village was burnt down by soldiers as part of the scorched earth policy of the Turkish state in the 1990s when there were intense clashes between the Turkish armed forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Özdemir’s village was just one of hundreds of villages that were forcibly evacuated, MA reports. She now lives in the Çeltikli village in Dicle, Diyarbakır. She misses her home village terribly and has suffered greatly throughout long years as a refugee in her own country.

Thursday 20th May, 2021.

Turkish soldiers on 18 May reportedly shot Şahap Şendol, a 23 old shepherd and Celil Ekinci, aged 17, in the Derecik district of Turkey’s eastern province of Hakkari (Colemerg). The incident took place at around 07:00 am on Tuesday in a rural area near the village of Hacı Bey. The soldiers on duty along the Turkey-Iraq border reportedly fired on Şendol and Ekinci ‘without warning’. The Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) MP for Hakkari Sait Dede announced the incident in his social media posts, sharing the footage that was recorded at the scene of the incident.

Wednesday 5th May, 2021.

Kurds have been struggling for a long time to convince the Turkish government to permit education in “mother languages” in Turkey. Kurdish activists have voiced their concerns that obstacles placed in front of education in Kurdish are not able to be overcome unless the Turkish authorities officially recognise the Kurdish language. The Kurdish Language and Culture Network (Tora Ziman û Çanda Kurdî) and the Kurdish Language Platform, which includes nine Kurdish political parties, in Turkey launched and campaign on February 21 and organised a petition demanding education in Kurdish and recognition of Kurdish as an official language in Turkey.

Saturday 17th April, 2021.

Turkish soldiers captured two kolbars in the countryside of the Beydoğan (Şexsicih) village in Çaldıran district of Van province, bordering Iran, yesterday morning. According to reports, kolbars Hesen Keçelano (35) and Behnam Semedi, both from Rojhilat (East Kurdistan, Iran) were heavily tortured by Turkish soldiers. While Behnam Semedi suffered deep wounds in several parts of his body as a result of torture, with his face covered in blood, Hesen Keçelano lost his life. Semedi was then left at the border with the dead body of Keçelano.

Monday 5th April, 2021.

Turkish police confiscated opposition Kurdish newspaper Yeni Yaşam as a criminal element during home raids in Amed (Diyarbakir). Political genocide operations are continuing with mass arrests in North Kurdistan and Turkey. 22 women have been detained during an operation targeting the Roza Women's Association in Amed in the morning. It is reported that documents of membership in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), legal books and Yeni Yaşam Newspaper were confiscated as criminal elements during the raids on the houses of the detainees.

Thursday 25th March, 2021.

Erdoğan’s onslaught on rights and democracy targets women, Kurds, LGBT people, democratic safeguards, says Human Rights Watch. The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is dismantling human rights protections and democratic norms in Turkey on a scale unprecedented in the 18 years he has been in office, said Human Rights Watch on Wednesday. The government took further dangerous measures over the past week to undermine the rule of law and target perceived critics and political opponents.

Thursday 18th March, 2021.

687 HDP members face political activity ban. The indictment prepared to ban the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has been published by the state-run Anadolu news agency even before it reached the HDP itself. On Wednesday, Bekir Şahin, chief prosecutor of the Court of Cassation, had sent an indictment to the Constitutional Court on the initiative of the ultra-nationalist AKP coalition partner MHP to have the HDP banned through legal action. One of the allegations given was that the party's politicians intended to undermine the integrity of the state through their statements and actions.

Sunday 14th March, 2021.

Emine Şenyaşar launched sit-in in front of the courthouse in Urfa 5 days ago demanding justice after the triple murder of her husband and sons by the bodyguards and relatives of AKP Deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız. On 14 June 2018, during the campaign for the General Election of June 24, the Şenyaşar family was targeted by a wave of attacks by the bodyguards and relatives of AKP MP İbrahim Halil Yıldız during visits to tradespeople. The attacks which then spread to Suruç State Hospital claimed the lives of Hacı Esvet Şenyaşar (67) and his sons Adil (36) and Celal Şenyaşar (41).

Tuesday 2nd March, 2021.

Dutch Parliament condemns Turkish pressures on the HDP. Deputy Sadet Karabulut condemned the arrest of HDP deputies and the continuous pressure on the party in a debate on a motion on the issue tabled in the Dutch Parliament. The Dutch parliament condemned the repression of the HDp carried out by the Turkish state and said urged Turkey to act within the framework of the European Union and release the arrested politicians.

Wednesday 24th February, 2021.

The trial against HDP’s Kocaeli provincial co-chair Leyla Aygün and others accused of "being members of an illegal organization" and "making propaganda for an illegal organization" was held at the 2nd High Criminal Court in Kocaeli. The court sentenced HDP member Mehmet Alçınkaya, Gebze District co-chair Ebubekir Çoban, party member Damla Bağcı and CHP council member Osman Kurum to 7 years and 6 months for alleged "organization membership". Mehmet Karaslan and Kudbeddin Güneşsu received 6 years 10 months and 15 days in prison and HDP Provincial co-chair Leyla Aygün and Emine Karaaslan was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison.

Friday 5th February, 2021.

The Turkish army launched an operation in the rural areas of Mızag (Kılıçlı), Xemzê (Bayırlı), Mexmedêlê, Melê (Yönlüce), Qörmık (Konuklu), Zengesor (Akçabudak), Dızeyni (Yamaçlı) villages / neighborhoods in the north and northeast of Amed's (Diyarbakir) Lice district in the morning hours. Political genocide operations were carried out in many villages in an air-supported operation. Thirteen people, including the village headman (mukhtar) of Yönlüce village, Mekin Yalçın and a 74-year-old citizen, Ramazan Aslan from Duzeyni village, were among those detained.

Friday 22nd January, 2021.

Members of the European Parliament on Thursday (January 22) called on Turkey to immediately and unconditionally release former Co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been detained by the Turkish authorities for more than four years on terrorism-related charges. On December 22nd, 2020, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Demirtaş must be freed, saying that Turkey’s justification for his detention for the last four years was a pretext for limiting political debate.

Monday 4th January, 2021.

79 journalists were detained, 24 journalists were jailed, 19 journalists were attacked, and 1960 news articles were blocked during 2020. DFG co-chair Dicle Müftüoğlu, who defined the year 2020 as "a balls up", said, "Detention, arrest, investigation, trial, prison sentence, access block, screen blackout. Press workers who try to make the voices of those otherized heard and act with the principle of genuine and courageous journalism defying the pro-gov’t mainstream media have been targeted.”

Wednesday 23rd December, 2020.

HRW calls for the immediate release of Demirtaş, “The Turkish government must act without delay and cannot disregard this judgment with specious arguments that it doesn’t apply to Demirtaş’ current detention,” said the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Monday 7th December, 2020.

A protest was staged in Van to raise objections to a child molestation which involves 27 persons, including soldiers, police officers and village guards in Gercüş district of Batman. HDP Van Deputy Murat Sarısaç and HDP members also supported the action organized by Free Women’s Movement (Tevgera Jinên Azad, TJA) activists in front of the HDP headquarter. The police blocked the party headquarter and insulted MP Sarısaç, saying they would not allow the statement to be read out. Police attacked the crowd with batons as they were preparing to make a statement confronting the threats of the police.

Friday 20th November, 2020.

As rights violations experienced in Turkey's prisons increase, new scandals appear. Translation fee for letters in Kurdish, which was previously applied in different prisons, is also applied in Diyarbakır Closed Women's Prison. According to the information received from the detainees, the prison administrations demand translation fees from the detainees for the Kurdish letters they send and receive. The detainees define such a verdict on Kurdish as persecution, since there is no similar regulation for letters written in different languages such as English, French and German.

Thursday 5th November, 2020.

HDP Deputy Feleknas Uca stated that the Ankara Public Prosecutor's office, which prepared a summary on Uca, made a confession that the MIT organized the Paris Massacre. Asking Turkish Justice Minister Abdul Hamid Gül to answer, Uca said: "the French judicial authorities, who arrested killer Omar Güney after the massacre, exposed his connection with MIT and confirmed he had come to Turkey three times before the massacre. They tried to get answers from the MIT organisation in Ankara and its relevant institutions but received none.”

Thursday 29th October, 2020.

Repression against the free press in Turkey continues. The AKP/MHP regime has once again blocked the website of the women's news agency JinNews. The Turkish Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) has blocked JinNews in Turkey eleven times in the past. The all-female agency's journalists and editors are repeatedly subjected to legal actions and imprisoned.

Monday 19th October, 2020.

Kurdish prisoner Serkan Tumay has reportedly died as a result of the torture to which he was subjected in a detention center in Kırıkkale province in central Anatolia. The relatives of the Kurdish prisoner from Bitlis, who was sentenced to two years in prison, told ANF that Tumay was severely mistreated by the staff of the F-type prison in Kırıkkale about a month ago, according to his fellow prisoners, and among other things he was beaten with his head against the wall. He is said to have suffered several bone fractures and skull fractures. It is unclear whether he was admitted to hospital.

Monday 5th October, 2020.

Feleknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy, HDP Foreign Affairs co-spokespersons issued a written statement to draw attention to the policies of intimidation against HDP’s youth assembly carried out by police, that criminalize young members and their activities." After the Turkish police’s scandalous kidnapping of Hatice Büşra Kuyun, HDP’s party assembly member, in the province of Van on 11 May 2020, several HDP youth assembly members were similarly kidnapped in broad daylight, intimidated, threatened, and tortured.

Sunday 20th September, 2020.

Two Kurdish farmers remained in hospital today after suffering horrific injuries when they were tortured and thrown from a helicopter in Turkey’s south-eastern province of Van. The families of Osman Siban and Servet Turgut filed a criminal complaint with the Van chief public prosecutor’s office after the pair were treated in intensive care for injuries consistent with falling from a height. They have demanded an urgent investigation is carried out into the incident, which has left the men with serious trauma.

Thursday 3rd September, 2020.

The death of Turkish human rights lawyer Ebru Timtik after a long hunger strike was entirely preventable, UN human rights experts said in a statement, calling on Turkey to release other human rights defenders. “No one should have to die in pursuit of a fair trial; it is a fundamental human right,” they said. “This is an utter waste of a human life, and we are greatly dismayed at the death of this, courageous woman human rights defender, as well as the circumstances that led to her death.”

Thursday 20th August, 2020.

After the death of Kurdish Ipek Er, women have been protesting against the state rape policy in numerous cities in Northern Kurdistan and Turkey. 18-year-old Ipek Er committed suicide in Batman after being held, drugged and raped by Turkish sergeant Musa Orhan for weeks. Before her suicide attempt, she had filed charges against the rapist. The sergeant was briefly arrested and released less than 24 hours later.

Thursday 6th August, 2020.

In Turkey, 98 journalists are currently in prison, said the report which added that 2 journalists were detained in July, 3 journalists were attacked, news coverage of journalists was prevented in 2 incidents, 4 journalists were investigated, lawsuits were filed against 3 journalists, 1 journalist was punished, 64 journalists stood trial, internet access was blocked for 8 news and a total of 124 URL addresses.

Friday 31st July, 2020.

Turkey’s newly-passed social media law will silence criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the country has been “taking steps to close the window on press freedom once and for all. Accelerating after a failed coup attempt in 2016, Turkey has been targeting journalists in unfair trials and media pluralism has been all but destroyed in the country.

Saturday 18th July, 2020.

As conservative media and ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials discuss Turkey’s withdrawal from a council of Europe human rights treaty against domestic and gender-based violence, Turkey’s women are calling for a demonstration on Sunday to protest domestic and sexual violence against women and children. Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül said was in favour of a withdrawal and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu described how the withdrawal process would be undertaken.

Sunday 28th June, 2020.

Turkey has conducted hundreds of cases of torture and thousands of rights violations between 2010 and 2019, a new report issued by Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) revealed last week. According to İHD chairman in the majority-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey, Abdullah Zeytun, 690 out of 3,569 rights violations that were issued to his organization were related to torture.

Wednesday 17th June, 2020.

Police surround HDP Provincial building in Amed. Barricades were put up to prevent the people gathered in front of the HDP Amed Provincial Organization to join the Democracy March coming from Hakkari.

Tuesday 2nd June, 2020.

The murder of a 20-year-old Kurdish man in Ankara has launched a wave of accusations of discrimination in Turkey over the mistreatment of the ethnic minority. Barış Çakan was visiting a park with a friend in Ankara’s Etimesgut neighbourhood on Sunday night when he asked three men to turn down the volume of the music playing from their car during the evening call to prayer. The friend told police that an argument ensued and Çakan was stabbed in the heart and killed.

Wednesday 27th May, 2020.

Conditions are worsening in Turkey's prisons. The HDP called on international institutions and authorities to closely monitor prisons in Turkey and mobilize the mechanisms and resources at their disposal to protect the rights and health of prisoners.

Sunday 24th May, 2020.

Like so many Kurdish families, Halime Aksoy had been mourning the loss of her son without his body. It wasn’t until this year that Agit İpek’s bones were finally given to his family, some three years after his death. What is different about this family’s experience is that Turkish officials sent Agit İpek’s remains in a small package via the state postal service – cash on delivery.

Thursday 7th May, 2020.

Thousands pay tribute to Ibrahim Gökçek who died today, the bassist of the socialist band Grup Yorum, who led a death fast protest for 323 days in protest at the state repression against his group. With the protest, the 39-year-old musician demanded the lifting of the concert ban of Grup Yorum, an end to the police raids against the Idil cultural centre, the release of all imprisoned band members and the cessation of all legal proceedings.

Friday 1st May, 2020.

Turkish police carried out simultaneous house raids in the Hacıbekir (Xaçort) neighborhood in Van’s central İpekyolu district this morning. Police forces broke the doors of the houses targeted in the operation, turned everything upside down and detained 14 people. The operation was reportedly carried out in response to the demonstration staged by the youth on April 20 in protest at the Turkish attacks against Zînî Wertê in South Kurdistan and the Turkish officials sending the remains of slain HPG guerrilla to his family in a box by mail.

Tuesday 21st April, 2020.

COVID-19 coronavirus may have already caused significant damage before Turkey announced its first confirmed case on March 11 on Monday. According to data compiled from public records of deaths in Istanbul, there have been some 2,100 more deaths in March and April 2020, compared to data from the last two years. Around March 17, when Turkey announced the first coronavirus-related death, the number of deaths overall in Istanbul was already considerably higher than historical averages An indication that the virus had arrived several weeks earlier.

Thursday 16th April, 2020.

Organized crime boss Alaattin Cakici, 67, serving a prison sentence in Turkey was set free today as Turkish authorities continued releasing thousands of inmates to ease overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic while keeping government critics behind bars. He was imprisoned for convictions on charges that included instigating murder, armed attack, money laundering, leading an illegal organization and insulting the president. At least 85 journalists and more than 3,500 pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party members, including former party leaders and lawmakers remain imprisoned.

Tuesday 17th March, 2020.

Nine people who were taken into custody in Adıyaman’s Çelikhan district from the 9th to 13th of March, have been referred to court. Those detained in the operations include former co-mayors of DBP-held Bulam town, Mehmet Çağlan and Cevahir Büyükşahin. While three of the detainees were released after giving their statements, the other six were remanded in custody for alleged “membership to an illegal organization”.

Saturday 7th March, 2020.

Turkey’s General Directorate of Security announced on Saturday it would be launching investigations into any form of misinformation on the presence of coronavirus cases in the country. The investigations will include any form of social media posts sparking fear in the population, the directorate said in an official statement on its website. The move is adding fuel to concerns that the Health Ministry of the country, surrounded by countries where the disease has been found, is hiding cases of the deadly virus.

Tuesday 25th February, 2020.

Former residents of the ancient town of Hasankeyf in southeast Turkey have visited the area to bid a painful final farewell as it is submerged underwater.

The Turkish government approved the building of Ilisu Dam in the town in 1997, aiming at generating electricity for the region, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. However, the decision uprooted some 80,000 people from nearly 200 villages in the affected area as it sinks by 15cm per day. The history of the predominantly Kurdish city, located in Mardin province, dates back nearly 12,000 years.

Tuesday 18th February, 2020.

The Turkish police continue to take brutal action against the Kurdish people. Dozens of people were arrested in early morning raids, in Şırnak, Urfa, Batman, Adana and a ninety-year-old woman was mistreated in İdil by masked police officers.

Hundreds of opposition members have been arrested in recent days in Diyarbakir, Dersim, Mardin, Van, Muş, Ağrı, Ankara, Istanbul, Mersin, Kocaeli and Istanbul, among others.

Saturday 18th January, 2020.

Children in Turkey’s Kurdish majority east and southeast face developmental challenges due to chronic hunger, according to a new report by the country’s health and education ministries.

A total of 3.5 percent of children in the eastern region and 5.4 percent of children in the southeast region experienced stunted growth due to chronic hunger, compared to as low as 1 percent found in their peers in the western regions of the country, the TOÇBİ report found.

Sunday 12th January, 2020.

74-year-old Nebi İlhan, a prisoner in SÊRT (Siirt) E Type Prison, lost his life in the hospital where he was being treated. There are hundreds of Kurdish political prisoners left to die in prisons by Turkey.