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Prosecutor Widens Unjustified Probe of Osman Kavala

Update: Of the 13 people detained on November 16, 12 were released but are banned from overseas travel. An Istanbul court ruled that Yiğit Aksakoğlu, who has worked for many years in the field of human rights, including at…
Istanbul police detained 13 academics and individuals working for nongovernmental group Anadolu Kültür, November 16, 2018.
News

Free Journalists, Rights Defenders, Politicians Jailed in Turkey

Given the present state of human rights in Turkey, the German government has come in for criticism over the elaborate plans for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey’s upcoming visit on September 28 and 29, including a state banquet…
From left to right: Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak
News

Use September 7 Meeting to Address Arbitrary Detentions, Disappearances, Abductions

(Beirut) – The Astana working group on detentions and abductions in the Syrian conflict should take immediate steps to address the Syrian government’s arbitrary detentions, torture of detainees, and enforced disappearances, 11 human…
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. © 2018 Tolga Bozoglu/Pool Photo via AP
News

Draft Law Permits Purging Judges; Prolonged Detention; Curbing Movement, Assembly

(Istanbul)—A draft law being rushed through Turkey’s parliament will preserve many of the abusive powers granted to the president and executive under the country’s recent state of emergency, which formally ended on July 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch…
The human rights monument in Ankara cordoned off with a police barricade during Turkey’s state of emergency to prevent its use as a site of public assembly and protest, 2017.
News

Jailed Amnesty Turkey Chair, 10 Other Activists Face Unfounded Charges

(Istanbul) – Sham criminal proceedings against Amnesty International Turkey’s honorary chair Taner Kılıç and 10 other human rights defenders are set to resume on June 21, 2018, Human Rights Watch said. The rights…
Taner Kilic, head of Amnesty International Turkey, speaks at a conference.
News

Harsh Sentences for Cumhuriyet Staff in Politically Motivated Case

(Berlin) – The 14 journalists, staff, and board members of the Turkish- daily newspaper Cumhuriyet sentenced to prison on April 25, are being punished for doing their jobs, Human Rights Watch said today. “The convictions of Cumhuriyet…
Press freedom activists read opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet during a demonstration in solidarity with the jailed members of the newspaper outside a courthouse, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 28, 2017.
News

Sentences for Journalists, Writers Emblematic of Media Crackdown

(Berlin) — Three Turkish journalists were convicted on February 16, 2018 on bogus charges related to the failed coup of 2016 and sentenced to life in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. They are the first journalists convicted of involvement in…
Writers and journalists Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, and Nazli Ilicak
News

State of Emergency Prolonged as Presidential Powers Increase

(Istanbul) – Turkey increased restrictions on the media, political opposition, and human rights defenders during 2017, on the back of a very narrow referendum, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. Turkey also introduced a…
A demonstration outside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey in solidarity with the staff of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on trial over alleged support to terrorist groups, July 24, 2017.
News

Journalists’ Trial Part of Vicious Crackdown on Independent Voices

A journalist prosecuted for allegedly helping a group which he spent years criticizing in his work. Emails received – but not answered – from people the government views as undesirables, and newspaper clippings presented as evidence of…
A demonstration outside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey in solidarity with the staff of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on trial over alleged support to terrorist groups, July 24, 2017.
News

Police Detain 10, Including Amnesty Turkey Director, in Terrorism Investigation

  (Istanbul) – Ten human rights defenders detained on July 5, 2017, in Istanbul on alleged suspicion of membership of an armed organization should be released immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. Turkish police…
Human rights defenders detained by police in Istanbul on July 5, 2017. From bottom left: Nalan Erkem; Nejat Taştan; İlknur Üstün, İdil Eser, Özlem Dalkıran, Günal Kurşun.
News

Ill-Treatment, Unfair Trial for Those Sought by Turkey Over Alleged Gulenist Links

(New York) – Burmese authorities have forced back Turkish asylum seeker, Muhammet Furkan Sökmen via Thailand, putting him at risk of serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 24, 2017, Burmese officials…
Burma/Thailand: Deported Turkish Man at Risk PHOTO
News

Support Equal Rights, Reject Death Penalty

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s government and president should reverse the decision to extend the state of emergency after winning the April 16, 2017 presidential referendum and end the wave of political repression unleashed in the months before the vote, Human…
A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Ankara during the referendum, April 16, 2017.
News

Ruthless Assault on Press Freedom Shields State from Scrutiny

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s government has all but silenced independent media in an effort to prevent scrutiny or criticism of its ruthless crackdown on perceived enemies, Human Rights Watch said today. The assault on critical journalism sharpened in…
Journalists targeted in Turkey’s media crackdown. From top left: Aslı Erdoğan, Ahmet Altan, Kadri Gürsel, Necmiye Alpay; Erdem Gül, Ceyda Karan, Can Dündar, Hatice Kamer; Refik Tekin, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Nedim Oruç, Nazlı Ilıcak
News

Cumhuriyet Journalists Held; Kurdish Media Closed; Mayors Jailed

(Istanbul) – The detention of journalists from independent newspaper Cumhuriyet, the closure of the remaining Kurdish media, and the jailing of elected mayors in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir in the space of two days is evidence of the deepening…
2016-10-31-turkey-newspaper-protest
News

Prolonged State of Emergency Used to Censor Media

(Istanbul) – The closure of eight independent news and current affairs-focused TV channels effectively ends critical television news reporting in Turkey. The channels are among 23 television and radio stations reported by the media to face closure on the…
2016-10-eca-turkey-tv
News

State of Emergency Crackdown Accelerates

(Istanbul) – The Turkish government’s news media shutdown shows how the State of Emergency law is being used to deny the right to free speech beyond any legitimate aim of upholding public order today. The government ordered 131 newspapers, news agencies,…
Turkish journalist Nazli Ilicak, a well-known commentator and former parliamentarian, is escorted by a police officer and her relatives after being detained in Bodrum, Turkey on July 26, 2016.
News

New Crackdown Targets Activists for ‘Terrorism’

(Berlin) – An academic and two journalists who have played a key role in Turkey’s human rights movement have been jailed pending investigation into spurious allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda. They should be released immediately and the…
Ahmet Nesin, Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Erol Önderoğlu at the court house in Istanbul hours before being jailed pending investigation into spurious allegations of “making terrorist propaganda.”
News

Gunman Shoots at Editor Outside Court

Can Dündar, editor of the Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, and Erdem Gül, the newspaper’s Ankara bureau chief, were sentenced to prison on May 6, 2016, on charges of obtaining and revealing state secrets, Human Rights Watch said today. Dündar was…
Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, accompanied by his Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul, talks to media as they leave the Justice Palace in Istanbul, Turkey on May 6, 2016. © 2016 Reuters
News

Ruling Undermines Defendants’ Rights

(Istanbul) – A court ruling on March 25, 2016 to close the criminal trial of two journalists to the public undermines the rights of the defendants to a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14…
2016-3-eca-turkey-dundar
News

End Prosecution of Newspaper Editor and Ankara Bureau Chief

(Istanbul) – The trial in Istanbul on March 25, 2016 of two prominent journalists demonstrates the huge restrictions on the media and reporters in Turkey, as well as the president and government’s determination to suppress all critical reporting, Human…
2016-3-eca-turkey-cumhuriyet