The Armenian Patriarchate reported receiving anonymous threats around Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The Ankara Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into CHP member of parliament Sezgin Tanrikulu for “insulting the Turkish state” after he addressed the genocide on social media. Tanrikulu wrote, “107 years ago, on April 24, 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals were detained in Istanbul, exiled to Cankiri, Ayas, and Ankara, and forcibly disappeared. Without confronting this date, which is the milestone of evil, true justice cannot be achieved.” President Erdogan called ethnic Armenian member of parliament Garo Paylan a “traitor” for introducing a bill to parliament calling for recognition of the Armenian genocide. “We perceive as an open betrayal in the highest instance,” the president said, calling for “necessary measures” to be taken against Paylan. Kurdish and pro-Kurdish civil society organizations and political parties continued to experience problems exercising freedoms of assembly and association (see section 2.b.).
In February 2021, the Court of Cassation upheld Altan’s 11-year prison sentence, and he remained in prison at year’s end. According to human rights organizations, as of November, authorities had prosecuted more than 1,600 lawyers, arrested 615, and sentenced 551 to lengthy prison terms on terrorism-related charges since the 2016 coup attempt. Of the arrested lawyers, 15 were active or former presidents of provincial bar associations. According to the statement, there were still 19,252 Gulen movement detainees in prisons and approximately 24,000 fugitives still being sought. Between July 2021 and July 2022, the government detained 20,763 individuals and arrested 1,877 individuals for connections to the Gulen movement.
Defendants or their attorneys may, within limits, present witnesses and evidence on their own behalf. Defendants have the right not to testify or confess guilt and the right to appeal. Human rights groups alleged interpretation was not always provided free of charge, leaving some poor, non-Turkish-speaking defendants disadvantaged by the need to pay for interpretation. Although the law prohibits holding a suspect arbitrarily or secretly, there were numerous reports that the government did not observe these prohibitions.
The law gives prosecutors the right to suspend lawyer-client privilege and to observe and record conversations between accused persons and their legal counsel. Human rights organizations reported the 24-hour attorney access restriction was arbitrarily applied and that in terrorism-related cases, authorities often did not inform defense attorneys of the details of detentions within the first 24 hours, as required by law. In such cases rights organizations and lawyers’ groups reported attorneys’ access to the case files for their clients was limited for weeks or months pending preparations of indictments, hampering their ability to defend their clients. The law does not explicitly address discrimination due to sexual orientation, gender identity, color, national origin or citizenship, social origin, communicable disease status, or HIV-positive status. Discrimination in employment or occupation occurred with regard to sex, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, HIV-positive status, and presence of a disability. Sources also reported frequent discrimination based on political affiliation and views.
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Access to family planning methods and information on managing reproductive health was more difficult for many of the four million refugees in the country. A 2020 Reproductive Health Journal analysis of the sexual and reproductive health of Syrian refugee women stated the rate of postnatal care was inadequate. The review reported a 24 percent rate of modern contraceptive method use among all age groups of Syrian girls and women, with estimated rates of unmet family planning needs at 35 percent and only 20 percent of Syrian women having regular gynecological examinations.
The deputy governor of Istanbul, Chief Rabbi Haleva, other members of the Jewish community, the foreign minister, and members of the diplomatic community attended the commemoration. As in previous years, President Erdogan issued public messages in celebration of the Jewish holidays of Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah. The law allows reinstatement of former non-Turkish names of villages and neighborhoods and provides political parties and their members the right to campaign and use promotional material in any language, but this right was not protected. The law restricts the use of languages other than Turkish in government and public services. The government provided access to sexual and reproductive health services for survivors of sexual violence.
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Of the 120 registered parties in January, the YSK considered 27 eligible to run according to its May eligibility list, which it generally publishes every six months. The rest were deemed ineligible for failing to fulfil the requirements regarding organizational structure or holding all https://datingsimplified.net/fuck-marry-kill-review/ their local congresses six months prior to the list’s publication. Some NGOs shared stories of clients taken into custody when applying for asylum and then deported without being given access to a lawyer. The government resumed flights to Afghanistan for “voluntary” returns in January.
Hundreds of Kurdish civil society organizations and Kurdish-language media outlets closed by government decree in 2016 and 2017 after the coup attempt remained shut. According to the NGO Turkish Family Health and Planning Foundation , there was significant unmet demand for family planning counseling and services, particularly among older women with at least one child. Women in Northeast Anatolia, Istanbul, West Marmara, and Southeast Anatolia regions had the highest rate of unmet family planning needs in the country. TAPV concluded that the shrinking role of public health-care providers in reproductive health (vice private health-care providers) negatively impacted accessibility to family planning resources, particularly among lower-income women.
Although the Constitutional Court ruled that Demirtas’s lengthy pretrial detention violated his rights in 2020, his release was denied based on the separate Kobane investigation. Prosecutors submit summaries of proceedings against legislators who face criminal charges. At year’s end, there were 1,400 summaries of proceedings held up in the Joint Committee of Constitution and Justice.
In certain cases, courts awarded compensation to aggrieved residents, although the latter complained awards were insufficient. In Diyarbakir’s Sur District, the government had not completed repairs on many of the seized properties. The government allocated 30 million lira ($3.8 million) to repair four churches, including such historic sites as the Surp Giragos Armenian Church and the Mar Petyun Chaldean Church, both of which reopened in May for Easter services. The court also ordered the state to pay compensation and damages to the judges and prosecutors for their involuntary absence of duty. Following the decision, 122 members of the judiciary were immediately reinstated, while the official reinstatement of 56 others depends on whether the Board of Judges and Prosecutors pursues an appeal. Those who were reinstated were found guilty of ties to Gulen based on their use of the ByLock encrypted messaging application, witness statements, telephone calls with other Gulen supporters, attending events organized by Gulen’s supporters, or making donations to Gulen-linked foundations.
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The investigations were based on a 2019 statement of the bar association’s Women’s Rights Center calling for an end to the country’s military action in Syria and for diplomatic resolution of the conflict, as well as comments regarding the relocation of Armenians in 1915. The International Committee of Jurists and other human rights groups called for authorities to stop prosecution of Aydin. Human rights organizations and CPT reports asserted prisoners frequently lacked adequate access to potable water, proper heating, ventilation, lighting, food, and health services. Human rights organizations also noted that prison overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions exacerbated health risks. Prisons did not provide disinfectant, gloves, or masks to prisoners, but instead sold them at commissaries. According to a March survey of prisoners by the NGO Media and Law Studies Association conducted in five facilities, 56 percent of respondents reported not having sufficient hygienic supplies.
Some lawyers stated they were hesitant to take cases, particularly those of suspects accused of PKK or Gulen movement ties, for fear of government reprisal, including prosecution. Many lawyers defending persons accused of terrorism have faced criminal charges themselves. This practice disproportionately affected access to legal representation in the southeast, where accusations of affiliation with the PKK were frequent and the ratio of lawyers to citizens was low.
Ahead of March Newroz celebrations in the southeast, authorities detained 24 women’s rights activists in Diyarbakir. Among those detained were former elected mayors dismissed by the government and replaced with trustees. Some were affiliated with the HDP and others allegedly with the PKK-affiliated Free Women’s Movement; other detainees were involved in trade union organizing or human rights organizations. Most had been involved in organizing March 8 International Women Worker’s Day rallies in the region.