Inmates are being restricted access to books, the daily Evrensel newspaper reported. Prisoners' books are routinely confiscated and have been punished for writing poetry in their notebooks. “Our right to obtain information is being violated. The books we read are separated into a different section and we can only exchange them with others in every 15 days by writing a petition," a prisoner said.
Türkiye Biricik, who lives with her son and daughter-in-law, has never once in her life held an identity card issued by the state, causing multiple misfortunes in her life. “It is as if my mother-in-law has lived in death for her entire life," Sakine Biricik, the 80-year-old woman's daughter-in-law told Duvar.
After meeting with jailed philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala at Silivri Prison, Süleyman Bülbül, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's Party, has said that Kavala feels his right to a fair trial has been violated. Kavala has been jailed pending trial for over two years. Bülbül also spoke with lawyer Selçuk Kozağaçlı and musician İbrahim Gökçek about their time in prison.
The Ankara First Heavy Penal Court has released its justified decision on ruling for the acquittal of 19 suspects, including former Interior Minister Mehmet Ağar, in the case into 18 unsolved murders that were committed in 1990s, deeming all reports by Turkish Intelligence Agency (MİT), parliament, ministries and commissions "insufficient" to convict the suspects.
Researcher Elif Sandal Önal was one of the many "Academics for Peace" - a group of more than 2,000 people who signed a controversial petition that was released in January 2016 and that condemned the Turkish military's heavy use of violence in certain southeastern, predominantly Kurdish districts of Turkey. Like many of the signatories, Önal was fired from her job and sought exile abroad. Now settled in Germany, the academic says he "has no intention of returning to Turkey."
According to a report prepared by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, the right to life of over 41,000 people was violated under AKP rule. A total of 23,980 people died in on-the-job accidents which are commonly referred to in Turkey as "job site murders" due to the poor and unsafe conditions in which many people work.
Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink was commemorated on the 13th anniversary of his death on Jan. 19. "It's not late to be ashamed," read a banner hanging on the former building of the Istanbul-based Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, where Dink was killed 13 years ago. The final result of Dink's murder case has long been awaited, with his family and friends continuing on the quest for justice.
At least 400,000 Syrian refugee children in Turkey are not attending school, and those who are enrolled face a number of difficulties including discrimination and poor treatment from teachers, according to recent findings by local civil society organizations. Among the other problems that Syrian children face include child labor, abuse, and child marriage.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled for rights violation in a case concerning the injury of two demonstrators during a protest against the government and Soma coal mining company in May 2014 in the capital Ankara. The top court ordered the state to pay 20,000 Turkish Liras (roughly $6,830) to each of the applicants.
A proposal calling for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality to designate the city's 93 cemevis – houses of worship of Alevis – as official places of worship has been rejected by the votes of the AKP and MHP councillors. The proposal submitted by the CHP and İYİ Party groups in the council said cemevis can't benefit from public services that other places of worship can use and this is against the constitution's equality principle.
A more than two-year block on online encyclopedia Wikipedia was lifted on Jan. 15 at around 10.30 p.m. local time, putting an end to the ban put in place in April 2017 due to entries that accused Turkey of having links to terrorist organizations. Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül said last week that the website would be reopened once the Constitutional Court reveals its justified decision on the ruling.
Sevag Şahin Balıkçı, an Armenian citizen of Turkey, was killed on April 24, 2011 by a fellow conscript while both were doing their compulsory military service. A military court initially sentenced the defendant Kıvanç Ağaoğlu to 4 years and 5 months in prison, but following a retrial process at a civilian court, Ağaoğlu was sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in jail.
Trans woman Ajda Ender, an Istanbul resident, has issued a plea for justice from her Twitter account after not being able to enter her own home for months due to the transphobic physical violence and death threats she has received. Ender's lawyer, Human Rights Association (İHD) co-president Eren Keskin, said that Ender is a victim of transphobic violence and discrimination, which has become commonplace in Turkey.
Turkey's Saturday Mothers gathered for a symbolic 772nd time, demanding an impartial investigation into the Güçlükonak massacre in 1996. "Concerning grave crimes in which the security forces are alleged to have been involved, if the relevant perpetrators and the ones who are responsible are not determined and punished following an independent judiciary process, the state is the one to be blamed for these crimes,” said Gülseren Yoleri, a prominent human rights activist.
Former HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş has been awarded by the Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV) for "his efforts in service of human rights, democracy and peace." His wife, Başak Demirtaş, received the award on her husband's behalf during a ceremony held in Istanbul on Jan. 10.