Turkey is the second biggest jailer of journalists with 47 imprisoned in 2019, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Turkey is down from first place for the first time in four years. The report also noted that 100 news organizations were closed under the current government, and that working journalists were also in legal battles and being accused of terrorism.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Turkey violated the rights of prominent philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala, urging the country to free him immediately. The court on Dec. 10 ruled that Kavala's right to liberty and security, right to a speedy decision on the lawfulness of detention and the limitation on use of restrictions on rights were violated.
Some 82.1 percent of Turks believe that people's fundamental rights and freedoms are being violated in the country, according to a survey conducted by Amnesty Turkey. Some 80 percent of the interviewees believe that everyone is equal before the law in Turkey; but 54.4 percent of the interviewees have said that when it comes to implementation, people cannot enjoy these rights equally.
Turkey's top court has ruled for rights violation in a case into the wounding of a protester with a tear gas canister shot by police during Gezi Park protests. "The force used against the applicant can't be said to be necessary because public officials can't prove that the applicant was not peaceful," the court said, while also ruling for Şahin to be paid 20,000 Turkish Liras as compensation.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Turkey to compensate two Turkish nationals after they were imposed a punitive fine for shouting the slogan of “Bijî Serok Apo” (Kurdish for 'Long Live President Apo'). The ECHR said in its ruling that Turkey had violated the Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides the right to freedom of expression.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is set to issue its ruling in the case into the prominent philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala, who is is accused of being one of the “managers and organizers” of 2013 Gezi Park protests, which took place in Istanbul’s Taksim following harsh government response to a group of protesters trying to prevent the cutting down of trees for a large development project planned by the government, on Dec. 10.
Due to a major increase in incarcerations following the failed July 2016 coup attempt, Turkey's prisons have become overcrowded, and health issues have become a frequent concern. The figures indicate that 1334 prisoners are currently sick, with 457 of them suffering from severe health problems. Between 2017-2019, the Human Rights Association (IHD) determined that 44 prisoners died in jail.
A court case has been launched against 12 university students in the province of Antalya on charges of membership in an illegal organization after they sang a song in Kurdish during the Nowruz celebrations in the spring of last year. Four of the students are currently under arrest, including Devrim Ayık, who is battling colon cancer.
A report prepared by Hacettepe University shows the dire circumstances Syrian refugee women and children face. According to the report, one in every 37 Syrian child dies before reaching the age of five in Turkey. "Women's status is different because of the patriarchal structure. The society accepts child marriages and forced marriages, which are common. Interbirth intervals are short," an UNFPA official said.
Cemal Yıldırım, who was dismissed from his post in the Ankara Revenue under the Treasury and Finance Ministry three years ago, has been carrying out protests in different parts of Ankara, which resulted in him getting detained nearly 300 times. "There's no law in real terms. There is no ban on demonstrations in Ankara. But the police officers who detain us say that it's the governor's office's decision. I can't use my rights," Yıldırım said.
Lawyers of former employees of daily Cumhuriyet have asked for a repetition of the hearing held on Nov. 21, saying that the court failed to act in accordance with the procedures despite the lawyers' application for recusal. Following the ruling, lawyer Bülent Utku, who was being tried in the case, and his lawyers appealed for recusal and thus repetition of the hearing, while citing the article preventing the appointment of the same judge in cases of retrial as one of the reasons for their move.
3,000 minors in Turkey are serving prison sentences, and more than half of them are jailed at adult penitentiaries, according to a report prepared by the Civil Society in the Penal System (CİSST) association. The report also indicated that children were being held in solitary confinement, despite the fact that this is illegal.
Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled the state to pay 20,000 Turkish Liras as compensation to sculptor Mehmet Aksoy, whose 35-meter-tall "Monument to Humanity" was demolished after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed it as being a "freak." The top court has said that Aksoy's freedom of expression was violated with the demolition, adding that the work of art could have been transferred somewhere else.
Pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party mayor İrfan Sarı of the district of Yüksekova in Turkey's eastern province of Hakkari was stripped from office by the government earlier this year and subsequently arrested. His family claims Sarı has been subjected to poor treatment in solitary confinement and has been unable to receive his medications.
The case of 12-year-old Uğur Kaymaz, who was shot and killed by police alongside his father outside of their home in the Kızıltepe district in the southeastern province of Mardin in 2004 has been moved by lawyers to the European Court of Human rights after Turkish courts rejected applications for a retrial against the police who were acquitted in the shootings.