The suicide of Sibel Ünli, who was a third-year literature student at Istanbul University, sheds light on the financial challenges that youth face in Turkey. Her social media posts provide an insight on how students are trying to continue their lives in Turkey's most expensive city. "Can I eat with one lira? I have no money left on my cafeteria card," Ünli, who was volunteering for the homeless, said in one of her Twitter posts.
A report by the Association for Solidarity with Inmate and Convict Families (TUAY-DER) revealed that inmates from a prison in the eastern city of Erzurum were not allowed to see a dentist unless they had seven decayed teeth. Among the inmates' further complaints were overcrowding, body searches that border physical harassment, raid-like cell searches, lack of access to books and magazines, surveying of personal notebooks and insufficient and non-hygienic food.
Some 50 sick inmates died in prisons throughout 2019 in Turkey and no information on the health condition of sick prisoners can be obtained from the Justice Ministry, human rights groups said, adding that rights violations deteriorated following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt and the subsequent state of emergency. "Eighteen prisoners are bedridden and can't fulfill their needs on their own," a human rights activist said.
As eight years have passed since the massacre that killed 34 people, of whom 19 were children, in the Roboski village of the southeastern province of Şırnak, the village continues to carry traces of the massacre, with no suspects brought to justice and wounds kept unhealed. "Life goes on under a constant state of mourning," Ferhat Encü, who lost 11 of his relatives in the Turkish army airstrikes, said.
Turkey's Justice Ministry sent the translation to Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court reportedly before the hearing of the case into renowned businessman, philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala, who has been in jail for over two years, but the court saw the ECHR decision after ruling for the continuation of Kavala's arrest. "If the court had the willingness to release him, it would have done so," one of the lawyers said.
A Mardin court has ruled that liking posts that make PKK propaganda doesn't constitute the crime of making terror propaganda, hence setting a precedent in a country that thousands of people were handed jail terms over their social media activities. "The posts with pictures that include propaganda need to be published in a way that other people would see in order for the crime of propaganda to occur," it ruled.
Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled that a ban on Wikipedia that has lasted for 2.5 years to be a rights violation, and has called for the ban to be removed. Other popular websites like Booking.com and Paypal also remain banned in the country.
A Turkish court has used the provision of “unjust provocation” to reduce the jail terms of six inmates found guilty of killing another inmate. The court accepted the defendants' defense that the victim Ulaş Yurdakul was displaying "provocative" behaviors despite a phone call evidence that revealed Yurdakul was killed due to his being a Kurd from Batman.
Several jailed members of the music collective Grup Yorum have been on hunger strikes while behind bars on terror charges. Bahar Kurt, Barış Yüksel, Ibrahim Gökçek, Helin Bölek and Ali Aracı have all been on strike now for between 120 and 196 days. Bölek, who was released on Nov. 20, has experienced muscle and joint pain and nervous system problems.
Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled that punishing impoliteness on social media would lead to violations of the freedom of expression in a case into an argument between two lawyers in a Facebook group consisting of judges, prosecutors and lawyers, while acknowledging that the "impolite" post included remarks that can be accepted as insulting.
Osman Kavala, a renowned philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist, will remain in jail despite a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) call for his release. "The value of my freedom is based on international norms. That is also what the ECHR ruling indicates. I demand an end to this unlawful and discriminatory practice," Kavala told the court. The next hearing of the trial will be held on Jan. 28, 2020.
Sergey Lagodinsky, Chair of the European Parliament's EU-Turkey Delegation and spokesperson for foreign policy of the Greens/EFA group, will visit Istanbul in order to monitor the trial of Osman Kavala, a renowned philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist who has been in jail for over two years, closely. "I hope Kavala will finally be allowed to reunite with his family after more than two years in prison," Lagodinsky said.
Yazidis who were repeatedly subjected to attacks and threats have decided to leave Turkey and will go to Germany. "Karabulut and Biter families promised in front of the governor that no one would plow the lands in our villages except us. However, they threatened us once again after we left the meeting," one of the members of the Yazidi family said, adding that they wish to return to their lands someday.
Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül has said that the case of Osman Kavala is up to the judiciary, as he commented on the judicial reform package and the recent European Court of Human Rights ruling on the prominent philanthropist, businessman and human rights activist. "The conformity of actions with the reforms is our common wish. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment on a case that's ongoing as a minister who is part of the executive power," Gül said.
According to Diyarbakır Bar Association President Cihan Aydın, torture, maltreatment and degrading practices used against those being taken into custody have lately become systematic.