Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for Kurdish politician and writer Mahmut Alınak, who was put behind bars for the 10th time in February. Among the reasons for the charges brought against Alınak include a book he wrote about Tunç, who was killed while trapped in a basement of Cizre in 2016, applying to the U.N. for Kurdish to become an official language, and encouraging people to protest unemployment, poverty and rising prices through social media posts.
According to an annual report on rights violations in the country prepared by the Human Rights Association (İHD), eight people were killed in unsolved murders in Turkey in 2019. "The last five years have become a period that the regime became increasingly authoritarian and the official ideology is being attempted to brought to life fully," the İHD said in the report released on May 5.
Inmates at southeastern Urfa prison have been reporting a serious shortage of cleaning supplies and a lack of precautions against COVID-19, a pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) deputy said. Prison guards also reportedly violate social distancing measures during their ward searches that they conduct in groups twice a week.
İbrahim Gökçek ended his death fast on the 323rd day on May 5 and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Grup Yorum announced that Gökçek ended his death fast "since the resistance have reached a political victory." "The entire world learned about this resistance. We gained a political victory and talks are going positive," the group said.
HDP deputies have prepared a video clip showing themselves performing a song of Grup Yorum in an attempt to show solidarity with group member İbrahim Gökçek, who is in his 322nd day of hunger strike. HDP Leyla Güven says in the video clip that the banned folk music group should be allowed to resume its concerts and that jailed band members should be released.
The Ankara 19th Administrative Court has found inconsistencies in the case of a man accused of membership of four ideologically different groups designated as terrorist organizations in Turkey. Volkan Ayhan, who was sacked from his post following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, was accused of being a member of the Gülen organization, PKK, MKP and the DHKP-C.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has reportedly executed a Syrian Kurdish man from Afrin after he was deported to Idlib from Turkey. Betal Hesen, 23, was reportedly beheaded eight months after he was arrested in Turkey's border province of Hatay and was deported to the Bab al-Hawa border crossing. “This is what Jabhat al-Nusra is doing to the Kurdish sons, they have beheaded him before there was even a trial on May 2," his uncle said.
Turkey's Constitutional Court has unanimously revoked the authority granted to police officers in accessing personal data, which was introduced with a state of emergency decree during the country's emergency rule, after finding it unconstitutional. The ruling came after the CHP's application.
Filiz Gazi reports: Turkey’s labor union representatives agree that Ankara dropped the ball on protecting worker’s rights during the COVID-19 outbreak. On a grim May 1, International Workers’ Day, union representatives realize they need a new way of resistance in the post-coronavirus world.
A group of unions and associations released a statement that condemned Turkey's top religious official Ali Erbaş for making comments that overstep the legal limitations on his position. The statement came shortly after a conflict between the Ankara Bar Association and Erbaş for his comments about adultery and homosexuality.
MHP deputy Halil Öztürk has submitted a draft bill to parliament that suggests accessing social media with ID numbers. The draft bill added to the concerns in the country on censorship and the freedom of expression, with thousands of people being subjected to fines and jail sentences each year for criticizing the government on social media.
In remarks targeting LGBTI individuals, a Turkish academic has said that activists' referring to the Istanbul Convention's 3rd Article on sexual orientation to promote LGBTI rights is “the exploitation of the law.” “There is no obstacle for LGBT activists to be designated as terror organization in one day," Emir Kaya said.
Turkey's new DEVA party has said that notorious white Toros abductions of the 1990s have made a comeback in present-day Turkey with the “black Transporters,” after a new report from Human Rights Watch shined light on the cases of 16 people who have allegedly been forcibly disappeared by intelligence agents since the July 2016 coup.
Human Rights Watch has called on Turkey to investigate claims of enforced disappearances. "Turkish authorities should urgently carry out an effective investigation into credible testimony from a man in pretrial detention that state agents forcibly disappeared him for nine months and tortured him," it said on April 29.
Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz has asked the Premier League to stop the takeover of Newcastle United Football Club by the Saudi Arabian sovereign fund. "Ms. Cengiz urges you and the board of the Premier League to take all necessary steps to prevent this takeover from happening. It is undoubtedly the right, proper and lawful action for you and the Premier League to take especially in light of the ruthless killing of Ms Cengiz’s fiancé," her lawyers said in a letter.