A HDP lawmaker has submitted two separate parliamentary questions inquiring about the whereabouts of Bahtiyar Fırat who went missing on Oct. 14 amid concerns that he might have been abducted by state agents. MP Sait Dede asked Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulahmit Gül if they will issue a statement with regards to the fate of Fırat considering that 17,000 people have been so far victims of enforced disappearances while under detention in Turkey.
The pictures showing the grim death of Mustafa Kabakçıoğlu, a police officer sacked with an emergency decree in 2016, have sparked debate on the conditions in Turkish prisons amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Media reports said that the police officer, who had been in jail for four years, repeatedly asked for treatment for his deteriorating health, but his transfer to a hospital was denied.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül has commented on MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli's call for the restructuring of the Constitutional Court, saying that any amendment with regards to the structure of the top court requires the parliament's support. “Any change can be done for the sake of democracy and rule of law. And it is the parliament that can do this,” he said.
Turkish Justice Ministry has dismissed a parliamentary question on the release of a rapist soldier for being "offensive." Uca in her question asked Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül to reveal the reason for why former specialized sergeant Musa Orhan was released despite raping İpek Er. The ministry said that the question can be accepted if the terms found "crude and offensive" are removed.
A man who threatened to sexually assault Başak Demirtaş on Twitter was released after being kept under arrest for just one day. Vedat M., who was arrested on June 16 in the northern province of Sakarya, was released after his lawyer objected to the decision. In his testimony, Vedat M. said that he made the threat while he was drunk and "in response to the insults against martyrs and their wives," referring to soldiers killed in the fight against the PKK.
The ruling AKP government and social media platforms have a love-hate relationship. The AKP loves using social media tools to spread its own narrative and propaganda, but they are highly disturbed that opposition voices can be so loud on the very same platforms.
Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia museum should be converted into a common place of worship, wrote Turkey's Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Şahak Maşalyan (Şahak II) in a tweet over the weekend. “I think it is more appropriate that it takes on the disposition of a place of worship for the faithful who are on their knees praying in submission God, rather than curious tourists running from here to there to take photographs,” Maşalyan said.
A court has detained a man for sexually harassing former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş's wife Başak Demirtaş on social media. Thousands of Twitter users sent messages of support to Demirtaş with the hashtag, "We stand with Başak Demirtaş." Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül also condemned the incident.
Twitter disclosed on June 11 three new state-linked information operations that have been taken place on its platform this year, including one in Turkey that's linked to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). "Based on our analysis of the network's technical indicators and account behaviors, the collection of fake and compromised accounts was being used to amplify political narratives favorable to the AKP, and demonstrated strong support for President Erdoğan," Twitter said.
The administration of the Edirne Prison has censored letters sent by former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, his wife Başak Demirtaş said in a tweet, while also sharing pictures of the censored letters. "What's next?" she asked the justice ministry.
President Erdoğan has called on newly appointed judges and prosecutors not to take orders from "anyone or any power." "I want you to never put your conscience and signature under the order of anyone or any power,” Erdoğan said on May 20.
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.
Turkey's Justice Minister Gül has said that 120 inmates in four different prisons have so far tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Gül said that none of the 120 inmates are in intensive care units and they are all in good health.
Turkey's Justice Minister Gül has asked people not to go to the courthouse unless it is an absolute must, saying officials were working on a new implementation which will suspend the current legal processes. Gül's statement came amid reports that a judge at Istanbul Courthouse and the judiciary personnel working with her have been placed under quarantine over suspected coroanvirus infection.