human rights defenders
A group of women from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) were denied a permit to hold an International Women's Day celebration on the grounds that it would be unsafe amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Mediterranean governor of Ceyhan said the rally "wasn't found to be safe in light of the viral outbreak in nearby countries" though the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) held a rally a few days ago.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 26 that being a rich socialist shouldn't be enough to save prominent human rights activist Osman Kavala, as he commented on the Gezi Park trial. "Gezi is a betrayal against this country," Erdoğan said, while claiming that Kavala has pictures with "terrorist organizations." A day earlier, European Parliament called on Turkey to release Kavala and former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.
Osman Kavala had to abandon the snails he was looking after in Silivri Prison after a court ordered his rearrest hours after another court ruled to acquit him. Following his acquittal, Kavala wanted to take the snails he looked after in Silivri Prison home, but had to give them to his lawyer when a detention warrant was issued.
Muslim rights leader Malcolm X remains a role model for many 55 years after his death, his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz said at an event in the Aegean province of İzmir that was organized by the Office of the Presidency. Shabazz also said Malcolm X was arguably the most cherished Muslim-American in pop culture,.
A seminar held by İzmir Police for public servants listed "heightened sensitivity towards environmental issues, animal rights and human rights violations" as the usual qualities exhibited by people with terrorist tendencies. Other qualities included a lack of religious faith and nationalist feelings, being perceptive and spending time on social media.
Turkey's Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) will investigate three judges who acquitted Osman Kavala. The move comes a day after the Istanbul 30th Heavy Penal Court acquitted Kavala and eight others in the case into the Gezi Park protests. Also on Feb. 19, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the court "attempted" to acquit Kavala "with a maneuver."
The Istanbul 35th Heavy Penal Court on Feb. 19 postponed the trial into 11 human rights defenders, including Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair Taner Kılıç and its former executive director İdil Eser, to April 3. "Both us and our organizations are being tried to be criminalize in this trial," Kılıç told the court.
Murat Yetkin writes: Kavala is the most Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) about Turkey nowadays. Osman Kavala’s case seems to have become the symbolic case regarding the judiciary practices in Turkey in the eyes of the Western world.
Amnesty International has called for the freedom of prominent philanthropist, human rights activist and businessman Osman Kavala and other rights defenders who are being tried over the 2013 Gezi Park protests. "We see this case as an attempt to destroy the independent civil society. It's a completely political case," Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey Strategy and Research Manager, told Duvar English.
Günal Kurşun, a human rights defender being tried in the Büyükada Case, has said that the fact that he wrote for Today's Zaman is counted as criminal evidence. "Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın was also writing for the daily around the same time. A lawsuit should be filed for Kalın as well if that's the case," Kurşun told Duvar ahead of the hearing on Feb. 19.