Kurdistan Workers Party
A Turkish criminal court in southeastern Turkey ruled that displaying the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) flag didn't qualify as propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), dubbed a terrorist organization by Ankara. The court noted that the KRG was recognized as a federal state in the Iraqi constitution, and should therefore be distinguished from any terrorist activity.
A Turkish army strike on PJAK militants in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in late June 2020 failed to take adequate precautions to minimize civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on July 22. “The Turkish military strike on opposition fighters in a resort area seriously injured several civilians and could have harmed many more,” said Belkıs Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch.
A Turkish court sentenced German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel in absentia on July 16 to jail for 2 years and 9 months for terrorism propaganda, his lawyer said. The court ruled that he was not guilty of sedition or of spreading propaganda for the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Seven police officers were killed after their reconnaissance plane crashed in a mountain in the eastern province of Van, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said early July 16. The 2015 model-plane had been carrying out reconnaissance and surveillance in Van and Hakkari provinces since July 13, said Soylu.
Iraqi President Barham Salih said on July 8 that neighboring Turkey must suspend its recent offensive against alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and disputed territories of Iraq. Salih “reiterated that Turkey has to suspend its military violations on the Iraqi soil."
Attending a demonstration can't be a proof of terrorist organization membership, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in the case of four applicants from Turkey. The applicants faced the said accusation for attending a demonstration in 2008, with the ECHR saying that their rights to freedom of assembly were violated.
A prosecutor has deemed sending regards to former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş as a proof of "terrorist organization membership." "Send my regards to Selahattin and other friends," Arslan told a lawyer set to visit Demirtaş and other former HDP deputies Abdullah Zeydan and Sebahat Tuncel in prison.
HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar has said that the calls on the party to distance itself from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are "unfounded" because the party "has no links" to the militant group. "The issue is not distancing ourselves because we have no relations and there won't be," Sancar said, while asking, "So if the HDP is an extension of the PKK, six million people voted for the PKK. Will you accept that?"
Baghdad demands Ankara to stop bombardment on its soil, as Turkey plans more army bases in northern Iraq
Baghdad on June 18 demanded that Ankara immediately halt its military operations in northern Iraq where Turkish special forces and helicopters have been targeting the PKK. Ankara, however, plans to set up more temporary military bases in northern Iraq, a senior Turkish official told Reuters, saying the effort would ensure border security.
Turkey is blocking the implementation of new defense plans for eastern Europe in NATO over the status of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), German Press Agency reported on June 15. Turkey wants the YPG and the PYD to be designated as terrorist organizations in exchange for its support.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have carried out airstrikes on Iraq's Sinjar as part of an operation called "Claw-Eagle." Defense Minister Hulusi Akar directed operation from the Air Force Command Control Center alongside Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, Land Forces Commander Gen. Ümit Dündar, Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Küçükakyüz and Naval Forces Commander Adnan Özbal.
A Swiss court blocked the extradition to Germany of an alleged PKK regional leader, ruling that German authorities had not made enough of a case against the man whose group is not banned in Switzerland. The man, a Turkish citizen whose identity was not revealed in the Federal Criminal Court verdict, had fought extradition since his arrest at Zurich airport last November on an international warrant.
Law association to apply to Europe’s top rights court, UN over burial of bodies under sidewalks in Istanbul
Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) said on May 26 that they will apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the United Nations over the burial of bodies belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants under sidewalks in Istanbul after being taken from the Kurdish-dominated southeastern province of Bitlis. "This is a severe rights violation," said one of the lawyers from the association.
Turkey's Constitutional Court (AYM) ruled that ten prisoners' right to free communication was violated when their letters were confiscated. The letters had been about rights violations in prisons in Turkey, and had been confiscated on the grounds that they were detrimental to the prisons.
İYİ Party spokesperson Yavuz Ağıralioğlu said that his party didn't consult the HDP in the past, as he called on Sırrı Süreyya Önder to prove his claims. "We don't have anyone who can meet with the group that fails to acknowledge that the PKK are murderers. We didn't have any direct or indirect contact with the HDP. If someone from our party met with the HDP, Önder should name him," Ağıralioğlu said.