The bar head of the border province of Hatay, Ekrem Dönmez, has said that he filed a complaint against police officers who detained him by force in the province's İskenderun district. "We have to decide whether we are a police state or a state of law. We're going through a process that all the critical voices are suppressed. Yesterday's incident is linked to that," Dönmez told reporters on July 30.
Turkey's parliament passed a law regulating social media on July 29, that critics said will increase censorship and help authorities silence dissent. The law requires foreign social media sites that have more than 1 million daily visitors in Turkey to appoint Turkish-based representatives to address authorities' concerns over content and includes deadlines for removal of material they take exception to.
Human Rights Watch said on July 27 that the Turkish government’s efforts to introduce new powers to control social media will greatly increase online censorship. “If passed, the new law will enable the government to control social media, to get content removed at will, and to arbitrarily target individual users,” said Tom Porteous, deputy program director at Human Rights Watch.
Turkey on July 21 mourned brutal killing of Pınar Gültekin by her ex-boyfriend Cemal Metin Avcı. The burned body of Gültekin was found in a forest area in Muğla. The young woman had been missing since July 16 and her family had sought help from authorities after being unable to reach her.
A total of 101 intellectuals from different social and political backgrounds in Turkey have urged the country's opposition to unite in a joint statement. "The people who are in despair and undecided are seeking an alternative that they can trust. Absolute threats can only be gotten rid of by absolute objection. The solution is for all the opposition forces to unite in a democracy alliance," they said.
The Van branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD) has determined that three penal facilities in the eastern province are guilty of numerous rights violations. Cleaning materials were found to be limited and insufficient while prisoners were only able to access gloves, masks, disinfectant and wet napkins by purchasing them at high prices.
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.
SDF holds ISIS Turkey leader responsible for deadly attacks in a prisoner camp, police documents reveal
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) holds ISIS' Turkey leader İlhami Balı, who is responsible for ordering a number of deadly bomb attacks, in a prisoner camp, according to police documents, which didn't state the name of the camp. The file was added to the case into the fugitive suspects of Oct. 10, 2015 Ankara bombing.
Four years after the attempted takeover, a number of crucial questions remain unanswered, especially on former army chief Hulusi Akar and MİT chief Hakan Fidan. "Erdoğan protected Akar and Fidan in an incomprehensible manner. The fact that these two officials made an evaluation mistake caused a lot of people to get killed or wounded," journalist Mehmet Yılmaz told Duvar English.
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has said that the multiple bar system will yield similar damages as the presidential system. "Previously, a presidential system was integrated to the country and the harms of a one-man regime is seen. The Turkish-type multiple bar model was brought to the country's agenda. It's utterly dangerous to impose a system that will lead to problems," the party said.
A Turkish court has acquitted academics Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Gençay Gürsoy in the case that they were tried for signing a peace petition. Before the hearing on July 7, Fincancı and Gürsoy said that the conditions that led the academics to sign the peace petition are ongoing. "We will continue our struggle," they said.
Over 100 scriptwriters have urged all producers and channels to take a stance against Turkish actor Ozan Güven after the actor beat his girlfriend Deniz Bulutsuz. "We feel obliged to refrain from judging people by their celebrity levels and being a partner in their crimes by saying, 'We know him, he wouldn't do such a thing.' The fact that a man is admired in the society and culture and arts environment doesn't guarantee that he will not inflict violence," they said.
Human Rights Watch has called on Turkey to reverse the convictions of four human rights defenders, saying that the sentences given to them are politically motivated. “We hope the higher courts will do their duty and reverse this miscarriage of justice," said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
The Turkish parliament's Justice Commission passed a controversial bill early on July 6 that would allow decentralization of bar associations amid intense criticism. The draft bill is set to be voted in parliament on July 9 and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is planning to take it to the Constitutional Court for annulment if the articles on decentralizing bars are approved.
Most judges and prosecutors are controlled or suppressed by the AKP-MHP government. Now, the last remaining independent civil rights groups, like the Bar Associations, are under attack.