The death toll from a migrant boat disaster in Lake Van in eastern Turkey has risen to 60. Lake Van is near Turkey's border with Iran, from where migrants from Iran, Afghanistan and other countries regularly cross into Turkey heading west towards Europe.
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.
A government-appointed trustee, who last year replaced democratically elected HDP co-mayors of the İpekyolu municipality of Van, has instructed the municipality employees to attend July 15, 2016 coup attempt commemoration ceremonies. HDP MP Muazzez Orhan said that this move shows "the real mentality of the trustee, the AKP's oppressive mentality."
A lawyer from Van Bar Association Migration and Asylum Commission said that the death toll in the migrant boat accident in Lake Van is unknown. "Unfortunately we don't have enough information about the boat that sank in Van Lake over the weekend. The Van Bar Association hasn't received a public defender request for the boat yet."
Turkish rescue teams on June 30 recovered five bodies after a boat believed to be carrying migrants capsized in eastern Turkey's Lake Van. Habertürk said that over 50 people could have been on the boat when it went missing on June 27.
Turkey's government agencies are violating shorelines law by building holiday resorts on the banks of southeastern Van Lake, a local environmental activist said. Law mandates that beaches and shorelines are used for the public good, with the natural character of the site in mind.
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 struck Turkey's southeastern province of Van on June 25. The quake hit Van's Özalp district at 1:03 p.m. local time at a depth of 6.9 kilometers, according to Turkey's National Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
Turkish security forces have reportedly killed a 20-year-old man for smuggling cigarettes in the southeastern province of Van. "Is death the punishment for buying two cartons of smuggled cigarettes from the border?” Görür's cousin Engin Görür told Duvar.
Bar associations in Turkey have said that their march to the capital Ankara is being carried out "against darkness," adding their aim is for the draft bill on changing bars' election systems to be withdrawn. "We are not in darkness, but against it. We're marching against darkness. We hope that our efforts yield results. This country needs bright days and we hope that we'll see them together," Van bar head said.
Council of Europe's Venice Commission has called on Turkey to reinstate mayors from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) who were sacked and replaced with trustees. It listed recommendations, including making the law on ineligible candidates clear, recognizing the elected six mayoral candidates of the district municipalities of Diyarbakır, Erzurum, Kars and Van and reinstating the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van.
A newly established women's organization in the eastern province of Van has said that some 10 women have sought their help about domestic violence counselling in the last two months. STAR Women's Association has said that many women are reluctant to take official action due to lengthy and often ineffective legal procedures.
The family of a 20-year-old man reportedly killed by soldiers in the southeastern province of Van has been seeking justice, as they applied to the Human Rights Association for legal support. "Erhan's dead body was seen with later on with two soldiers standing next to it. The village head brought his body to the village and four bullets were found on his body," Erhan Görür's mother said.
A Turkish court on June 16 arrested Voice of America reporter Arif Aslan hours after he was detained in the southeastern province of Van. The reason for the detention and arrest remains unknown. Media reports said that he was arrested over a previous case into him.
Human Rights Watch has urged Turkey to halt investigations into doctors running three professional medical associations in Turkey’s southeast and eastern provinces, saying, "The authorities should respect both freedom of expression and the important role of healthcare worker associations in informing the public and protecting public health."
Ahmet Türeli, 21, was found seriously wounded while doing his military service in Turkey's eastern province of Van last week. The military ruled his death as suicide, but Türeli's family said they do not believe this explanation and intend to open an investigation into the matter.