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Archive for the ‘istanbul’ Category

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENTS ERDOĞAN, JUNCKER & TUSK

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‘As European leaders prepare to meet Turkey’s President Erdoğan at the NATO summit this week, [the Cartoonists Rights Network International] is just one among many human rights orgs urging the Presidents of the European Commission and Council of Europe to ensure that protection of human rights and detention of journalists in Turkey remain a central point of discussion’.

The CRNI published a public letter addressed to the Turkish Prez and his European interlocutors:

Your excellencies,

Turkey has been a member of the Council of Europe for almost sixty years and is party to the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a meeting with the European Committee on Foreign Affairs held in Strasbourg on May 15th Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council made the following statement with reference to journalists arrested in Turkey on charges pertaining to support for terrorist organisations:

“… there is case law [in the European Court of Human Rights]… that one cannot have a journalist in pre-trial detention for more than four months.”

Staff from the Cumhuriyet newspaper including our colleague the acclaimed and internationally respected cartoonist Musa Kart were formally arrested on November 5th 2016. They were finally indicted on April 4th 2017 – a gap of five months.

Last week they spent their two hundredth consecutive day in custody. When the first hearing of their trial takes place, scheduled for July 24th, they will be approaching the end of their ninth month. And their circumstances are far from unique; Amnesty International’s figures indicate that a third of the world’s imprisoned journalists are in Turley.

By any measure of jurisprudence the protracted detention of these journalists constitute a violation of rights accorded to those awaiting trial.

Furthermore we reject the charges levelled against Kart and his colleagues, who have done nothing more than pursue careers in journalism.

We urge President Tusk and his delegation to press President Erdoğan on conditions for journalists and media workers in Turkey and remind him that, in the word of Sec.Gen. Jagland:

“… [the ECHR] has communicated to the journalists that their[s] are cases of priority.”

Finally we call upon President Erdoğan to consider his own words last year following the attempted coup against his government:

“I feel that if we do not make use of this opportunity correctly, then it will give the people the right to hold us by the throat.”

Time for Turkey to behave “correctly” i.e. like the robust, mature, lawful democracy and valued world player her friends in Europe know her to be.

Joel Pett, President, CRNI”.(1)

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(1) “AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENTS ERDOĞAN, JUNCKER & TUSK” CRNI. http://cartoonistsrights.org/JaAJH

The Coup-that-was-no-Coup according to Ahmet Şık

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Recently, the co-editor of Muftah’s Iran, Iraq, and Turkey pages Claire Sadar published an “interesting” piece on the Coup-that-was-no-Coup. Sadar starts off as follows: “On September 30, Turkish journalist Ahmet [Şık] spoke to a packed seminar room at Harvard University as part of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs’ annual iTurkey in the Modern Worldi seminar. [Şık] is a longtime critic of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party, the AKP, and has been arrested and tried multiple because of his work. [Şık] was jailed for a year in 2011 as a result of his then unpublished book The Imam’s Army [in Turkish, İmamın Ordusu], which examined the Gulen movement’s penetration into the Turkish government and security forces. At the time, the Turkish government used the book to connect [Şık] to an alleged secret, anti-government organization known as Ergenekon”.[1]

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Sadar continues that Ahmet Şık’s “conclusions are based on his own observations, as well as his sources in Turkish political circles. [Şık] believes the roots of the coup attempt lie in the break between the Turkish government and the Gulen Movement. He does not, however, agree with the Turkish government’s description of the coup attempt as a purely Gulenist plot. [Şık] believes those involved have a much more complex set of backgrounds and motives, and likely include ultra-nationalists, Kemalists, and Gulenists united in their shared opposition to Erdogan and his government, as well as their overtures to the Kurdish PKK guerrilla organization”.[2]

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Claire Sadar explains that according to Şık “the Turkish government was likely alerted to the imminent coup attempt about 4 or 5 pm local time on July 15. Once the alarm was sounded, the head of the Turkish intelligence services, Hakan Findan, paid a visit to the general in charge of Turkey’s land forces. Together, these two men decides to suppress the coup attempt by relaying orders down the ranks (Şık did not specify what kind of orders these might have been). Şık believes that between the time the coup plot was uncovered and the rebellious officers began to move on Istanbul and Ankara, that is between approximately 4 and 10 pm, there were ongoing negotiations between the Turkish intelligence services and civilian government and nationalist officers who were part of the coup alliance. The coup failed not because it was poorly planned, or civilians took to the streets to oppose it, but, rather, because the Turkish government successfully broke the alliance between the non-Gulenist officers and those affiliated with the Movement. One of the crucial pieces of evidence, or lack thereof, is the fact that no organizational chart or plan for the planned military junta has surfaced since the coup was foiled. Such a chart has been a crucial part of every other coup plot in Turkish history. Şık believes this is evidence the Turkish government is trying to cover up the extent of the coup and the specific officers involved. The picture Şık paints of Erdogan and the AKP is very different from their portrayal in the Turkish and international media, since the coup attempt. In Şık’s version of events, Erdogan is still in power only because a compromise was reached with the Turkish military’s nationalist and secularist elements. According to Şık, between the time when the coup was uncovered and when it was crushed, Erdogan’s government likely secured its survival by agreeing to give the military more influence in government decision-making”.[3]

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And in a surprising twist, Sadar argues that rather that “the military’s remaining independence, the failed coup, in fact, has brought the Turkish military back into the political system”.[4]

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[1] Claire Sadar,” A Fascinating Theory About What Really Happened During the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey” Muftah (s,d,). http://muftah.org/turkish-journalist-ahmet-sik-proposed-fascinating-theory-really-happened-recent-coup-attempt-turkey/#.WAPGmT7_o3z.

[2] Claire Sadar,” A Fascinating Theory About What Really Happened During the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey”.

[3] Claire Sadar,” A Fascinating Theory About What Really Happened During the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey”.

[4] Claire Sadar,” A Fascinating Theory About What Really Happened During the Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey”.

Eren Erdemin Meclis Konuşması: AKP-IŞİD İlişkisi

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‘CHP İstanbul Milletvekili Eren Erdem, İstanbul Atatürk Havalimanı dış hatlar terminalinde gerçekleşen saldırının ardından IŞİD’in Türkiye yapılanması hakkında konuşması, TBMM Genel Kurulu’nu karıştırdı (30 Haziran 2016)’.

 

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Cihangir Vakası

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‘20.06.2016 – Medya Mahallesi – 1. Bölüm. Konuk: Süleyman Çelebi / DİSK Eski Genel Başkanı – Siyasetçi. (20 Haziran 2016)’.

‘20.06.2016 – Medya Mahallesi – 2. Bölüm. Konuk: Süleyman Çelebi / DİSK Eski Genel Başkanı – Siyasetçi. (20 Haziran 2016)’.

Cihangir’de dünyaca ünlü müzik grubu Radiohead için ‘Velvet Underground Records’ isimli mekanda düzenlenen etkinliğe “Ramazan’da alkol tüketiliyor” gerekçesiyle saldırıan gruptan üç kişi gözaltına alındı.

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TRT World on the World Humanitarian Summit

‘This special edition is hosted from the first World Humanitarian Summit. The Newsmakers’ Imran Garda talks about disaster management and the global security challenge, and how it impacts what’s being described as the worst humanitarian situation in history.  DISASTER AID: The Newsmakers’ Francis Collings reports on how the international community responds to disasters. EU-TURKEY DEAL: The Newsmakers’ Yvette McCullough reports on the deal that critics say is on the brink of collapse. Published on May 24, 2016.

 

Agenda for Humanity

Joe Biden ziyareti – Barış Doster, Mehmet Ali Güller ve Gürkan Hacır ile Şimdiki Zaman

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 30.01.2016 – Gürkan Hacır ile Şimdiki Zaman – Konuklar: Doç. Dr. Barış Doster / Araştırmacı – Yazar Mehmet Ali Güller / Araştırmacı – Yazar.

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May Day 2014: Workers’ Solidarity or Terrorist Mayhem???

In Turkey, ‘[t]he heart of May Day celebrations has always been İstanbul’s busy Taksim Square. On May Day in 1977, also known as Bloody May Day, 37 people were killed when unknown assailants opened fire on the crowd. Since then, May Day in Turkey has always been a source of tension, and the square was officially declared off-limits to May Day demonstrators. In 2009, however, the government decided to make May Day an official holiday and opened up Taksim Square for celebrations, beginning in 2010. But last year, the government announced that it would not allow celebrations in Taksim Square due to construction going on there at the time. It has been prohibited again this year, with government officials simply saying that “Taksim is not a place for celebrations”‘.[1]

The report continues that ‘[m]ore than 60 civil society groups and labor unions intent on defying a government-imposed ban on celebrating May 1, officially known as Labor and Solidarity Day in Turkey, in İstanbul’s iconic Taksim Square have expressed their determination to rally in Taksim on Thursday [, 1 May]. The May Day Committee, made up of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects’ Chambers (TMMOB) and the Turkish Doctors Union (TTB), made a statement on Wednesday in which they reiterated their earlier resolve to be in Taksim on May Day. “We will be in Taksim despite the irrational and illegal ban,” said Kani Beko, head of DİSK, who spoke on behalf of the committee on Wednesday [, 30 April]. Beko accused the government of being inconsistent, as it was the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government which made May Day an official holiday and lifted the Taksim ban in 2010. He said that the committee had tried to keep the lines of communication with the government open, but “the only response we’ve gotten was an army of police being dispatched to Taksim on April 21.” On April 21, May Day Committee members attempted to read out a press statement in Taksim. However, their effort was interrupted by police intervention. Several union leaders were detained. Recalling that last year, the municipality suspended public transport to stop people from getting to Taksim, Beko said that such practices are illogical and unreasonable. He said the May Day Committee had tried to schedule an appointment with President Abdullah Gül, who turned them down saying he was busy. The DİSK chairman said the committee was preparing to celebrate a holiday and accused the police force of preparing for war. Beko reiterated that it is important for the unions to commemorate the victims of Bloody May Day’.[2]

On Wednesday, 30 April, the Istanbul’s governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu issued this statement: “Intelligence units have information showing that illegal terrorist organizations and their offshoot groups will resort to violence against security forces. It is such that not only public order and security in Taksim Square and its surroundings are at risk, but also the rights and freedoms of our citizens might be threatened”.[3]

 

[1] “İstanbul braces for Taksim showdown on May 1” Today’s Zaman (30 April 2014). http://www.todayszaman.com/news-346580-istanbul-braces-for-taksim-showdown-on-may-1.html.

[2] “İstanbul braces for Taksim showdown on May 1”.

[3] “Istanbul Governor’s Office says intel reports show ‘violence’ risk if Taksim allocated for May Day” Hürriyet Daily News (30 April 2014). http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-governors-office-says-intel-reports-show-violence-risk-if-taksim-allocated-for-may-day.aspx?pageID=238&nID=65760&NewsCatID=341.