Human Rights roundup in Turkey.

Turkeys Energy Minister Yildiz arrives at ...

Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz arrives at a hospital in Ankara for a medical check after he was punched in the face April 19, 2010. Yildiz was punched in the face in Kayseri, during a funeral for a Turkish officer killed in clashes with Kurdish PKK rebels in a military operation in southeast Turkey.? Read more » REUTERS

Parliamentary Investigation into Murder of Journalist Dink?

from Bianet :: English
The Justice and Development Party submitted the proposal for a parliamentary investigation into the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink three years ago. Should the proposal be approved, the parliament would have to find the abetters for the murder.

Another Missed Opportunity?: A Look Back at the ‘Kurdish Opening’

from Turkish Politics in Action by Ragan Updegraff

Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakir
DHA Photo from Hurriyet Daily News

With many opinion leaders and observers of Turkish politics considering the ‘Kurdish Opening’ “closed,” the government has fallen relatvely silent in recent months as it has moved to focus on constitutional reform. The Ergenekon investigation and revelations about a potential closure case against the AKP seem to have put the government’s Kurdish initiative on the shelf for a while longer yet. Following harsh attacks by the opposition since the initiative’s announcement, much strengthened by the botched Oct. 19 crossover of 34 Kurds from Iraq, eight of them former PKK militants, the government had already shown signs of watering down previous plans. Writing for the Middle East Information Research Project’s Middle East Report Online after the Oct. 19 public relations disaster, Marlies Casier, Andy Hilton and Joost Jongerden summed up the ‘Kurdish opening’ this way:

1,483 DTP Members Detained for 1 Year without Indictment

from Bianet :: English
Demirtaş, Co-Chair of the Peace and Democracy Party, criticized the ongoing detention of 1,483 Kurdish politicians, local executives and rights defenders in the context of “KCK operations”. “In eight years, we saw nothing but cruelty from AKP”, he said.

Former Intelligence Officer Admits Neglect of Police in Dink Murder

from Bianet :: English
In yesterday’s hearing of the case against journalist Şener based on his book about the murder of Turkish-Armenian jounalist Dink, former Head of Intelligence Uzun admitted negligence of the police prior to the assassination. He said the murder could have been prevented.

Between asylum and protection refugees in Turkey by Recep Korkut

Iranian refugees in Turkey have started to become the focus of the international press. Western media organizations have started to show increased interest in the Iranian refugees in Turkey particularly in the aftermath of the controversial presidential elections last June and the ensuing protests.

Turkey’s ‘village guards’ weary of conflict with fellow Kurds

from Yahoo news
SIIRT, Turkey: Dressed in military fatigues, his Kalashnikov leaned against a wall, Mahsun Alan sips tea at a watch post on a steep hill, keeping a sharp eye on a road snaking between rugged mountains.The 44-year-old is among thousands of poor Kurdish villagers who have volunteered – often grudgingly – to help the Turkish army fight fellow Kurds

Turkish jurists: stone-throwing children victims of laws, not judges

from Hurriyet Dailynews by ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Society should not blame the courts for the laws written by legislators demanding long sentences for children and youth who throw stones at police during protests and demonstrations, a top judge who hears terror-related cases tells an Istanbul conference. ?The law requires us to treat minors in this manner,? the judge says as his peers call for reform

12 Extra-Judicial Killings in Three Months

from Bianet :: English
According to the Turkish Human Rights Foundation, seven people died in detention in the first quarter of 2009 and another five in extra-judicial executions by the police and the gendarmerie. Two people died in detention in April, one was severely injured by police bullets.

Another Portrait of Abdullah Demirbas

from Turkish Politics in Action by Ragan Updegraff

Abdullah Demirbas, Mayor of Dyarbakir’s Surici municipality

Writing for the Middle East Information Project’s Middle East Report Online, Oxford University Professor Kerem Oktem produced an insightful profile last fall of Abdullah Demirbas, the BDP mayor of Diyarbakir’s Surici municipality. From Oktem:

Document indicates complicity in Turkey’s Dersim massacre, lawyer says

from Hurriyet Dailynews by ISTANBUL – Radikal
A 1955 document that declared the relatives of a Tunceli man were ‘annihilated’ following the 1938 Dersim Operation has been submitted to court as proof of crimes against humanity.

Kariane Westrheim Denied Entry to Turkey

from Mavi Boncuk by M.A.M

Kariane Westrheim pictured with Leyla Zana[1]
Mavi Boncuk |

Assocoated Press reported that ” Kariane Westrheim[2] the chairwoman of a Norwegian civic commission monitoring human rights in Turkey had been denied entry into Turkey for political reasons. when she arrived in Istanbul to attend a women’s rights conference,as the chairwoman of the European Union Turkey Civic Commission, an organization that monitors Turkey’s compliance with EU’s accession criteria. She is also a Psychology professor at the University of Bergen and has published research [3] about the PKK ? the Kurdistan Workers’ Party ? and Turkey’s conflict with the Kurds.”

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