Hail to the person who was a valiant human rights defender in 2019 in Turkey: Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu (@gergerliogluof)

Ahval has chosen a leading figure in Turkey’s human rights struggle, pro-Kurdish People’s…

Ahval has chosen a leading figure in Turkey’s human rights struggle, pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, as its 2019 person of the year.

The 54-year-old activist, author and journalist has worked tirelessly to defend the rights of tens of thousands of people in the country dismissed from their jobs by government decrees following a coup attempt in July 2016.

Gergerlioğlu himself is one of the some 150,000 public employees suspended or sacked from their jobs as part of an ongoing crackdown by Turkish government on those allegedly linked to the failed putsch.

Elected as a deputy for the pro-Kurdish HDP in June 2018, Gergerlioğlu has made it a mission to continue advocating for those victimised by government policies, regardless of their ethnic, religious or ideological background….

Journalists from daily Sözcü have been sentenced to prison for “willingly aiding the Gülen organization or parallel state structures despite not being part of the hierarchical organization.”

“This was the verdict we expected. Of course this is what comes out of the current state of justice,” said Editor-in-Chief Metin Yılmaz after the hearing.

With a court ruling against his release from detention last Tuesday, businessman and rights activist Osman Kavala has been sentenced to welcome a third new year in jail.

Following his arrest in October 2017, Kavala was put in a Kafkaesque position of more than a year of imprisonment without a charge. The indictment, when it eventually emerged, accused Kavala of orchestrating the organisation of the anti-government Gezi Park protests back in 2013. While just one of many indicted, Kavala is the only defendant in detention in the Gezi Park trial.

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