The report lists the key developments in Turkey in 2020 as follows:
* As the Covid-19 crisis threatened the economy and the government’s political standing during the year, authorities apparently sought to manipulate official health statistics and launched criminal investigations against medical professionals who released independent information about the outbreak or criticized the official response.
Hundreds of ordinary people were also arrested for their social media posts related to the coronavirus.
* Prosecutions and campaigns of harassment against opposition politicians, prominent members of civil society, independent journalists, and critics of Turkey’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy continued throughout the year.
In December, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) called for the immediate release of Selahattin Demirtaş, leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who had been imprisoned since 2016 on politically motivated charges; the court’s ruling was ignored. New arrests of HDP members and leaders were carried out during the year, adding to the thousands who have been detained since 2015. The government also continued to replace HDP municipal officials with centrally appointed “trustees.”
* Despite a 2019 ECtHR ruling that called for the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala, he remained behind bars at year’s end facing trumped-up charges. Detained in 2017, he was acquitted in the original case in February 2020, but a new indictment issued in October accused Kavala and a US academic, without evidence, of involvement in the 2016 coup attempt.
Snow brings back memories for Dr. Canan Kaftancioglu. Of recess snowball fights in the Black Sea village where she grew up, of warming her hands at her elementary school’s stove before class — and of discovering a poem by Turkish writer
After decades in hiding, in prison or keeping low profile, players from a bloody period in the country’s history are now seen as ‘folk idols’ by the Turkish right
At first glance, the photograph of two smartly dressed older Turkish men, posing for the camera in an office filled with flags, could be of any important figures in the country – but it is rare for a picture to say so much about both the past and the future.