Despite action plans “Turkey’s status ‘not free’ for the fourth year in a row in the @freedomhouse report…

The economic impact of the pandemic has given the government new incentives to suppress dissent, says the report.

Report here

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.

Erdoğan’s human rights action plan ‘a propaganda text to legitimize a new constitution’

The content of the plan can’t be respected as it is a text aimed at legitimizing the government’s attempts for a new constitution and other political and legal moves, according to Dr. Ozansü.

ON ‘HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION PLAN’: ‘It would be more meaningful if Erdoğan told judges not to obey his instructions’

İstanbul Bar Association Chair Durakoğlu has commented on the “Human Rights Action Plan” unveiled by President and ruling AKP Chair Erdoğan. He has stressed that “the problem is not with the written documents, but with their enforcement.”

Turkey: Violation of Osman Kavala’s Rights Intensifies

A court of appeal has overturned his acquittal in the Gezi Park protests trial, and Turkey’s Constitutional Court has also flouted the European Court of
Top officials from Turkey’s ruling party and opposition leaders came together on Saturday for a…
Time – Joseph Hincks / Istanbul – Feb 24, 2:35 AM

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

Turkey’s mobsters step out of shadows and into public sphere

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.

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