March 28, 2018

Human Rights Threatened in Today’s Turkey

David Kilgour*

For almost a century, Turkey has been an internationally-admired Muslim-majority democracy. Under its World War 1 hero and founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turks obtained full independence in 1923, and later the rule of law, universal literacy, separation of state and religion, rights for women, and NATO membership.

March 27, 2018

Jailed Turkish academic Laçiner: I got used to lynching, at least accusations should make sense

Renowned Turkish academic and political scientist Prof. Dr. Sedat Laçiner, who was arrested in the wake of a controversial military coup on July 15, 2016, has stated that “I respond to what is said about me, and I don’t run from either prosecution or debate. But the accusations must be a bit rational and fair. I got used to the lynching, but at least the accusations should make sense. Have a heart! I am also a human being.”

March 26, 2018

Pro-gov’t journalist says jailed Gulenists should be forced to commit suicide

Pro-government journalist and writer Fazıl Duygun has called on authorities to force people jailed over their links to the Gulen movement to commit suicide.

March 25, 2018

2,500 schools confiscated, 30,000 teachers dismissed over Gülen links

Turkish Education Ministry Undersecretary Yusuf Tekin on Sunday said they have completed a purge of Gülen movement members and institutions in his ministry, the DHA news agency reported.

March 24, 2018

Does the Gülen (Hizmet) Movement Deny the Armenian Genocide?

Ismail Akbulut

In the past, certain individuals affiliated with the Gülen Movement, and sometimes the movement as a whole, have often been accused of supporting lobbying efforts to circumvent the passing of resolutions that commemorate the Armenian genocide. Members of the Armenian diaspora have voiced complaints about this, both in several articles and in verbal statements. To tell you the bitter truth, I would be lying if I said that the accusations held no weight at all.

March 23, 2018

Belgium court sentences man to 6-month in prison over online threats

A local court in Belgium’s Limburg province has given 6-month jail time plus 600 euros fine to a 37-year-old man who threatened Gulen supporters online.

March 22, 2018

Canada’s Green Party leader on human rights violations in Turkey: I am entirely horrified

Canada’s Green Party leader and lawmaker Elizabeth May said during a panel discussion held at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on widespread human rights violations in Turkey that “I am entirely horrified by the behavior of the Turkish government. We need to be more speaking out loud.”

March 21, 2018

President Erdogan takes tips from Putin in targeting dissidents abroad

What happened?

On 14 March 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats after Russia refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used in the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal, in Salisbury, England on 4 March 2018. Britain, the US, Germany and France have released a joint statement deploring the Salisbury poisoning as an “assault on UK sovereignty” and emphasised that such intervention is a “breach of international law”.

March 20, 2018

UN Human Rights: Turkey should promptly end its protracted state of emergency

Routine extensions of the state of emergency in Turkey have led to profound human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of people – from arbitrary deprivation of the right to work and to freedom of movement, to torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary detentions and infringements of the rights to freedom of association and expression, according to a report* issued by the UN Human Rights Office on Tuesday.

March 19, 2018

Report: Flynn Had Way More Potential Conflicts Than We Previously Knew

Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser who subsequently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, had a slew of previously unreported conflicts of interest, Bloomberg reported Monday.

March 18, 2018

Asylum for Fethullah Gulen Movement Supporters?

Jason Dzubow*

Until the recent coup d’état attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, most people in the United States–including journalists and human rights advocates–had never heard about the Gulen Movement or its founder Fethullah Gulen. That all changed after the Turkish government blamed the coup effort on Mr. Gulen and his followers and demanded his extradition from the U.S., where he has lived in exile since 1999. Since then, American and international press agencies have published numerous articles about this man and his movement.

March 17, 2018

Man with 1 dollar bills acquitted of coup charges after admitting cocaine purchase

Mehmet Sinan İnce, a Turkish lawyer representing Turkey’s infamous mob boss Alaattin Çakıcı, have been acquitted of membership in the Gülen group, after he admitted that he was using one dollar bills that were found in his home to buy cocaine, the Sputnik reported.

March 16, 2018

Local head of Turkey’s ruling AKP appointed as trustee for 7 seized companies in Gaziantep

Mahmut Birlik, vice chairman of the Gaziantep branch of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been appointed as trustee for seven companies that were seized and transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) due to their owners’ alleged links to the Gülen movement.

March 15, 2018

Switzerland probes Turkish diplomats’ attempt to kidnap pro-Gülen businessman

Switzerland is investigating whether Turkish diplomats planned to drug and kidnap a Swiss-Turkish businessman, who is an alleged member of the Gülen movement, as part of a crackdown after the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

March 14, 2018

Pakistan’s Sindh High Court restrains Turkish teachers’ deportation

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday restrained the concerned authority from deporting former employees of Pak-Turk International School, ruling that they can live in the country but only as refugees.

March 13, 2018

Belgium firm to sue Turkey over Gülen-linked assets

A Belgian company, Cascade Investments NV, has launched an $80 million arbitration claim against Turkey in the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ISCID).

March 12, 2018

Erdogan is transforming Turkey into a totalitarian prison

Washington Post Editorial Board

In Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the tweet has been turned into a crime, and a troubled democracy is being turned into a dictatorship. Gradually but inexorably, a nation that once aspired to be an exemplar of enlightened moderation is being transformed by Mr. Erdogan into a dreary totalitarian prison. In the latest setback, last week, 23 journalists were sentenced to prison for between two and seven years on patently ridiculous charges that they were members of a terrorist organization and had tweeted about it. Two others were convicted on lesser charges of supporting a terrorist organization.

March 11, 2018

Opposition does not believe Gulen movement was behind the coup attempt

Dr. Kadir Akyuz of University of Bridgeport, CT, USA has carried out a poll to find out who the general public believe was behind the bloody coup attempt in July 2915. According to his results, opposition does not believe the Gulen movement but it was conspired by the “deadly combo” of Tayyip Erdogan and Dogu Perincek.

March 10, 2018

AfSV Condemns Turkish Teacher’s Death Under Torture Despite Official Innocence

Gokhan Acikkollu, a 42-year-old history teacher in Turkey, was dismissed from his job and was detained on baseless charges in the aftermath of the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. On August 5, 2016, he died as a result of 13 days of torture and abuse under police custody. Recently on February 27, 2018, it was revealed that he was actually reinstated to his job and that charges against him were dropped. Acikkollu’s life was horrifically taken away solely on the basis of a fabricated evidence. The Alliance for Shared Values condemns this atrocious incident as well as the hundreds of ongoing cases of indictments based on false evidence that result in torture.

Theology professor Suat Yildirim says Diyanet removed his articles from Islamic Encyclopedia

The Islamic theologian Suat Yildirim has said the articles he wrote for Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate’s (Diyanet) Islamic Encyclopedia have been removed.

March 9, 2018

Australian Relief Organisation awarded “Letter of Appreciation” by the Cambodian Ministry of Rural Development

Australian Relief Organisation (ARO) has been recently awarded a “Letter of Appreciation” by the Cambodian Ministry of Rural Development. ARO, with the donation supports, has established water wells in Cambodia that now provide drinkable water to over 25,000 locals on a daily basis.

Tentacles of Turkey’s growing autocracy reach Thailand

Turkish democracy developed too rapidly in the early years of this century,” says a Bangkok-based technology expert from Istanbul, who wishes to be known only as Erdem, as he is one of thousands of expat Turks around the world denied their civil rights by the autocratic regime of President Recep Erdogan.

March 8, 2018

Turkish gov’t jailed not only journalist Karaca, but also his lawyers and the judges who ruled to release him

The trial of Turkish journalist Hidayet Karaca (55) has already taken its place in judicial history because not only has he been persecuted by the Turkish government led by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but also both his lawyers and the judges who ruled to release him from jail have been imprisoned.

March 7, 2018

Journalist Gültaşlı: European institutions are ‘cherry-picking’ imprisoned journalists in Turkey

“It is getting increasingly clear that European institutions are ‘cherry-picking’ the imprisoned journalists in Turkey for whom they want to protest,” wrote journalist Selçuk Gültaşlı, who was Brussels bureau chief for the Turkish Zaman newspaper, on the Brussels-based online news website on Tuesday.

March 6, 2018

Hizmet’s Relations with Other Muslim Communities in the United States

Hizmet is a faith-inspired civil society movement that started in Turkey under the inspiration of Turkish Sunni scholar Fethullah Gulen in the late 1960s. The organization adopts volunteerism for its core membership; thus, the prime objective of the Hizmet volunteers is to create a culture of coexistence within universal and humanist values for everyone. “Hizmet, as a civil society movement, operates with a strictly public character. It is not an organ or an affiliate of a government program, political party or agenda.”[1]

March 5, 2018

Man dies of heart attack while on way to help Turkish refugees in Greece

A 43-year-old Turkish man has died of heart attack while on a charity trip for Turkish asylum claimants in Greece.

March 4, 2018

Lawyer of arrested officers detained for alleged Gülen movement propaganda

Lawyer Kemal Uçar, known for his critical statements concerning July 15, 2016 coup attempt cases, has been detained as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, Milliyet reported on Saturday.

March 3, 2018

Alliance for Shared Values Denounces Moves by Afghan Government against Afghan Turk Schools

Turning over popular, successful schools to Turkish government group shows Afghan government giving in to President Erdogan’s pressure

March 2, 2018

Turkey and the “forgotten” Zaman journalists in jail

On 4 March 2016, five months before the coup attempt of July 2016, one of the biggest daily newspaper was seized by the Turkish authorities on charges of being affiliated with the Gülen movement. Created in 1986, the newspaper was initially a strong supporter of President Erdogan’s AKP until it became increasingly critical and subsequently the movement which it was affiliated with accused of infiltrating the institutions in order to create a “parallel state”. Many journalists and media workers were first quickly sacked without any compensation.

March 1, 2018

Turkey’s Global Anti-Gülen Crusade Puts Tbilisi in Diplomatic Bind

Mustafa Emre Çabuk is out of prison but not out of trouble.

The Turkish national, who for the past 15 years ran a Gülen school in the Georgian capital, Tblisi, is the latest international educator caught up in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Gülenist campaign.

February 28, 2018

Turkey’s top appeal court says Bank Asya depositors ‘terrorist’

The Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has received 389 applications by Turkish nationals for protection since the attempted coup in 2016, according to media.

Court refuses to release Zaman journalist Ünal after 18 months in jail

A high criminal court in the western Turkish province of Uşak has refused to release Ali Ünal, a theologian and a former columnist for the now-closed Zaman daily, who has been behind bars for 18 months.

February 27, 2018

Teacher tortured to death by Turkish police found innocent, reinstated to job

Teacher Gökhan Açıkkollu, who was tortured to death while in police custody in the wake of a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 over alleged membership in the faith-based Gülen movement, was found innocent one-and-a-half years later and “reinstated” to his job.

February 26, 2018

Students, Parents Protest Over Afghan-Turk Schools’ Transfer To Maarif Foundation

Parents of the Afghan-Turk school students took out to the Kabul streets on Saturday to protest the government’s decision over banning a schools’ activity and transferring the schools, which have been affiliated with the Gülen movement, to the controversial Islamist Maarif Foundation which was established by the Turkish government led by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016.

February 25, 2018

Mr. Fethullah Gulen’s Message of Condolences for Rev. Billy Graham

Fethullah Gülen

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Rev. Billy Graham, a renowned man of faith who reached hundreds of millions with his inclusive messages in service of world peace. After 9/11, when asked about the possibility of a struggle between Islam and Christianity, he underlined that humanity’s struggle is against hunger, starvation and poverty. At critical times, Rev. Graham courageously voiced his support for values such as the equality of all humanity and our duty to treat every person with dignity — values shared by Muslims and all major world faith traditions. With his departure he leaves a gap that is hard to fill.

February 24, 2018

Kamel Daoud: Open letter to Erdogan

Kamel Daoud

On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan!

February 23, 2018

Erdogan’s Government Takes on Islamist Dissent in Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s unrelenting four-year crackdown on his former ally, U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, and his movement is now a universally known phenomenon. Especially since the 2016 failed coup, which the government blamed on Gulen movement, the president was able to coalesce a large coalition of Islamist, religious and right-wing groups against the U.S.-based cleric. Majority of Islamist groups fell in line behind Erdogan in his zealous vendetta against Gulen sympathizers.

February 22, 2018

Walkabout, Koza Altin unit team up for Northern Irish gold hunt

Australia’s Walkabout Resources has entered a joint venture with Koza Ltd, a British subsidiary of Turkish miner Koza Altin, to explore for gold and other metals at Slieve Gallion in Northern Ireland.

February 21, 2018

Most Turkish asylum seekers in Netherlands Gülen followers

Dutch authorities have granted residence permits to 73 percent of 509 Turkish citizens who applied for asylum last year and most of them were followers of U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, the man Turkey blames for the failed 2016 coup, BBC Turkish reported.

February 20, 2018

Two volunteers of Gülen movement reportedly abducted after released by Azerbaijani court

Two Turkish citizens, who were detained in Azerbaijan over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, were abducted by unidentified persons following the release of them by Azeri court, according to a report by online news outlet Yeni Hamle on Monday.

February 19, 2018

Georgia Releases Turkish Teacher After Nine Months in Prison

A Turkish teacher who remained in detention for nine months after the Turkish government’s relentless quest for his extradition has been released by Georgia.

February 17, 2018

They busted the house of a deceased teacher to take her under custody

Didem Top was one who dedicated herself to education. She had been working in University of Şifa while she was struggling with her illness. Doctors had diagnosed osteoporosis. She had tried to maintain her eduation untill the last moment during her illness. Till she became as ill as she couldnt do her job… Didem Top died at the end of 2015 and burried to her homeland Konya.

February 16, 2018

Fethullah Gulen’s statement regarding the family that drowned in the Meric (Evros) River

Fethullah Gülen

With tremendous sadness, I have learned that a mother and her two children lost their lives in the Meriç (Evros) River while fleeing Turkey in order to escape persecution by tyrants in their home country.

Fethullah Gülen’s Statement of Condolences for Florida High School Shooting

Fethullah Gülen

I am deeply saddened by the tragic shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 people, including teachers and students.

February 15, 2018

MEP Rebecca Harms on Asylum for Cabuk

Member of European Parliament Rebecca Harms, on a visit to Georgia to lobby for Mustafa Cabuk’s asylum in Georgia, visited Cabuk in prison. Prior to her visit, GEORGIA TODAY met her for an exclusive interview.

February 14, 2018

Hundreds of young Turkish children jailed alongside their moms as part of a post-coup crackdown

It was a snowy January morning in Istanbul last year when Ayse, a 32-year-old primary school teacher and mother of two, kissed the kids goodbye at school and headed home.

February 13, 2018

3 dead, 5 missing in attempt to escape Turkey’s post-coup crackdown

At least three people died and five others were missing after a boat carrying a group of eight capsized on Tuesday in the Maritsa River while seeking to escape a post-coup crackdown in Turkey.

February 12, 2018

Erdogan’s war on education: The exodus of Turkey’s teachers

More than 500 people have been arrested in Turkey in recent weeks for posting messages online which are critical of the country’s military offensive against Kurdish militia in Syria.

February 10, 2018

Turkish gov’t detains academics, doctors for watching Gülen speech

Turkish police on Friday detained 7 people, including two academics and three doctors, for watching a video of a speech by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen on their mobile phones in a car in Adıyaman province, pro-government Hürriyet daily reported.

Turkish Nizamiye Hospital conducts medical outreach in Abuja rural community

The Turkish Nizamiye Hospital, Abuja, has visited the Junior Day Secondary School, Jiwa, a suburb in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, with a team of doctors, nurses and other auxiliary staff for a medical outreach programme tagged “Reaching out to the Unreached”.

February 9, 2018

Witch-hunt-targeted mother dies in Kabul, family could not attend funeral in Turkey

Almost every member of the Gülen movement, who has been exposed to a witch-hunt around the world by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has a different dramatic story. Almost every family has tragedies that could be a movie or a novel.

February 8, 2018

Turkish prosecutor shows tweets and retweets as evidence for accusing jailed journalists of being members of terror organisation

The case over the alleged media structure of the Gülen movement regarding 29 journalists on trial has eventually come to the decision stage. Among the jailed journalists only veteran journalist İbrahim Balta was released following the latest hearing at İstanbul’s 25th High Criminal Court on the grounds of his health conditions. During these hearing the prosecutor explained the opinion over his accusations.

February 7, 2018

Security Expert: Ghana doesn’t need Turkey to protect itself

Security expert, Dr Kwesi Aning, says a warning by the Turkish parliament about the operation of [so-called FETO]-linked schools in Ghana should be ignored.