18-20.02.2012 Daily Human Rights Report
(02/116) Trial on death under torture in the military barracks…
On 17 February 2012 the trial relating to the death of Uğur Kantar continued. While doing his military service in Cyprus he had been put into a disciplinary cell. Because of torture over three days his brain had stopped to function between 25 July and 12 October 2011. He had been taken to the military hospital GATA (Ankara) and remained in a coma. On the 79th day he had lost his life.
In the indictment of the military prosecutor of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus the persons held responsible for the death of Uğur Kantar were charged as: the guardians in the disciplinary ward, Ayhan Arslan and Fırat Keser, for having caused the death by aggravated torture, the guardian Recep Tekin for misusing his authority five times and intentionally injuring a person, the prison director Ayhan Şentürk for negligence and misuse of duty, the guardians Süleyman Özdoğan, Özkan Belmen and Ahmet Yurdusevdi for misuse of duty. The Martial Court of the Peace Forces in Cyprus decided to separate the case of 3 guardians, two of them in pre-trial detention, all of them being regular soldiers and to have their trial continued at Elazığ Heavy Penal Court. The case against four defendants, not in pre-trial detention, including the prison director at the military court of the Peace Forces in Cyprus on 17 February 2012 revealed out that the Forensic Medicine Institute could not manage to determine the reason of death of Kantar.
The court declined the demand of the defendant Ayhan Şentük to be tried in a civic court and adjudicated to wait for the results of the orders for the testimonies of the witnesses and adjourned the hearing to 20 April 2012 (bianet.org, 17 February).
(02/117) Tried conscientious objector…
Muhammed Serdar Delice (28) a conscientious objector who had been detained in Kasımpaşa Quarter of Beyoğlu District of İstanbul Province on 27 November 2011 was arrested on charges of “disobeying orders” and transferred to Kasımpaşa Martial Prison. He had been transferred to Malatya Military Prison on 24 December 2011. The trial of Muhammed Serdar Delice on charges of “deserting” continued on 17 February 2012.
After hearing the legal arguments of Muhammed Serdar Delice Malatya Martial Court adjudicated to transfer the defendant to Military Hospital in Ankara Province (GATA) for the determination of his health condition whether it is suited for military service or not and adjourned the hearing to 27 February 2012 (bianet.org, 17 February).
(02/118) Şerzan Kurt Case…
On 11 May 2010 a verbal quarrel between Kurdish students at Muğla University and a racist group turned into a fight. When the police intervened the student Şerzan Kurt (21) was heavily wounded and died in hospital on 19 May 2010. Later police officer Gültekin Şahin was detained on charges of having fired the shots on order of the temporary chief of the department to fight terrorism. On 17 February 2012 Eskişehir Heavy Penal Court No. 1 went on hear this case.
The court heard the legal argument of the defendant’s lawyer and he claimed that the police officer did his job. The court also adjudicated to wait the report of the İstanbul Forensic Medicine Institute on the clothes on Şerzan Kurt and the bullet and adjourned the hearing to 6 April 2012 (Radikal, 17 February).
(02/119) Trial on the massacre in Zirve Publishing house…
A court that held the 37th hearing of the Zirve Publishing House murders in Malatya decided to demand on Friday some of the key indictments in relation to the Ergenekon case, an ongoing case against people allegedly involved in the Ergenekon organization, which has been accused of making horrendous plots to overthrow the government.
The co-plaintiff lawyer of the victims’ families, Erdal Doğan asked the court to include indictments in two crucial cases -- the Action Plan to Fight Reactionaryism and the case against former Chief of General Staff retired Gen. İlker Başbuğ.
Başbuğ was put behind bars by an İstanbul court after he testified last month as a suspect in an investigation into an alleged Internet campaign to discredit Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The investigation in which Başbuğ is implicated concerns allegations that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSKTurkish Armed Forces ) set up 42 websites to disseminate anti-government propaganda. Dozens of suspects, including Başbuğ, are currently accused of having started an online propaganda campaign against the AK Party with the goal of instilling in the public a fear that the government was attempting to instate a religious order based on Islamic law.
In April 2007, three Protestant missionaries were brutally murdered, bound to chairs, tortured and stabbed at the Zirve Publishing House in the eastern province of Malatya before their throats were slit. The publishing house printed Bibles and Christian literature. It was one of the events involving the murder of a number of prominent non-Muslims in recent years in Turkey.
Speaking to Today’s Zaman, Doğan noted that the Cage Operation Action Plan, a suspected Naval Forces Command plan that targeted Turkey’s non-Muslim communities, was discovered in 2009 from a CD seized in the office of retired Maj. Levent Bektaş, a suspect in the Ergenekon case.
The CD exposed the group’s plans to assassinate prominent Turkish citizens who were non-Muslims and place the blame for the killings on the AK Party. The plan called the killings of Hrant Dink, Father Santoro and the three Christians in Malatya an “operation.” An anti-democratic group within the Naval Forces Command aimed to foment chaos in society with those killings, and therefore open the way for a coup d’état.
In April 2010, an indictment concerning the Cage Operation Action Plan was added to the case file on the 2007 Malatya murders. Now, there is a third indictment being prepared for the high-profile Malatya murders case.
“We expect that the new indictment of the case will shed light on the cases of Hrant Dink and Father Santoro [who were murdered in 2006 and 2007, respectively] because the new indictment might bring out the people behind the hit men,” he said adding that the Malatya murders, Dink’s murder and Father Santoro’s murder were all being mentioned in the Cage Operation Action Plan as “operations.”
The new hearing of the case in the Malatya Heavy Penal Court No. 3 will be held on April 9, and the hearing will start with the announcement of the new indictment. The hearing will continue until April 13 in order to hear defence testimony from those involved.
On Friday, the transcript of a speech, “Besieged Turkey at the Start of the 21st Century” made in April 18, 2007, at İnönü University in Malatya by Hurşit Tolon, a retired general who is one of the key suspects in the investigation into Ergenekon, was included in the case file of the Zirve Publishing House murders.
In addition, the medical report stating that the suspect Varol Bülent Aral was mentally capable at the time of the murder was also added to the file. (Zaman, 17 February).
(02/120) Closed association…
Tunceli Law Court of First Instance adjudicated to close the Dersim Alevilik İnanç ve Kültür Akademisi Derneği which was active in Tunceli Province on grounds that the association had “violated its foundational aim” and its chairperson Aysel Doğan has been a pre-trial detainee in KCKUnion of Communities in Kurdistan case reported on 16 February 2012. The case against the association was launched by Malatya Heavy Penal Court No. 3 (Vatan, 17 February).
(02/121) Tried former deputy…
Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecution Office launched a case against Diyarbakır former deputy Akın Birdal in connection with his speech in Newroz Celebration in Eğil District of Diyarbakır Province on 19 March 2011 on charges of “making propaganda of an illegal organisation” reported on 17 February 2012.
Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No. 7 will hear the case against Akın Birdal (ANF, 17 February).
(02/122) Tried persons…
On 17 February 2012 Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No. 6 went on hearing the case against 96 defendants –including deputies Ayla Akat Ata and Bengi Yıldız- in connection with the sit-in strike in Batman Province on 24 March 2011 to protest the decision of the High Election Board which banned the candidacy of five deputy on charges of “making propaganda of an illegal organisation”.
The court heard the legal arguments of defendants that were present in the hearing and adjourned the hearing to take the rest (Evrensel, 18 February).
(02/123) Convicted police officer…
Trabzon Penal Court of Peace No. 2 sentenced police officer İlhan Cinsoy to a fine of 2.100 TL in connection with the incident in which officer ticketed prosecutor Mesut Atmaca on grounds that “he violated the rules of the traffic” by making a wrong turn in Trabzon Province in 2010 on charges of “insulting the prosecutor” reported on 19 February 2012 (Vatan, 19 February)
(02/124) KCK Operation in İstanbul Province…
Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDPPeace and Democracy Party ) Party Assembly member Mehmet Doymaz and BDP’s General Centre Women’s Assembly members Necla Nergiz and Kıymet Ilgaz detained in home raids in the framework of the KCK investigation in Beyoğlu District of İstanbul Province on 17 February 2012 (ANF, 17 February).
(02/125) Detentions and arrests…
Five people who had been distributing communiques titled “we want freedom of belief” on behalf of Revolutionary Alevi Committee in Mersin Province on 17 February 2012 were detained (halkinsesi.tv, 17 February).
(02/126) Ongoing KCK Operations…
On 13 February 2012 Security Directorate’s Fighting with Terrorism Department had conducted the most comprehensive detention operation with the order of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecution Office. Koma Ciwaken Kurdistan-Kurdistan Communities League /Assembly of Turkey (KCK/TMKCK Par lament Turkey ), the KCK is allegedly intended to organize the Kurdish people as an umbrella organization that includes Kurdistan Workers Party (PKKKurdish Workers' Party ) operation had been held in 30 provinces and 197 people had been detained and the Security General Directorate stated that 149 people had been detained.
12 out of the 33 detainees in Batman Province and 2 people in İzmir Province were arrested in the framework of the operation on 20 February 2012 (Cumhuriyet, 17 February; Zaman, 20 February).
(02/127) Protests about the anniversary of the day in which Abdullah Öcalan was brought to Turkey (15 February 1999)…
Six out of the 15 detainees in Tunceli and Şanlıurfa Provinces and Viranşehir, Birecik, Hilvan, Suruç and Ceylanpınar Districts of Şanlıurfa Province who had been detained on 14 February 2012 in home raids on the grounds that “they have been planning actions on 15 February” were arrested on 17 February 2012. Ten out of the 27 detainees in Batman Province were also arrested in the same day on 17 February 2012. Three out of the four detainees were arrested on 19 February 2012 (Star, 17 February; ANF, 18 February; ANF, 19 February).
(02/128) KCK Operation in Şırnak Province…
12 people were detained in home raids in the framework of the KCK investigation in Kumçatı Municipality of Şırnak Province on 18 February 2012 (CİHAN, 18 February).
(02/128) Intervention to the protest in Mersin Province…
Police teams interfered the members of the KESKConfederation of Trade Union in the Public Sector who protested the arrest of nine trade unionists from the Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions (KESK) and detained 37 people in Mersin Province on 18 February 2012 (Cumhuriyet, 18 February).