A court in Turkey has sentenced Basak Demirtas, former People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtas’s wife to 30 months in prison on “document forgery charges” due to a date typo in a medical report for sick leave. She had medical operations to resolve complications of a miscarriage and her physician is also convicted on forgery.
The lawyers stated that the verdict was made deliberately when Basak Demirtas is being targeted about her statements about her husband. “The original of the report was not checked and this verdict is not a coincidence. This is the result of a collective punishment manner” says Demirtas’s lawyers.
“Our language, identity and Kurdistan are denied.” said Cemil Taskesen, a Kurdish worker (Turkish citizen) who is living in Siirt, a province in the South East of Turkey. He spoke to Meral Aksener during her visit to the region. Aksener is leader of The Good Party (IYI Party) which is affiliated with the nationalist far right Turkish movement in Turkey.
The Kurdish man was later arrested in the night at his home on terorism related charges and released the next day upon public unrest. He commented that he was arrested because he was “telling the obvious truth” .
Taskesen said that the land where Turkish nationalist Aksener is visiting is actually Kurdistan and he further elaborated his views to reporters:
“I asked her if Selahattin Demirtas is a terrorist? Because they are constantly voicing this in the parliament. They are accusing Kurdish voters and Demirtas of being a terrorist. If Demirtas is a terrorist, then we are all terrorists.(…) I expressed that we are Kurdish people and this is where we live, they are ignoring the truth. (…) Kurdistan has existed for thousands of years. (…) and I was expecting to be detained for what I have said.”
Pro-goverment Islamist and far right nationalist media immediately condemned IYI Party leader Aksener for lack of a proper response to this kind of “arrogant manner.”
Aksener, who is currently a leading political figure for the aftermath of Erdogan era, was the infamous interior minister of 1990’s in Turkey associated with unindentified political murders. She is denying any wrong doing during her post.
Suleyman Soylu, Turkey’s Interior Minister, once again used hate speech aimed at the LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ was one of the targets in his speech at Hak-Is confederation, a pro-Islamist AKP trade union, meeting.
The Minister said that they (AKP government) have prevented LGBTQ activities so that “they will not spoil Turkish family values.” Soylu said that the LGBTQ community is “immoral” and “deviant.”
“We are a Muslim nation. You could not succeed to corrupt our culture and civilisation with your broadcasting, your television channels (…) . ” said Soylu.
Soylu also used hate speech towards the community earlier this year via his social media account saying that “LGBT deviants committed disrespect to the Kaaba-i Muazzama” regarding the detained students from Bogazici Resistance.
Meanwhile Soylu is facing serious accusations about corruption and drug trafficking. The allegations surfaced as convicted organised crime leader Sedat Peker’s YouTube disclosure videos received great attention.
TUGVA (Turkish Youth Foundation), which is affiliated with TURGEV (Turkey Youth and Education Service Foundation) is the latest scandal linked to President Erdogan in Turkey.
Erdogan founded TURGEV in the 1990s, and his close family members and his inner circle sit on the board of the foundation. After the corruption scandal about Erdogan’s family in 2013, TUGVA was founded as a cloak for other corrupt activities. Currently Bilal Erdogan, the President’s son is on the advisory board of the latter foundation.
Last week Metin Cihan, a freelancer journalist, shared a leak of documents and files exposing the deployment of unqualified individuals -who are affiliated with TUGVA and Erdogan’s Islamist party AKP- into the public enterprises and their harmful, corrupt practices. The lists include appointments to almost every public institution in the country, from army to education.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Chairperson of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) commented on the scandal via his social media account. “It’s just a matter of time before the power shifts in Turkey and then the investigations will begin.” said Kilicdaroglu and urged for a new chapter in public as of this Monday:
“There is a person (Erdogan) and his family who have transformed the Turkish state into a state of their family. Government officials are forced to serve his personal interests. (…) Everybody must keep in mind that there is a price to pay when you serve personal interests rather than public.
We are watching the TUGVA scandal together. The smell of dirt is again all over the place. The person and his family are trying to take control of the state with a parallel structure that they pretend to be a foundation. (…) The Turkish state has once again entered the path of being the state of the people. Those who turn institutions into their own barn will of course be held accountable.”
Meanwhile TUGVA officials initially denied the allegations but later accepted that there is a leak. They are now targeting the journalists and newspapers who are investigating the incident saying that this is “an operation against Islam”.
“Cihannuma Kız Ogrenci Yurdu”, a public funded dormitory for higher education in Turkey’s İzmir distict has announced a “moral” dresscode for students. Administration ordered the residents to dress “morally. ”
According to Derya Dogan’s report from Yeni Yasam, a public funded dormitory announced to the students that they could no longer walk inside the perimeters of the dorm wearing “immoral” outfits (such as in pyjamas or gym clothes).
Anonymous students asked for solidarity against this oppressive new dresscode saying that “Be our voice and support us to resist this regressive obligatory rule. “
The dresscodes for women has always been a controversial issue in Turkey. Today critics fear that AKP is pushing a religious agenda on to future generations of women in the country.
Ali Kismir, President of the Press Workers’ Union (Basın-Sen) of northern Cyprus, was detained at Istanbul Airport and deported for “security reasons.”
The journalist said that he was deported due to his support for the presidential candidate Mustafa Akinci in the latest election in northern Cyprus. At the time of the elections there were serious allegations of interference by the Turkish government against Akinci.
Kismir also said that he is deeply saddened for his colleagues in Turkey who are subjected to such a “dictatorship” constantly.
The Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) condemned the deportation of Kismir and said that “Intimidation operations against Cypriot journalists are unacceptable.”
According to Avrupa (a daily newspaper published in northern Cyprus), apart from Ali Kismir, 42 people from northern Cyprus who criticized AKP’s policies were also banned from entering to Turkey. Former President Mustafa Akıncı’s name is also on the list.
Turkish police raided waste warehouses yesterday in Istanbul on the pretext of public order and attacked workers with tear gas and rubber bullets. Three waste pickers have been arrested.
There has been tension for some time between the Governor Office and waste pickers about the recent regulations on waste which are in favour with some big investors in recycling sector.
Ali Mendillioglu, president of The Recycling Workers Association said that the governor’s office laid the groundworkfor the arrests.
“Three of our friends were arrested. It doesn’t matter, let them take us all, let’s stay inside (the prison). It’s like a prison outside in Turkey anyway. We will not abandon our friends.”said Mendillioglu and called for solidarity.
Waste pickers, the most important link in the recycling chain in the country, face the worst conditions, working for almost 15 hours every day and suffering extreme poverty.
President Erdogan once again targeted the Bogazici Resistance and branded the students as terrorists in a speech yesterday.
The Turkish president said: “I cannot accept a Turkey where there are students stamping on the rector’s car. We don’t need such students (…) these are terrorists who have infiltrated the university.”
Since the start of 2021, Bogazici university students, staff, alumni and the broader civil society are demanding a return to the democratic process in the university and an end to outside interference.