MP Baris Atay attacked after being publicly targeted by Turkish Interior Minister


The Turkish Interior Minister, who had previously protected Musa Orhan (Ipek Er’s rapist), publicly attacked Worker’s Party MP Baris Atay.

Soylu accused Baris Atay of being a rapist on social media. On the same evening (30 August) Atay was physically assaulted by 5 people and taken to hospital where he is recovering. 

Ironically, the Interior Minister recently stood up for Musa Orhan, who raped Ipek Er. Ipek Er later killed herself and Musa Orhan was freed. 

Erdogan and the AKP accuse all those that oppose or critique them of being “traitors”. 

Atay, a well known actor and politician, has been an outspoken critic of the AKP government, and it is clear that the physical attack on him is a result of the Interior Minister’s public incitement and targeting on social media.

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Turkish Health Minister lies about daily Covid-19 numbers

A number of Local Authority leaders in Turkey, including the Mayors of Ankara and Istanbul have publicly stated that the true number of Covid-19 cases and related deaths are not being disclosed.
For some time medical chambers across the country and local authorities in areas such as Diyarbakir, Antep and Adana had been stating publicly that the numbers announced by the Health Minister are wrong and that there are many more cases of Covid and deaths.
Instead of accounting for this error and responding  to these criticisms, the Health Minister has labelled as “national traitors” those exposing the government’s cover up of the number of covid cases and deaths.
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Erdoğan is warmongering in attempt to prolong presidency

The Turkish President Erdogan and his party the AKP, are meddling with their neighbours again with the aim of extending their time in government.

A few years ago Erdogan used the Assad regime as a pretext for two major military operations targeting the Kurds in Northern Syria and occupying the area. In recent days the regime has its sights on the East Mediterranean and Greece because of the natural wealth of the area.

The relationship between Turkey and Greece has come to breaking point with warships in a standoff. It is likely that NATO, particularly the USA, will prevent further escalation into a war between these two allies but we may yet hear gunshots. The Turkish Navy has said that it plans to hold live-fire exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean in the coming days, which will no doubt stoke tensions further.

Erdogan is also increasing tensions further using chauvinistic propaganda against Greece to rally the Turkish public around this issue.

Even as starvation becomes even more widespread, the economy hits rock bottom and Erdogan’s popularity falls, racist nationalist propaganda reaches new heights. The government has gone into a phase of labelling anybody who is not a nationalist as a “traitor”.

Everyday Syrians are killed on the streets and the government is encouraging racism. There is only one reason for these policies and that is to keep Erdogan in the 1100 room palace built with taxpayers and siphon off the country’s wealth.

Erdogan has used the state’s resources to make his family, friends and contacts rich, and one of the biggest supporters of his racist nationalism and war mongering has been the UK.

We call on the UK government to stop working with the Turkish government and review its relationship. The UK government should know that in supporting Erdogan and the AKP, it is emboldening a regime that is oppressing and trampling over the human rights of its people.

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TELE1 fined for airing an advert using Kurdish colours


Media outlets that are not pro-Erdogan and the AKP continue to be penalised in Turkey.

Most recently TELE1 (which has previously aired Evrensel newspaper adverts) was fined for airing an Evrensel advert which contained Kurdish colours. This blatant racism and interference in media freedom is unacceptable.

The Supreme Council for Radio and Television (RTÜK) in Turkey decided to impose the fine after TELE1 aired Evrensel newspaper’s advert because they said the advert used the phrase “the voice of those who want to live together, in peace and fraternity” and showed images of demonstrations.

RTÜK claimed that the advert “praised and encouraged terror, and showed terrorist organisations as strong or in a positive light” and decided that a penalty at the highest threshold should be imposed on the television channel.  

RTÜK’s reasoning for the penalty included the image of a little girl holding a red, yellow and green scarf.  

As SPOT we condemn this unacceptable interference in media freedom and stand in solidarity with progressive media outlets in Turkey.

 

 

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Rapist Musa Orhan released by Turkish State


Military Seargent Musa Orhan raped 18 year old Ipek Er in the Batman in Eastern Turkey. Ipek Er committed suicide as a result. Musa Orhan, who is responsible for the death of this young woman, is being protected by the Turkish state because he served in the military and comes from a nationalist racist family.

He was released from prison after only 1 week. There has been outcry across the country with women’s organisations, campaign groups and celebrities calling out the Turkish state’s systematic protection of perpetrators of violence against women, and calls for the imprisonment of Musa Orhan have been growing. The Turkish authorities have been tightly policing dissent, exemplified in the abrupt removal of Melek Mosso (a singer) from the stage during a concert at which she called for the Istanbul Convention to be honoured and said it saved women’s lives.

Everyday there are more and more reports of women being murdered and raped across Turkey. This is fueled by the Turkish state’s open support and protection for perpertrators of violence against women.

The criminalisation of democratic protest/opposition and the protection of perpetrators of violence against women and girls in Turkey must be stopped.

Join us to strengthen solidarity in the UK with progressive forces and women’s groups in Turkey.

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‪Ebru Timtik, lawyer, dies after 238 days on hunger strike


Ebru Timtik, who was on indefinite hunger strike demanding a fair trial, has died in Bakırköy Dr. Sadi Konuk Hospital after 238 days.

Timtik’s only demand was a right to fair trial and she had called on the Minister for Justice to intervene, but despite numerous warnings the government stood idly by – choosing instead to watch as she slowly died. During her 238 day hunger strike many human rights organisations and campaign groups called for the government to take steps to prevent her death. 

Even though Timtik had not committed any crime, she didn’t refuse to be tried. All she asked was for a fair trial and this was denied to her even as she lost her life. 

The Turkish government has set aside the rule of law and the right to fair trial. Britain and other countries supporting the Turkish government must review their relationships in light of the worsening human rights record of Turkey. Please support us to bring an end to this injustice.

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Profiteering leads to loss of lives in flood hit Blacksea in Turkey

Floods hit the shores of Giresun in the Blacksea region of Turkey. Huge devastation hit the area of Dereli in particular. So far 8 people have died and 11 are missing. 17 buildings have collapsed and 351 buildings are damaged. Over 100 villages have become blocked off and 78 residential areas have lost their electricity.  The floods engulfed in muddy waters not just small vehicles, but also minibuses and buses. Debris built up on pavements reaching heights of 3 metres. 31 buildings are being evacuated.

The rainy seasons saw much heavier rainfall than usual. The streams didn’t overflow, the water levels simply rose and the primary reason for the significant damage was because the homes and businesses had been built in the stream bed itself. The Minister for Agriculture and Forests, Bekir Pakdemirli, exonerated the officials who granted permission for the buildings and instead blamed local residents for residing there. Just last year houses built by the collective housing association (known as TOKI and directly linked to the Ministry) were flooded in Samsun and lives were lost as a result.

The Management Board of Turkey’s Association for Architects and Engineers (TMMOB) in their press release stated that “the fundamental reasons for the flooding disasters in the last few years have been human destruction of the environment, wrong water policies and the building of hydroelectric power stations, ill-judged and unplanned urbanisation of stream stream beds, insufficient foundations and central and local government leader’s profiteering politics in cities, and not necessarily climate change”

As SPOT we send our solidarity to those impacted by the floods and call on the Government of Turkey to call to account unscrupulous officials for the lives lost and the damage done, and support those in need of emergency and long term support as a result of these devastating floods.

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Turkish government watches as lawyers on hunger strike reach critical condition

The health of two lawyers, Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal, on indefinite hunger strike demanding a fair trial has reached a critical point.

Ebru has been on indefinite hunger strike for 240 days and Aytac for 210 days. Their health is at risk and the Turkish government is standing idly by.

The Justice Minister has not even responded to their call for a fair trial and is practically waiting for the lawyers to die.

As SPOT, we call on the British Government to put pressure on the Turkish government and call for the demands for a fair trial to be accepted by the Turkish government.

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