Turkey’s Complicity: Unveiling the Hypocrisy in Erdogan’s Stance on Gaza

The recent police beating and arrests of over 40 people in Istanbul for protesting the genocide in Gaza underlines the rank hypocrisy of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Those demonstrating had embarrassed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) by highlighting Turkey’s continued economic ties to Israel. Another march in the city of […]

WEBINAR: Women’s Rights and the Struggle in Turkey

Economic and social inequality, and violence against women and girls continues to rise in Turkey, but women refuse to bow to the AKP’s regressive policies and attacks on women’s rights. In preparation for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, SPOT, together with Day-Mer Women, have organised an online webinar […]

Criticism of ECHR President Spano’s visit in Turkey  

The President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Robert Spano paid a controversial visit to Turkey and met with President Erdogan. Many members of the judiciary and lawyers have criticised the visit. Spano, after a number of engagements, met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had previously said that the ECHR decision calling […]

Workplace deaths continue

Despite warnings workers continue to die in workplace accidents. This year already there have been 1306 workplace deaths in Turkey. In August 208 workers died in workplace accidents because of lack of safety precautions. The construction industry had the highest number of workplace deaths, but “accidents” are killing workers in mines, agriculture and factories too […]

Racist attacks on Kurdish workers

It is reported that 16 workers from the Kurdish region of Mardin Mazidagi, who went to Western Sakarya as hazelnut pickers were attacked by their employers and villagers. The workers had to return to Mardin after the attack. One of the victims of the attack, Baris Demir, said that they did not have any issues […]

Turkey censors news of cult leader’s arrest for child abuse

As of 3rd September access to all news stories relating to the arrest of Uşşaki Cult Leader Fatih Nurullah’s sexual abuse of a 12 year old girl have been blocked in Turkey. Nurullah, who is known for his closeness with Erdogan and the AKP, is reported to have offered 70,000 Turkish Liras to the child’s […]

TELE1 punished with five day black-out

    Media freedom is quickly becoming a thing of the past in Turkey. TELE1, a television channel that is not aligned with the Government, has been punished with a five-day black-out for critiquing President Erdogan and the AKP government.   The Supreme Council for Radio and Television (RTÜK) , which is known for its close […]

Turkey’s cultural and religious heritage is being destroyed

The Turkish state is destroying historical sites belonging to Assyrians, Jews, Armenians, Kurds and Christians across the country. Just recently the world famous Hagia Sofia Museum was converted into a mosque, and buildings of worship belonging to minority faiths Turkey regularly face either forced conversion into a mosque or wilful neglect and disrepair by the State. […]

Erdogan targets the lawyers in his opening address for the judicial year

On 1st September the 2020-21 judicial year was opened with a ceremony at the presidential palace in Turkey. The Bar Associations were not invited to the ceremony. In their absence, President Erdogan boasted about the reforms to “rights and freedoms” they had implemented and justified the purge of lawyers who stood in solidarity with the […]

Perpetrators walk free as 27 more women murdered in August

The Platform for Ending Femicide in Turkey has published their report on the murders of women in Turkey in August 2020. The report reveals that in August, 27 women were killed by men, and 23 women were found dead under suspicious circumstances. Of the 27 women murdered, the motivation was unclear in 16 cases. In […]

Attacks on media in Turkey continue at pace in August

Baris Yarkadas, ex opposition CHP MP and journalist, released a report on attacks on journalists and the media in August. Yarkadas publishes the report monthly, which shows that attacks on the media have been significant in August. The report shows that in August: 2 journalists were arrested, 2 journalists detained, 4 journalists faced trial, and […]

Turkey is the only country to ban the celebration of World Peace Day

Countries all over the world have been recognising World Peace Day and calling for peace on 1st September. Meanwhile in Turkey calling for peace is considered as “terrorism”. The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) wanted to call for peace in Diyarbakir, Van and Ankara but were met with police prohibitions and many people were arrested. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

‪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 […]

Turkish Bar Associations fight back

The Turkish Bar Associations stand firm against attacks on their independence Last week the main agenda across Turkey was the Government’s plan to change the way that the Turkish Bar Associations are organised and their electoral system. The Bar Association’s believe that the legal changes proposed would make the Bar Associations undemocratic and would result […]

SPOT Conference 2020 – What’s the latest?

The Turkish state’s attacks on human rights, workers rights and democracy is relentless, and President Erdogan’s war politics is fuelling further tension and instability, not just in Turkey but across the region. It is in this context that we have pulled our sleeves up and are finalising preparations for SPOT’s 4 th Annual Conference, which […]


END TURKEY’S ATTACKS ON DEMOCRACY AND MILITARY AGGRESSION NOW     As the general election approaches voters are looking to our Parliament to recognise the impact that our foreign policy is having on the safety of innocent civilians not just in the UK but all over the world. Democracy is under attack in Turkey, with trade […]

Police detained medics for speaking against Afrin offensive

  Administrators and members of Turkish Medical Association (TTB) who were pointed as a target by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan for calling for peace against Afrin operation have been detained. Turkish police conducted raids on the homes of 11 administrators and members of TTB, including TTB President Raşit Tükel and members of TTB Central Council. […]

StWC & SPOT Statement: Oppose Turkey’s attack on Afrin

On Saturday, 20th January, Turkish war planes launched air strikes on Afrin, one of the three Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria. We oppose all outside intervention in Syria, from whatever side. We see this latest intervention as one which can only worsen the situation, while in particular targeting the Kurdish YPG. We note that the […]

Solidarity with Afrin – Take Action Now

Urgent call for the people of UK, politicians, trade unionists, campaign groups, democrats, intellectuals and all those who side with peace, freedom and justice to take immediate action to protest the bombing of Afrin. Background On Saturday, 20th January, Turkish war planes launched air strikes on Afrin, one of the three Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria. A ground […]

Long Live International Solidarity

We are pleased to announce that Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) and Academics for Peace – UK (BAK-UK) organised a fantastic fundraising event at the NEU /  NUT Head office on 23rd November. The event was attended by more than 100 people including academics, teachers, trade union representatives and political activists.  There were speeches from […]

We stand with the Alevi communities in Turkey

We stand with the Alevi communities in Turkey Last week members of the Alevi community in Turkey’s Malatya province voiced concerns after, at least, 13 houses were marked with red cross by “unknown” individuals. Red crosses marked with red paint were spotted on the outside walls and doors of several households belonging to Alevi people […]


Press freedom and democracy are under attack in Turkey. The situation has intensified since last years failed coup attempt. A third of the worlds total jailed journalists are in Turkish prisons and many  newspapers and media outlets have been closed down by the government. Legitimate organisations including the Democratic Society Congress (DTK)- which operated freely […]

Academic Boycott of Turkey

DO NOT BE A PARTY TO CRIMES IN TURKISH HIGHER EDUCATION A group of academics are calling on all institutions of higher education, funding councils, academic and professional associations, and individual faculty members to boycott the Turkish higher education system. The aim of the academic boycott is to put pressure on government so that all dismissals are […]

SPOT: We will not be divided

As Solidarity with the People of Turkey campaign group we are horrified by the terrorist attack on young concert goers in Manchester on Monday nightand condemn those responsible. We would like to send our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones and to the injured. The hard work and courage of the emergency […]

How the “dream” summit became the summit of “fractures”

Evrensel / Ihsan Caralan The “Trump–Erdogan” Summit which took place the previous day, described by president Erdogan as a milestone, lasted for only 20 minutes. If we consider that this dialogue included the need for translators between the two, there remains a maximum of 5 minutes each to discuss important issues between Erdogan and Trump. […]

The Turkish teachers are on hunger strike for 73 days

A Turkish academic, Nuriye Gulmen and primary school teacher Semih Ozakca, have been on hunger strike in Ankara for the last 73 days to protest against their dismissal by the government. They are among the more than 150 thousand public workers who were dismissed from their jobs by government decrees following the failed coup attempt […]

Turkey seeks arrests at opposition newspaper Sozcu

Turkish authorities have issued arrest warrants for the owner and three employees of the opposition daily Sozcu. The office of the newspaper was raided yesterday. Officials accuse the newspaper of supporting people allegedly involved in last July’s failed coup. The newspaper is accused of having ties to the so-called “Hizmet” movement led by the self-exiled […]

The role given to Turkey: to be the protectorate of jihadists

10 May 2017 Unfortunately, Turkey is doing the opposite of what it needs to do. Maybe before even it realises what troubles this might bring. Fehim ISIK In Syria, we have moved onto the stage of delicate calculations. Proxy wars waged by use of various organisations have for some time been replaced by those who […]

14,000 TL fine for news in Evrensel

Evrensel newspaper’s ex-editor in chief Vural Nasuhbeyoglu and ex-publisher Mehmet Arif Kosar were each served with 7 thousand Turkish Liras. Meltem AKYOL İstanbul Journalists have been swamped with imprisonment and fines just 2 days after President Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement that they fully defend freedom of expression. Evrensel newspaper’s ex-editor in chief Vural Nasuhbeyoglu and ex-publisher […]

Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Kaboglu: Individual, party and state are merged

Why was the President Erdogan re-joining his party and the judicial restructuring prioritised? What should we expect in 2019? Serpil İLGÜN Work on the restructuring of HSYK (Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors) as HSK (Council of Judges and Prosecutors), one of the first articles brought to TBMM (the Turkish Parliament) following the referendum on […]

Erdoğan-Trump meeting interpreted by political analysts from Turkey

(Evrensel, 16 Mayıs 2017) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Donald Trump had their first face to face meeting on Tuesday, 16 May. This is how political scientists Sinan Birdal, Sezin Öney and Fatih Yaşlı interpreted this meeting. ‘Aim of this visit was to be photographed together’ Sinan BİRDAL – Guest Associate Professor […]

What does the New Hamas Line mean?

08 May 2017 Chairman Khaleed Mashaal announced the new political programme of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). Why is a change in line? Kamil Tekin SUREK First the new Charter was introduced on 1 May, followed by the change in Political Leadership. Despite the Hamas leadership statement that the changes were a result of long-term discussions, […]

“A homeland that wants to kill us”

30 years ago, I was a leftist university student, living in exactly the same house that I am living now, then with my mother. I remember how much my mother would be worried each time our doorbell rang from downstairs. Neither her nor I were feeling safe in our own house. And the threat came […]

People feel unsafe in the area, says Diyarbakir Human Rights Association

Serpil Berk, Diyarbakir Raci Bilici, the Chairman of the Diyarbakir Human Rights Association (IHD) evaluates the human rights violation report for the first quarter of 2017. In the past few days the Diyarbakir IHD shared with the public in the regional provinces its report of rights violations that occurred in the first quarter of 2017. […]

The role given to Turkey: being the protectorate of jihadists

(Fehim Işık, Evrensel, 10 May 2017) In Syria, we have moved onto the stage of delicate calculations. Proxy wars waged by use of various organisations have for some time been replaced by those who have designated the proxies. It seems that it is now the time of “correction”, and one of the main issues is […]

NO and Beyond April 16, 2017 Constitutional Referendum Report

No and Beyond was established as an independent citizen organization, to contribute to the creation of a healthy electoral environment, before and after elections against possible infractions of the rules in the April 16, 2017 referendum. No and Beyond received voluntary applications in almost 50 cities and served at the polling place with close to […]

Big, jubilant, mass May Day demos in Turkey despite the state of emergency

(İhsan Çaralan, Evrensel, 02 May 2017) Celebrations were held in many countries yesterday, on May Day, the day of unity, solidarity and struggle of the working class. Workers chanted their demands, claiming the values of May Day and the ideals for a world without  exploitation and wars and for fraternity of humanity as a whole. […]

Leaping backward 13 years in the war of norms

(İhsan Çaralan, Evrensel, 27 April 2017) Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided to put Turkey on “political and legal monitoring”. The resolution was passed with 113 votes, with 45 against and 12 abstaining. “The absence of European standards in the functioning of Turkey’s democratic institutions” was presented as the reason for PACE’s […]

Referendum in Turkey: The ‘no’ bloc need to have a programme

Evrensel (24 April 2017) Serpil Ilgun from Evrensel Daily talked to Murat Somer, Associate Professor of Political Sciences and International Relations from Koc University in Istanbul about the Turkish referendum and its social outcomes. Somer: The ‘No’ bloc owes its success to its calm. The results have given them self-confidence and this needs to be […]


(Fatih Polat, Evrensel, 19.4.17) Due to its extremely oppressive atmosphere, the very public vote rigging and the unravelling political picture in its aftermath, the referendum of 16 April 2017 has been the most controversial vote in Turkish political history. High Election Council’s (YSK) decision to accept unsealed envelopes and ballots while voting still continued – […]

The referendum and its results are not legitimate!

(Mustafa Yalciner, Evrensel, 18.4.17) Scarcely 51.4% of ‘yes’ vote has been reached! 48.6% said “no.” All the big cities, the industrial regions, with the exception of the city of Bursa and Kocaeli, declared “No, We Will Not Accept a One Man Dictatorship.” Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Mersin, Diyarbakir… have all said its not possible but […]

SPOT delegation visits Turkey

Over the Christmas period we convened a delegation of journalists and activists from the UK. This delegation travelled to Istanbul last week to meet with prominent individuals and groups that are being persecuted for opposing the politics of the ruling AKP government. The delegation, which included journalists from the Guardian, Morning Star, The Telegraph, PEN […]

The failing Turkish economy

The rise in unemployment and the fall of Turkish Lira against the dollar has prompted the president to name those who hold dollars instead of Turkish Lira as terrorists and attacked institutions for not releasing cash into the markets.  In the same breath, without a hint of irony, the president threatens to remove the citizenship […]

The road to dictatorship

A new constitution has been passed by the Turkish Parliament. The new controversial constitution substantially expands the powers of the presidency under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and removes the office of the Prime Minister. The new constitution, which is expected to be put to a referendum in the spring, is opposed by pro-democracy groups and politicians […]

‘Feel this support and be powerful!’

Özgür Gündem guest editors’ trial adjourned until 21 March 2017   The trial took place today at Çağlayan High Criminal Court, İstanbul of Ahmet Nesin, Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Financı and RSF reporter Erol Önderoğlu. The three acted as guest editors in support of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem in association with which Aslı Erdoğan […]

Prominent journalist Ahmet Şık arrested

Even as extremist groups gain momentum across the country and innocent citizens die at the hands of brutal terrorists, the AKP government intensifies its attacks on democratic rights and freedoms. On 29 December 2016,a prominent investigative journalist Ahmet Sik was arrested over his social media posts. Ahmet Sik was due to join a photo in […]

NY terror attack in Istanbul nightclub

During the New Year celebrations last night, a gunman stormed the well-known Reina nightclub in Istanbul killing 39 people and injuring a further 65. The attacks followed a series of statements in preceding weeks by Turkish officials and ultra-nationalist muslims denouncing Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations as evil and anti-Islamic. Mehmet Gormez of the […]

Delegation to Turkey

The Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) will be sending a further  delegation to Turkey on 11 – 14 January 2017. The aim of this delegation is to: • meet with prominent progressive individuals and organisations in Turkey, • observe the effects of the ongoing state of emergency, • create wider public awareness in the UK, and […]

Evrensel journalists released

A delegation of representatives including PEN International, Morning Star and SPOT travelled to Turkey last week to observe the trial of two Evrensel journalists (Cemil Ugur and Halil Ibrahim Polat), who faced 15 years in prison and were accused of being members of terrorist organisations following their reporting of a rally in Diyarbakir earlier this […]

Executive Presidential System

Prior to terror attacks in Turkey and following the consensus between AKP and the nationalist party MHP, formal proceedings to introduce the executive presidential system in Turkey have been presented to the parliament. Proposed changes seek to give the president extended executive powers while abolishing the prime ministry.

Two terror attacks in one week

On 10 December 2016 two terror attacks in Istanbul resulted in the death of 46 people and injured 166. On 17 December another terror attack took place, this time in the city of Kayseri, killing 14 people and injuring a further 56. Whilst the relatives of the deceased and the injured were still recovering from […]


Aysen Guven, Television presenter at Hayatin Sesi TV and arts editor at Evrensel Daily Newspaper. 5 July 2016 Aysen Guven shares her observations of developments in Turkey in relation to press freedom.   In terms of press freedom we are witnessing one of the most difficult periods in Turkey. Everyday someone is put on trial, […]

No to military coup, no to one man rule. Fight for a secular & democratic Turkey

On Friday, 15th July 2016, Turkey witnessed an unprecedented example of a failed coup with more than 300 killed and over a thousand injured. The coup is said to be attempted by a section of officers within the military, judiciary and police. 9,000 people have been arrested and further arrests are expected in connection with […]

Turkey after the failed coup and the battle for democracy

CONFERENCE REPORT 29 October 2016 @ NUT Headquarters, London     As Turkey heads towards a dictatorship, standing up for democracy is not just in the interests of the people of Turkey, it is also essential for the future peace, security and democracy of Europe and the Middle East.   A message from SPOT The […]

Britannia Democratic Union Initiative

Supporters of SPOT are encouraged to attend a solidarity demonstration with Turkey at 12:00 noon on Sunday 11 December 2016 outside the Turkish Embassy, 43 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PA London to condemn the attacks on the progressive forces in Turkey, including MPs, journalists, workers and the NGOs. The protest is organised by Britannia Democratic Union […]

Austrian Parliament suspends sale of arms to Turkey

The Austrian parliament has unanimously adopted a motion calling for a ban on selling arms as well as dual-use products for military or police purposes to Turkey. The move provoked an outcry among politicians and civil servants in Turkey. The motion called on the Austrian government to consider the threat of armed conflicts, as well […]

European Parliament voted to suspend EU accession talks with Turkey

This week the European Parliament voted to suspend accession talks with Turkey while the state of emergency continues. In response to this decision President Erdogan of Turkey threatened to open the Turkish borders and allow migrants to enter EU. Turkey also threatened to join the Shanghai Pact instead of the EU, despite the fact that […]

AKP withdraws motion that would have released rapists

The Turkish government was forced to do a U-Turn on a proposed new bill which, if passed, would have allowed rapists to avoid punishment if they married their victims. Hundreds of thousands rallied against the proposed new law, which was widely condemned across the world. Nonetheless, the prime minister has the audacity to claim that […]

Deteriorating economic conditions in Turkey

There are growing concerns in Turkey due to the rise in unemployment (11%), interest rates and the record breaking rise of the dollar against Turkish Lira. Government representatives have tried to downplay the deteriorating economic conditions but have failed to reassure the people or the global markets.