Serious concerns on the rule of law (www.twenty2nd.org)

We are, hereby, to denounce the violations on human rights and unlawful practices in Turkey where the path to democracy has shifted to authoritarism.

The authoritarism has been established with patriotic laws and in Turkey after the 9/11 September. These practices of law become a threat to the democracy on a global scale.

In Turkey, the political power took advantage of the conservative tendencies of the society, which until now has not grasp the essence of democracy. Even though the political power has been elected, we now see that the democracy has been reduced to right to vote.  Very recently, opposition party rights on the legislation have been abridged by the modification made on the status of the National Assembly.

There are two dimensions of the plumbic cover that has been closed on top of Turkey:

The censorship arrived with financial pressure: The big media bosses are forced to bankruptcy with the fiscal infliction. Government had managed to replace the owners of the certain newspapers and private television channels with it’s sympathizers. Media groups who saved themselves from bankruptcy on the other hand, went to have close relations with the political power and terminated the contracts of the opposition journalists. There are only 3 daily newspapers and 2 TV channels opposing the political party in power, among 150 daily newspapers and 62 TV channels nation wide.

The fear has been established by the judicial pressure: For 4 years now,Turkeyis a country where people are arrested arbitrarily on fictitious evidences. The opposition intellectuals are charged with setting up a coup d’état, the Kurdish origin intellectuals on the other hand, are charged with establishing a terrorist group. They all are under arrest for three or four years.

The articles of the Turkish Criminal Procedural Code, have been abused extensively and a special supra-law system has been created. This new system authorize the police to act like prosecutors and gives the competence to arrest and to judge citizens to the Special Authority Criminal Courts. The prosecutors and the judges of these courts have been exempt from institutional control. The uncontrollable special judiciary, intimidates the members of the society with operations like large scale wiretaps, sudden incursions, searches and seizures, arbitrary detentions unprecedented inTurkey’s history. Every step of the special criminal court is a violation of the principles of the international law, human rights and the domestic law.

Right now, 97 journalists under detention, 9 deputies, 8 professors (4 among them are university president), 11 doctors, thousands of students, academicians, 81 retired army officer, (one of them is the Chief of the Army), 139 chief officers (58 of them are on active duty) and an admiral flag officer are on trial Special Authority Criminal Court. In total 1044 people are on trial.

A justifiable paranoia has been created by these laws and pressures within the society. All citizens are careful when talking on the phone or e-mailing information.

If you are conscious that we are sharing the world, hear our voice! Join your voice to ours so that we can advocate and defend the human rights and democracy together. We can, with your presence, create awareness within the society. All awakenings need a strong togetherness. Accept us as one of the pioneering human rights association and help us to be louder.

Investigations threatening the Rule of Law

Regarding to the data of February 2012:

There are 8 lawsuits related to the very same investigation named ERGENEKON which has started on 2007 : The total number of accused person is 415. There are 94 detainees at present, within 12 are in jail for 1 year and the rest for 3 or 4 years regardless the protection brougth by articles of  The European Convention on Human Rights and other International Human Rights Acts. At 2011 the situation for detainee persons got more disquieting since they have been moved to isolated cellules. 16 of them are in isolation at present.

BALYOZ started at 2010 February. Taking to consideration the given date, there has been 365 accused person in it’s 58th trial. 249 of them are detainees.

The investigation KCK has many branches. Sticking to the main case there are 152 Kurdish origin Turkish politicians and 104 of them are detainees. Following the 38th trial of the same case, there has been a simultaneous operation on the headquarters of syndicates and there has been 112 person arrested.

Clarifications threatening the Rule of Law

The Minister of Justice, in his reply to the questionnaire of the opposition party in the Turkish National Assembly dated, 21. 01. 2012, expressed that:

There are 4. 984 detainees in Turkish prisons with a detention length between 3 to 5 years,

699 detainees with more than 5 years,

34. 727 detainees with less than 3 years

Realities threatening the Youth

The youngsters, mostly university students are arrested arbitrarily, with enormously serious accusations. The activists are saying that the number is higher than 490. As the datas from the east of the country are not very clear and the situation of being a student is not stable, there are no ways to determine a specific number of detainee students. But the fear of being caught is present among university students.

Mine Kırıkkanat

President of Twenty Second

Twenty Second is a civil society organization, which works for the respect for human rights in Turkish justice system. The group brings together law professors, retired judges, lawyers, businessmen, intellectuals, journalists and enlightened of the society. (www.twenty2nd.org)

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