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Turkish (Turkiye)

#IstanbulPride2015

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ARTICLE 34 of the Turkish Constitution

« Everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings and demonstration marches without prior permission. The right to hold meetings and demonstration marches shall be restricted only by law on the grounds of national security, public order, prevention of commission of crime, protection of public health and public morals or the rights and freedoms of others.

The formalities, conditions, and procedures to be applied in the exercise of the right to hold meetings and demonstration marches shall be prescribed by law. »

 

The 13th edition of the LGBTI Istanbul Parade has been marked by unlawful and disproportionate use of force by police officers against the participants to the rally. The events occurred on June, 28th , could represent an u-turn in the relationships among the LGBTI community and the Turkish Government. After the last elections of June 7th , in which several LGBTI exponents run for a parliamentarian chair, showing a more than welcome opening of Turkish society, the harsh police crackdown on the PRIDE MARCH has created huge disappointment and concern within national and international human rights defenders.

 

The declarations released on June, 29th , by the Istanbul Governor's office , are creating much more worry, if possible. In the official statements could be read that the demonstrators were prevented to gather and march do to a possible and undefined risk “to be open to provocation”. The Governor's office also asserted that the participants were dispersed according to the principle of proportionality and within the boundaries of the law.

 

The Human Rights Agenda Association is concerned about the use of vague terms such as “open to provocation” and the respect of the principle of proportionality while dispersing the crowd. If a march could be targeted from external provocations, the role of the police is to prevent the external provocations itself and not dispersing people attending a peaceful walk using water cannons, tear gas and bullet pellets. Moreover, the Human Rights Agenda Association is asking the Istanbul's Governor to which acts the police officers involved in the Istanbul Pride were supposedly responding according by the principle of proportionality. For this reason, the Human Rights Agenda Association is asking the Istanbul Governor to clarify the meaning of “a demonstration eventually open to provocation” and the legal guidelines followed by police officers when they were supposedly complying with legal provisions, respecting the principle of proportionality.

 

As stated in the Art.34 of the Turkish Constitution, and remarked in international human rights conventions to which Turkey is party, including the European Convention of Human Rights (art.11) and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (art.21), the authorities have a responsibility to protect and facilitate the right of peaceful assembly. The significance of this right is underlined also by the UN Human Rights Council resolution 15/21 in which is remarked:

 

  • Reaffirm[ed] that everyone has the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and that no one may be compelled to belong to an association;

  • Recognizi[ed] the importance of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to the full enjoyment of civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights;

  • Recogniz[ed] also that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are essential components of democracy, providing individuals with invaluable opportunities to, inter alia, express their political opinions, engage in literary and artistic pursuits; and

  • Recogniz[ed] further that exercising the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association free of restrictions, subject only to the limitations permitted by international law, in particular international human rights law, is indispensable to the full enjoyment of these rights, particularly where individuals may espouse minority or dissenting religious or political beliefs”

    HRAA Board

 

 

 

Laïcité versus freedom of religion: a Gordian knot within the French republic?

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Since its entry into force in 2004, the French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols has been perceived as a matter of concern by actors involved in dialogues over multiculturalism, human rightsfreedom of religion and belief and the role of the state, especially in its duties to grant equal treatment to all citizens.
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Words are opening the gates of prisons

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I have many journalist friends who have either a criminal charge pending against them or have already been convicted.

Each conviction of a journalist is a chain attached to the pens of other journalists and those chains have increased in numbers so much that journalists find it harder and harder to write now.

 

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More convictions for journalists

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Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief Dr. Bülent Keneş was given a suspended sentence yesterday of 21 months in prison over a tweet. Even though Keneş did not even mention a name in his tweet, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a word personally and claimed that he had been insulted. In Turkish, the word “rezil” (rascal) is used to describe corrupt and immoral people. In his tweet, Keneş was describing corruption and Erdoğan found this word insulting.

 

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Mediterranean Sea and Frontex: a deadly war against the weakest

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In the aftermath of the Lampedusa tragedy of October 2013, more than 360 lifeless bodies were rescued from the waves in what was then labeled the worst shipwreck of modern times. The statements by all of the European Union representatives were supposed to lead to a new commitment to facing migration influxes by sea in order to avoid the recurrence of similar disasters. Almost two years later, in the wake of the disasters in April that have resulted in an estimated death toll of more than 1,000 migrants, the declarations and future commitments are the same statements we heard in 2013.

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Lawless Council of State

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Turkey's Council of State, which is the high court for cases related to administrative law, has a long history, beginning in the Ottoman era. Since its establishment in 1868 during the time of Sultan Abdulaziz, the Council of State has been the highest administrative court of Turkey, responsible for maintaining the rule of law and ensuring that the government's actions and operations are consistent with the law.
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Could the İstanbul Convention provide a safe haven for women in Turkey?

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Violence against women occurs in, and affects a large spectrum of, countries and cultures all over the world, but in recent years it has been taking place with alarming frequency in Turkey and this trend is leading to a discrepancy within society.

 

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Turkey falling on rule of law index

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The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary NGO working to advance the rule of law around the world.

 

The Washington-based organization has a rule of law index that is becoming more well-known. According to the NGO, there are four pillars that define the rule of law in a state: the government, including all its officials and agents, as well as individuals and private entities, must be accountable according to the law; laws are clear, publicized and just, protect fundamental rights and are applied evenly; all processes must be accessible, fair and efficient; and justice must be delivered timely by competent, ethical, independent and impartial representatives who are sufficient in number and have adequate sources.

 

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Origins of violence against women in Turkey

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There are two definitions for violence against women in the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women: “Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women,” and “Violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.” Both definitions are true, but insufficient in the Turkish example.

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Clear intervention in judiciary

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The arbitrary actions and operations of the administration have been systematic and widespread over the last two years in Turkey. Though we saw and criticized this arbitrariness in the past, it became truly systematic and widespread after Dec. 17 and 25 because of the atmosphere of panic among the Justice and Development Party (AKP). They believe that if they somehow lose their positions of power in the government, all of their corrupt practices will be seen by the public. They have instead blamed the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, rather than confront their own actions and operations, which created the filth.

 

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G-word not so easy

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He coined the term by combining “genos,” meaning “race, people” in Greek, and “caedere,” meaning “to kill” in Latin. According to Lemkin, the Armenian genocide was a school example of the crime. Today, most scholars on genocide and historians share this idea. It is still a discussion between Turkey and Armenia, including diaspora Armenians. In recent years, we have started to see an emphasized commemoration of the Armenian genocide on April 24. Since 2010, I've been involved in the commemorations. Police protected me and the group of intellectuals with whom I organized the 2010 commemoration in Ankara from ultra-nationalist protesters. It was the first time in my life that had happened. Assassinated Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink said in a 2006 documentary film titled "Screamers": “There are Turks who don't admit that their ancestors committed genocide. If you look at it though, they seem to be nice people. ... So why don't they admit it? Because they think genocide is a bad thing that they would never want to commit, and because they can't believe their ancestors would do such a thing either.”

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