Protest Against Mall ‘Exhibiting’ Wild Animal in Cage in Ankara

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A shopping mall called Nata Vega Outlet exhibiting wild animals in cages under the name of “Adrenaline World” in Ankara has sparked reactions on social media.

A petition has been launched and more than 8 thousand people signed foe the animals to be released to their habitats.

Serval, Flemish Giant rabbit, Golden Headed Lion…

A report in Anadolu Kedisi (Anatolian Cat) has spread on the social media. It was stated in the report that animals such as Serval, Flemish Giant rabbit, Golden Headed Lion, Tamarin, Domestic Mustela Altaica, Marmoset, Gold Colored Pheasant, Nile Crocodile, Parma Wallaby and many others in cages and thousands of sea creatures in an aquarium called “Adrenaline World” are exhibited in the mall.

Sabah daily newspaper gave it as “good news”

Aqua Vega on its social media accounts stressed that even though the message “Our friends who love us unconditionally and share the world with us…” was shared on October 4, Wild Animal Day, pro-government Sabah daily newspaper shared a video entitled “The wildest cats are to be seen”.

The Sabah covered the exhibition of serval cat as “An innovation has been added to the Adrenaline World” gave it as good news.

Protest on social media

Photos of Serval cat kept in a cage have spared reactions on the social media. A large number of social media users demanded that the animals be released to their habitats. (EA/TK)

Prof. Dr. Martı, Becomes First Woman Religious Affairs Vice President

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For the first time in Turkey, a woman has been appointed to the seat of Vice President in the Department of Religious Affairs. Prof. Dr. Huriye Martı, the new vice president takes office today (November 20).

The appointment was announced by Vice Prime Minister and Spokesperson for the Government Bekir Bozdağ with the following words:

“As a result of the consultations with our President, Prime Minister and President of Religious Affairs, for the first time a lady, called Prof. Dr. Huriye Martı has been appointed to the seat of Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, Department of Religious Affairs. We have already signed the appointment by procuration”.

About Huriye Martı

Huriye Martıwas born in 1974 in Ankara. She graduated from Konya Religious Vocational High School and Selçuk University Faculty of Theology. She got her doctor’s degree in 2005 and became an associate professor in 2012.

She worked as a writer and editor in a project run by the Department of Religious Affairs regarding Hadith (Muhammad’s sayings and deeds) in İslam.

She served as the director of the Religious Affairs Family and Religion Guidance Department in 2011 and the consultant of the Department of Religious Affairs in 2014.

She is married with three children. (AS/DG)

Government Spokesperson Bozdağ: They Force Sarraf to Slander

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In his speech on March 31, President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said “They want to try and use my citizen as informant” for Sarraf, who has been kept in detention for one and a half years in the United States (US) on charges of such as “bypassing sanctions imposed on Iran” and “money laundering”.

The emphasis on the word “informant” had become a matter of debate at that time.

Government Spokesperson and Vice Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ made statements today (November 20) on the new process that started with the allegations that Sarraf has gone missing. Bozdağ this time used the word “slander”.

“Poisonous tree’s fruit is poisonous as well”

Referring to the US courts, Bozdağ said, “They force Rıza Sarraf to slander against Turkey”. Bozdağ briefly said:

“We’ve evaluated this matter earlier too. Rıza Sarraf trial is an open plot against Turkey. It is a political case lacking legal ground. During December 17-25 period, it is nothing else than staging a coup, which the FETÖ (Fethullahist Terror Organization) failed, by means of US jurisdiction. It is not lawful.

“Poisonous tree’s fruit is poisonous as well. They conduct trial based on non-existent documents like they have them. Economic relations between Turkey and Iran is in line with Turkey’s national jurisdiction as well as international law”.

Response by Bharara: Better Call Saul

On the other hand, US State Attorney Preet Bharara, who launched the investigation into Sarraf in the US, has responded to the investigation launched in Turkey on the ground that “Some documents used in Turkey were presented as evidence in the Sarraf case in the US”, on his Twitter account:

CLICK-Prosecutor’s Office in İstanbul Launches Investigation into US Prosecutor Bharara

Making a reference to the series called “Better Call Saul”, which tells the story of a lawyer who is “number one” in solving complicated detective incident, posted the following tweet.

Better call Saul. https://t.co/8z3vRXR2By

— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) 18 Kasım 2017

(PT/TK)

Reason for Arrest: 'Decent Human Being Goes to May 1 Once, No Need to Go All the Time'

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In the petition submitted to Hatay 2nd Criminal Judgeship of Peace concerning Onur Kopran who was arrested in Hatay, Antakya, it was stated that one of the reasons of Kopran’s arrest is him talking to his brother and lawyer.

Another reason behind the arrest is that Kopran “attending May 1 demonstrations regularly”. During the deposition, the prosecutor stated that “in his eyes, those who regularly attend May 1 are members of an organization”.

“A decent human being goes to May 1 once, there is no need to go to May 1 all the time”, said the prosecutor.

In the petition objecting to the arrest, it was stated that it is unclear how Kopran, who is charged with “[illegal] organization propaganda”, did the propaganda and during the home search, not even a flag or pennant of an organization was found.

Onur Kopran was detained on November 9, 2017. He arrested by Hatay 2nd Criminal Judgeship of Peace on November 13. The petition objecting to the arrest with lawyer Erdoğan Akdoğdu’s signature was submitted to the judgeship today (November 20). A response is awaited.

Police: We will reintroduce you into the society

27-year-old Onur Koparan was detained during a home raid where he lives with his family in Antakya. There was also Eray Koparan (22) among the suspects.

They have been both charged with “propagandizing for the Communist Labor Party of Turkey/Leninist (TKEP/L)”.

Speaking to bianet, lawyer Akdoğdu said that they couldn’t obtain more information due to the sealing order on the file.

The two suspects said that the police told them “We will reintroduce you into the society” as they were taken to questioning.

Evidence: Phone call with his brother and lawyer

Tapes of phone calls between Onur Kopran and his lawyer were included in the indictment.

In his statement of defense, Kopran said that he called his lawyer to ask about the procedure of application to the State of Emergency Commission concerning Ayışığı Kültür ve Sanat Derneği that was closed through a statutory decree.

Besides, Onur Kopran’s phone conversation with his brother Eray Kopran two years ago was included in the indictment as well. Kopran stated that he didn’t remember the phone call he made in 2015 but since Eray Kopran is his brother, there is a good chance that he talked to him.

“Abdullah Cömert was my friend, I attended his funeral”

Lawyer Akdoğdu listed the reasons for the arrest as follows:

– Going regularly to an art and culture association that is established in accordance with legal procedures.

– Attending legal May 1 demonstration

– Attending a commemoration of Abdullah Cömert (who was killed during Gezi Resistance)

– Attending an event held for Ali İsmail Korkmaz (who was killed during Gezi Resistance)

– Attending a commemoration of Deniz Gemiş

– Attending a protest held for Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça (who have been on hunger strike demanding that they be reinstated to their jobs from which they were discharged through a statutory decree)

– Attending a demonstration held for Berkin Elvan (who was killed during Gezi Resistance).

In the judgeship, Kopran said, “Abdullah Cömert was my friend. I may have attended his funeral and the following commemorations because of that”. (AS/TK)

NOVEMBER 20, CHILDREN'S RIGHTS DAY: 2,800 Children Behind Bars in Turkey

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On November 20, the Universal Children’s Day, the Civil Society Association in Penal Execution System (CİSST) / Turkey’s Center for Prison Studies (TCPS) have issued their 111-page “Child Prisoners Report” addressing the claims of violence cases, rights violations against child prisoners, applications lodged against these to information and monitoring mechanism and the results of these applications.

Child prisoners doubled in seven years

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Justice, as of April 7, 2017, there are 2,800 child prisoners between the ages of 12-18 in Turkey.

1,778 of the child prisoners (1,715 boys, 63 girls) are arrested and 1,022 of them (994 boys, 28 girls) are convicted.

According to CİSST/TCPS’s Child Prisoners Report, the number of children sentenced to prison by Juvenile Courts and Juvenile Assize Courts has doubled in the last seven years.

While there were 5,728 children sentenced to prison in 2009, the figure reached 12,423 in 2016.

“NGOs not allowed to observe prisons”

The organizations pointed out that since NGOs were not allowed make any observations in prisons by visits, the report had to be prepared on the basis of data, acquired by mail correspondence with the prisoners, visits by attorneys, research through media coverage of prisons, or cases of children rights violations reported to CİSST/TCPS, other rights organizations, independent lawyers as well as to information and monitoring mechanism with regards to rights violations.

The organizations also underlined that the ministries addressed the issue in prisons only with reference to “peer violence” yet peer violence covered only a very small portion of all violence cases in prison such as maltreatment and torture.

Impunity for torture and maltreatment

The report draws attention to the fact that complaints lodged against torture and maltreatment ended up with no punishment and informed that “in the last 10 years, there were 92 applications lodged to complain against torture or maltreatment.

“Between the years of 2010-2015, 64 investigations were launched, 31 of which were initiated due to a complaint and 33 were launched officially.

“Within these 64 investigations, proceedings have been initiated with regards to 484 personnel but only one person was sentenced to prison in the end”.

Most complaints from Sincan

According to the report, the complaints of only 133 children could be reached during data gathering for the time period between November 2015 – June 2017.

There were 203 complaints lodged by 133 children, 111 of the complaints were related to torture and maltreatment.

“The complaints are made from 15 different prisons and the greatest number of complaints have been made from Sincan Juvenile Prison”.

18 children died in prisons in eight years

The report demonstrates that between March 2009 and March 2017, 18 children have lost their lives behind bars. 10 of these 18 children were under arrest.

Between November 2015 – June 2017, six children lost their lives in prisons. Five of these children died due to fire that broke out / that was started in their wards. The other child committed suicide. (AS/DG)

Prosecutor’s Office in İstanbul Launches Investigation into US Prosecutor Bharara

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İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into United State (US) State Attorney Preet Bharara, who is the former prosecutor of Rıza Sarraf case and got Sarraf arrested.

The investigation includes prosecutor Joon H. Kim as well.

İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said that the investigation was launched on the ground that certain information and documents used in prosecutions carried out by İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office are presented as evidence in the ongoing trial of citizens of Turkey in the US.

“As can be understood from sworn statement presented by Cathy Flaming at New York Southern Regional Court dated October 31, 2017, it was established that ‘the documents and evidence presented to the trial file are stolen, fabricated and of unknown source’. The aforementioned 15-page sworn statement was acquired via Internet from US judicial system and that an investigation has been launched into who obtained the data in what methods”.

Bharara: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey is a liar

Turkey FM is a liar. Now let’s see what happens in court. https://t.co/WQmuex92xG

— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) 17 Kasım 2017

Bharara referring to Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who claimed that Bharara is “close to Fethullah Gülen (Head of Gülen Movement)”, “Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey is a liar”.

Making a statement on his Twitter account, Bharara said, “Now let’s see what happens in court”.

Çavuşoğlu also defended that “FETÖ (Fethullahist Terror Organization) has infiltrated into the US system” as the trial of Rıza Sarraf, who is imprisoned in the US on charges of bypassing US sanctions on Iran, money laundering and banking fraud, continues in the US.

Dismissed from duty by Donald Trump government in March, Bharara said in a program he attended on CNN that, “[President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan insisted for me to be dismissed, he thought that would drop the Rıza Sarraf case”.

Bharara added that this wouldn’t make any change and his team will continue the investigation in the same manner. (AS/TK) 

Court of Appeals Approves Prison Sentence for Police Officer Who Shot Doğan in House Raid

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The Court of Appeals has approved the prison sentence for the police officer Y.M. who shot the 25 year-old Dilek Doğan to death raiding her house in Küçük Armutlu of Sarıyer district in İstanbul.

In the final hearing of the trial on March 17, 2017, special operations police officer Y.M. was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison by İstanbul 12th Assize Court on the charge of “homicide due to willful negligence”.

İstanbul Regional Court of Justice 19th Penal Chamber approved the court’s decision and rejected the appeals of the parties.

What happened?

Dilek Doğan was shot in her chest by the police raiding her house in Küçük Armutlu neighbourhood of İstanbul’s Sarıyer province on October 18, 2015 at around 4.30 a.m.

Doğan was brought to the intensive care unit of Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital with an injury on her lung and lost her life on October 25, 2015.

The indictment regarding the incident was accepted on December 12, 2015.

Police Officer Y.M. stood trial facing from 20 to 26,5 years in prison on the charge of “willful murder due to negligence” under Article 83 of the Turkish Criminal Court before İstanbul 12th Assize Court. He was not arrested.

In the seventh hearing of his trial on March 17, 2017, he was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison. (TP/DG)

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