Animal Rights Advocates Speak Out in Mersin: “Live Animal Trade Must Be Banned”

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The Independent Collective for Animal Rights and Animal Rights Investigation Committee issued a press release after a NADA ship coming from Brazil and reportedly carrying 25 thousand 175 cattle in adverse conditions arrived at Mersin Harbor.

The meeting held at Mersin Journalists Association headquarters and attended by Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mersin MPs Fikri Sağlar and Serdal Kuyucuoğlu called for a complete ban on the live animal trade.

Authorities had declared that 975 thousand live animals would be brought to Turkey from different countries by the end of 2018. Animal rights activists had argued that universal principles are not observed in animal transportation, and that present conditions constitute animal cruelty as well as a threat to public health.

The ship set sail despite court order

A local court in Brazil had ruled against the embarkation of the ship for reasons stated in the report, whereas authorities in Turkey had not even allowed the ship to be searched, the press release stated.

“Despite the court’s cease and desist order obtained in the case filed in Brazil against the NADA ship for all of these reasons, politics and trade have joined hands to overcome the judiciary and have the ship set sail, while an official complaint issued by the Mersin Bar Association in Turkey failed to lead legal authorities to act or to allow for an independent committe to conduct an inspection in the ship.”

Hundreds of thousands of animals will be carried in worse conditions

Animal rights advocates called relevant ministried to action:

“This will not be the first nor the last death journey. News that 975 thousand live animals will be carried under atrocious conditions from various different countries to Turkey by the end of 2018 has already been covered by the media. We condemn all countries, foremost Brazil, engaging in live animal trade and urge the Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Ministry to put an end to this bloody trade immediately. We call on the public in Turkey to not be a party to these crimes, and to respect sentient animals’ right to life.” (ÇT/PU)

Animal Rights Advocates Speak Out in Mersin: “Live Animal Trade Must Be Banned”

Comments Off on Animal Rights Advocates Speak Out in Mersin: “Live Animal Trade Must Be Banned”

Click to read the article in Turkish

The Independent Collective for Animal Rights and Animal Rights Investigation Committee issued a press release after a NADA ship coming from Brazil and reportedly carrying 25 thousand 175 cattle in adverse conditions arrived at Mersin Harbor.

The meeting held at Mersin Journalists Association headquarters and attended by Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mersin MPs Fikri Sağlar and Serdal Kuyucuoğlu called for a complete ban on the live animal trade.

Authorities had declared that 975 thousand live animals would be brought to Turkey from different countries by the end of 2018. Animal rights activists had argued that universal principles are not observed in animal transportation, and that present conditions constitute animal cruelty as well as a threat to public health.

The ship set sail despite court order

A local court in Brazil had ruled against the embarkation of the ship for reasons stated in the report, whereas authorities in Turkey had not even allowed the ship to be searched, the press release stated.

“Despite the court’s cease and desist order obtained in the case filed in Brazil against the NADA ship for all of these reasons, politics and trade have joined hands to overcome the judiciary and have the ship set sail, while an official complaint issued by the Mersin Bar Association in Turkey failed to lead legal authorities to act or to allow for an independent committe to conduct an inspection in the ship.”

Hundreds of thousands of animals will be carried in worse conditions

Animal rights advocates called relevant ministried to action:

“This will not be the first nor the last death journey. News that 975 thousand live animals will be carried under atrocious conditions from various different countries to Turkey by the end of 2018 has already been covered by the media. We condemn all countries, foremost Brazil, engaging in live animal trade and urge the Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Ministry to put an end to this bloody trade immediately. We call on the public in Turkey to not be a party to these crimes, and to respect sentient animals’ right to life.” (ÇT/PU)

Erdoğan: Operation Would Already Be Over if We Hadn’t Minded Civilians

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President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has spoken at AKP Extended Provincial Chairs Meeting.

Some highlights from Erdoğan’s speech is as follows:

“We are doing a lot of calculations”

“We’ve done everything we can for the 3.5 million guests in our country to return to their homes. However, we’ve seen that the terrorism in Syria has reached our lands.

“As of this morning, we’ve neutralized 1,873 terrorists and take control of 415-kilometer square area.

“We are trying to figure out how we can have the people of the region go back to their own lands. We’re doing a lot of calculations beside that”.

“New strategy after besieging Afrin”

“After besieging Afrin and cutting contact of the terrorists with the outside, we will carry on with the operation with a new strategy.

“Hopefully we will clear Afrin and ensure that hundreds of thousands of residents return to their country”.

“You immoral, unscrupulous person…”

“What saddens us most is the hypocrisy, or even frivolity of some countries which we see as ally.

“A spokesperson for the minister of defense [Pentagon Spokesperson Adrian Galloway] of one of these countries says without any shame that civilians have been killed in Afrin and people cannot return to their homes due to violence.

“You immoral, unscrupulous person. You don’t feel any discomfort with hundreds of children, women, elder people, civilians being murdered every day in East-Ghouta, but you feel discomfort with this fight against terrorists.

“If we hadn’t minded civilians in Afrin, this operation was already over”.

“This summer will be warm”

“We will first clear Manbij from terrorists, and then we will continue our operation in order to secure the eastern Euphrates.

“It appears that this summer will be warm for both terrorists and their supporters”. (EKN/TK)

Erdoğan: Operation Would Already Be Over if We Hadn’t Minded Civilians

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Click to read the article in Turkish/Kurdish

President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has spoken at AKP Extended Provincial Chairs Meeting.

Some highlights from Erdoğan’s speech is as follows:

“We are doing a lot of calculations”

“We’ve done everything we can for the 3.5 million guests in our country to return to their homes. However, we’ve seen that the terrorism in Syria has reached our lands.

“As of this morning, we’ve neutralized 1,873 terrorists and take control of 415-kilometer square area.

“We are trying to figure out how we can have the people of the region go back to their own lands. We’re doing a lot of calculations beside that”.

“New strategy after besieging Afrin”

“After besieging Afrin and cutting contact of the terrorists with the outside, we will carry on with the operation with a new strategy.

“Hopefully we will clear Afrin and ensure that hundreds of thousands of residents return to their country”.

“You immoral, unscrupulous person…”

“What saddens us most is the hypocrisy, or even frivolity of some countries which we see as ally.

“A spokesperson for the minister of defense [Pentagon Spokesperson Adrian Galloway] of one of these countries says without any shame that civilians have been killed in Afrin and people cannot return to their homes due to violence.

“You immoral, unscrupulous person. You don’t feel any discomfort with hundreds of children, women, elder people, civilians being murdered every day in East-Ghouta, but you feel discomfort with this fight against terrorists.

“If we hadn’t minded civilians in Afrin, this operation was already over”.

“This summer will be warm”

“We will first clear Manbij from terrorists, and then we will continue our operation in order to secure the eastern Euphrates.

“It appears that this summer will be warm for both terrorists and their supporters”. (EKN/TK)

Incarcerated Lawyer: We Will Not Wear Prison Uniforms

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An incarcerated lawyer from the Progressive Jurists’ Association (ÇHD) and the People’s Law Office, Şükriye Erden, expressed in her letter to bianet that they would not be wearing prison uniforms.

Erden, along with another woman lawyer Didem Ünsal, has been behind bars at Karabük T-Type Prison since September 21, 2017.

A total of 27 lawyers are under arrest just from ÇHD, the Law Office of the Oppressed, and Libertarian Jurists Platform (ÖHP). Although the lawyers were all tried for cases filed in Istanbul, they were sent to prisons in different parts of the country.

“Struggle to acquire rights, and then to protect them…”

Erden too was sent to Silivri Prison when she was first arrested, and then transferred to Karabük with Ünsal.

In her letter to bianet, she asserted that they “will never accept the uniform dress code and never wear the prison uniform”:

“You find that the rights you fought years to acquire stopped being your rights overnight and turned into sanctions. In this sense, “acquired rights” carry no meaning in prisons. Once you acquire a right, you are then put in a position where you have to struggle to protect it.”

Şükriye Erden recalled that prison uniforms had been required following the September 12 coup d’etat, but that this practice had been abolished upon being met with resistance.

“Prison uniforms are an affront to inmates’ political identities and honor. They are geared toward alienating, de-personalizing, and militarizing inmates. Therefore, no matter what the context, even when we are going to a hearing, we will not wear them.” (AS/PU)

Incarcerated Lawyer: We Will Not Wear Prison Uniforms

Comments Off on Incarcerated Lawyer: We Will Not Wear Prison Uniforms

Click to read the article in Turkish

An incarcerated lawyer from the Progressive Jurists’ Association (ÇHD) and the People’s Law Office, Şükriye Erden, expressed in her letter to bianet that they would not be wearing prison uniforms.

Erden, along with another woman lawyer Didem Ünsal, has been behind bars at Karabük T-Type Prison since September 21, 2017.

A total of 27 lawyers are under arrest just from ÇHD, the Law Office of the Oppressed, and Libertarian Jurists Platform (ÖHP). Although the lawyers were all tried for cases filed in Istanbul, they were sent to prisons in different parts of the country.

“Struggle to acquire rights, and then to protect them…”

Erden too was sent to Silivri Prison when she was first arrested, and then transferred to Karabük with Ünsal.

In her letter to bianet, she asserted that they “will never accept the uniform dress code and never wear the prison uniform”:

“You find that the rights you fought years to acquire stopped being your rights overnight and turned into sanctions. In this sense, “acquired rights” carry no meaning in prisons. Once you acquire a right, you are then put in a position where you have to struggle to protect it.”

Şükriye Erden recalled that prison uniforms had been required following the September 12 coup d’etat, but that this practice had been abolished upon being met with resistance.

“Prison uniforms are an affront to inmates’ political identities and honor. They are geared toward alienating, de-personalizing, and militarizing inmates. Therefore, no matter what the context, even when we are going to a hearing, we will not wear them.”

Prison uniform

By statutory decree no.696 prepared under the State of Emergency was published on the Official Gazette on December 24, 2017.

By statutory decree no.696, “those who are convicted or arrested due to the crimes committed within the scope of Anti-Terror Law will be imposed obligation to wear dresses given by the penal institution while they are taken outside the penal institution”.

Within this scope, this provision or article will be enforced for those who were convicted or arrested of the charges falling under Turkish Penal Code’s chapter entitled “Crimes Against Constitutional Order and Operations of This Order”.

According to the decree, the aforementioned provision won’t be enforced to children and pregnant women.

(AS/PU/TK)

TRIAL OF ACADEMICS: Yasemin Gülsüm Acar's Statement of Defense

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We are publishing the statement of defense of Özyeğin University academic member Assist. Prof. Dr. Yasemin Gülsüm Acar, who has been tried at İstanbul Courthouse 32nd Heavy Penal Court in Çağlayan for having signed the declaration entitled “We will not be a party to this crime” released by Academics for Peace.

Like my colleagues who have found themselves here in the last weeks, and who will continue to come here in the coming months, I am here because I tried to use my academic identity to voice a need for peace. I’m an assistant professor of social psychology, and have been living and working here in Istanbul for the past six years. I chose social psychology because I am the child of immigrants, and as such, felt that the places I lived and the collective history I shared shaped me into the person I am, but also left my identities fragmented between different places and cultures. I study identity, groups, collective action, and conflict. Some of my work also focuses on post-conflict peace. My work informs who I am. It helps shape me, and I hope, in some small way, the work that I do also shapes the world around me.

Social psychology has taught me the importance of thinking critically. I have learned, and now I teach, that critical thought and critical action help to better shape our communities. Social psychology reminds us that blind followership, that dumb silence, helps no one. Criticism may not bring popularity, but it is the best way to serve the community as a whole, because the intent is to make our situations, and ourselves, better.

When the petition came out it was a time when many of us were feeling hopeless. The peace process was over, there were curfews in a number of cities and towns, and though we couldn’t see everything that was happening, we heard, from friends and family, and we read from the many national and international reports that came out of the region. So often at that time, the question “but what can we do?” was answered by “nothing.”

In social psychological research on collective action, we ask people about levels of engagement. That is, when people want to make their voices heard, how do they do so? In our measures, the least, the absolute minimum we use, is for a person to sign a petition. It is, at the same time, the most traditional and simple way for citizens to engage in political participation in democratic countries. I signed this petition, like many of my colleagues, because it was the least I can do, and because it was more than “nothing.”

Many of my colleagues on trial here are seasoned professors. Others are still PhD students, and others, like me, are just at the start of their careers. But all of us saw something that we wanted to speak out against, and found that, if nothing else, we could use our academic identities to do that. Maybe, we said, if we use this one social identity, this one aspect of ourselves, that we may be able to gain some attention to this issue.

I didn’t grow up in this country, but this is the home I chose. I haven’t witnessed history here the same way many of my colleagues have, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what violence looks like, or that I don’t know the pain that conflict can cause. It is my duty as an academic to draw on my knowledge and my insight, to use my academic freedom and my freedom of speech, to better serve my community. That’s what I did, and what I will continue to do. I reject the charges that have been made against me and my colleagues.

I reject them because there is nothing in the petition that legitimizes violent action. It does not praise or legitimize any organization, as the prosecutor attests. It is nothing more than a call made to the state, within the scope of academic freedom and freedom of speech, to stop the deaths of civilians due to the ongoing conflict. The prosecutor’s interpretation of the individual words of this text is an attempt to subvert the overall meaning of the text, which as it stands is a call for peace, and should not and cannot be interpreted as any sort of call to criminality or violence. Therefore, even the filing of a lawsuit based on this petition is a violation of freedom of expression, which is a constitutional right and guaranteed under international conventions (Article 10 ECHR).

The prosecutor has tried, through this lawsuit, to add unwritten intent to this petition, and subverted it to suggest a forced association with an organization. I’ve been living in Turkey for six years. I made a choice to live here and make a life here. This case and my being here at all goes against my work as an academic, my ability to engage in free thought, and my personal beliefs.

Therefore, I request that an immediate acquittal be made, considering that there is no action that can be taken based on the peace declaration. (TP/BK/TK)

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