8 March World
FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY
The Ministry for Education added "Nevruz" to the days for official remembrance and celebration. With the "Week of the Turkish World and Communities" the 21st of March will now be officially celebrated at the schools.
Following the changes in the Law on the National Security Council the Ministry of Culture was given the duty to coordinate the celebrations of "Nevruz". The Ministry issued a circular detailing the things that had to be done before and during the celebrations. The circular was sent to various official institutions and asked that celebrations should be allowed under considerations of security and the security forces should be instructed to react reasonable against incidents that might occur. It should be stressed that "Nevruz" was a Turkish feast also to be celebrated abroad.
In Tunceli the application for a celebration of Newroz handed in by the Platform for Labor and Democracy was rejected because of not spelling the word as Nevruz. In Erzin (Hatay), Kızıltepe (Mardin) applications were accepted after Newroz had been spelled Nevruz.
On 13 March the police in Siirt intervened into a celebration. The child Halil Kaçar was wounded to his foot by shots from police officers. After an operation he was taken to Siirt Police HQ on 15 March, but released after testifying. After release he said that he was put under pressure to sign a statement on having organized the action, thrown stones at the police officers and shouted slogans in favor of the PKK. However, he had not signed that statement.
In Edirne several houses were raided in the night of 18 March. Beşir Belke, chair of DEHAP in Edirne, the executrices Cemil Yılmaz, İlhan Bilgiç, the students Nurettin Durudemir, İlhan Kezer, Mehmet Asif Öncü, Ömer Durmaz and a person named Serhat were detained. Celebrations of Newroz were not allowed in Edirne.
Following a celebration in İstanbul-Zeytinburnu on 20 March organized by DEHAP, EMEP, KESK and DİSK eight persons carrying posters of Abdullah Öcalan were detained.
On 18 March the police in Siirt intervened into a gathering because of Newroz. In return a group of people threw stones at the local police station on 19 March. The next day civilian dressed, masked and armed persons beat up people in the street and damaged windows.
During the Newroz celebrations in Eskişehir on 20 March may people were detained including the journalist Erkan Şahin from the news agency DİHA. He was released on 21 March, but his camera was confiscated.
In many towns and settlements the Newroz celebrations on 21 March passed without an incident. In the 19 May quarter of Adana a group of people blocked the street. During the ensuing clash with the police one officer was slightly injured. In Konya one person was detained because he was carrying a poster of Abdullah Öcalan.
During the celebrations in Mersin the police confiscated banners and posters. After the end of the celebrations the police detained many people among the dispersing crowd. Eighteen of them were arrested on 22 March. Already before 21 March, 11 people had been detained in Mersin. Among them Lezgin Aşan, Nezir Baskak, Ozan Bekçi, Vedat Geyikoğulları, Ferhan Alkan, Erdoğan Bayhan, Necmettin Çeçen, Diren Yalçın and Kıymet Toprak were arrested on 21 March.
During the celebrations in Mersin children allegedly burned the Turkish flag. Therefore, V.S. (14) and C.S. (12) were detained on 23 March, E.B. (18) and the minors F.B., M.F. (14), M.A.A., and S.T. were detained the following days. They were arrested afterwards. Only R.T. (12) who had been detained on 22 March was released. In the end six minors were indicted. The prosecutor charged C.S. (12), M.A. (12), F.B. (13) and V.S. (14) with insulting the Turkish flag, conducting an unauthorized demonstration and resisting the police. S.Ş. (16) and E.B. (17) were indicted for having staged an unauthorized demonstration.
M.A. (11) was released on 4 April, but the other five minors remained in pre-trial detention. According to an article in the daily Hürriyet of 24 March the minors had testified that someone gave them the flag and they had played with it. Milliyet reported on 25 March from the testimony of V.S.: "I walked with a group shouting slogans for Abdullah Öcalan. A well dressed person aged 25 to 30 gave a flag to my cousin C.S. and said that we should burn it. My cousin threw the flag to the ground and M.A. and I stepped on it."
Nebi Şahin from the organizing committee said that he had signed a document stating that the celebrations had passed without an incident. On his way home he had seen a group marching. A person aged 25 to 30 approached them with a flag making the sign of a wolf (used by the extreme right). In a quarrel between the person and the group the flag had fallen to the ground.
The headquarters of DEHAP sent a delegation to Mersin to research the incident. The report was published on 26 March. It stated: "The celebrations had ended without an incident. The provocation with the flag happened one hour later about 1,100 meters away from the place of the celebrations. According to press reports, statements of witnesses and the children a person aged between 25 and 30 gave the children the flag, but no measures were taken against the person. Recordings show that the person was in a position to take away the flag from the minors."
The Presidency of the General Staff issued a statement on 22 March calling the action treason of so-called citizens: "A group of people went as far as attacking the Turkish flag the symbol of the grand Turkish nation filled with blood of martyrs at every inch. The Turkish nation has seen many treasons next to countless victories, but never been met with such perfidy."
The ÇHD accused the General Staff with preparing the grounds for attacks on Kurds and DEHAP and filed an official complaint.
On 22 March MHP and the Idealist Union organized a demonstration in Mersin in which 10 thousand people participated. They wanted to storm into a school alleging that some students had shouted slogans in favor of Abdullah Öcalan. DEHAP issued a declaration stating that some right wingers had entered their office and destroyed the furniture.
On the same day the windows of the DEHAP office in Eskişehir were broken. In Ankara some 300 people participated in a demonstration in Abdi İpekçi Park and attacked a group of TAYAD members who were staging a picket for prisoners who had lost their lives during hunger strikes and death fast actions. On 26 March the students Miraç Vayiç and Osman Bingöl from Gazi University spoke at a press conference of the HRA in Ankara. They alleged that right wingers had beaten them up during a demonstration on 23 March in protest at the flag incident.
In Turgutreis town (near Bodrum) Engin Gündüz (21) was arrested on 25 March. Allegedly he tore a flag on paper which a newspaper had included in its edition to pieces and threw it into the dustbin.
In İstanbul the police intervened when a group of people held a press conference in protest at the sharp reactions to the flag crisis that started in Mersin. The group called themselves the Front of Rights and Freedoms and gathered at Taksim Square on 29 March. The police dispersed the crowd and detained 24 people.
On 25 March HRA chairman Yusuf Alataş, HRFT chairman Yavuz Önen, Mazlum Der chairman Ayhan Bilgen, the representative of Amnesty International in Turkey, Levent Korkut and the Ankara representative of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, Bülent Atamer met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül and drew attention that the increasing nationalist wave that might harm social peace.
In the months to follow more detentions were reported in connection with so-called attacks on the Turkish flag.
In the district town Salihli (province of Manisa) Cevat Tandoğan (28), Bülent Çalış (19), Erdal Delibay (20), H.E.K (16), P.Y. (17) and C.Ç (16) were detained on 31 March on allegations that they damaged the flag of a school building. H.E.K. was released, but the others were arrested. In Hatay Hasan Demirtaş was arrested on allegations of having burned a Turkish flag.
In Diyarbakır Umut Demirkol who had been detained on 25 March was arrested on 26 March on the accusation of having torn a Turkish flag into pieces.
In Erzurum the lyceum students A.Ç (16), M.K (18), S.B (16), A.Y (15), S.Y (18), S.D (19) and S.A (15) were detained at the beginning of April on allegation of having damaged the flag of a primary school. M.K. and A.Ç. were later arrested, while the others were released.
In Adana three persons were detained on accusations of having torn the flag of a primary school into pieces on 1 April. Cengiz G. was later arrested, while the others were released.
In İstanbul Selami Yavuz (20) was arrested on charges of having staged an action that led to horror in society. He was said to have tried to destroy a flag after a concert on Taksim Square on 17 May.
In İzmir the students Kenan Yılmazişler, İlker Turgut and Gülşah Mersin were detained on 9 June on allegations of having insulted the flag.
The General Director for Security filed an official complaint against executives of DEHAP who had organized Newroz celebrations in 56 settlements including the provinces of Mersin, Ankara and İstanbul. The chief prosecutor at the Court of Cassation asked for the list of detainees in Mersin in order to establish whether members of DEHAP had been among them.
In Ankara two persons were detained on 22 March on accusations of having carried posters of Abdullah Öcalan during the Newroz celebrations. On the same allegation 31 people were detained in Diyarbakır, 28 in İstanbul, 26 in İzmir, 6 in Eskişehir and 3 persons in Konya.
In Ankara Aytaç Ayhan, Hasret Tusun, Burhan Aytaç, Behçet Güngör, Sinan Sümer, Dilek Karahan, Hatice Özüç and Nihat Fırat who had been detained after the Newroz celebrations were arrested on 24 March.
On 21 March clashes between demonstrators and the police occurred in Kadifekale quarter of İzmir. During the incident three police cars and a car of a TV station were damaged.
In Diyarbakır E-type Prison six female prisoners set their clothes on fire as a symbol of celebrating Newroz. They were punished with a ban on receiving visits for one month. The prisoners İlknur Özden, Güzel Becerikli, Sohbet Yıldız, Yıldız Dündar, Gülümser Yuca and Güler Çelik said that they had asked the administration for wood to burn it but, when they had been denied their request they had burned old clothes instead.
On 30 March Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek announced that during the Newroz celebrations 100 people had been detained and 39 of them had been arrested. Investigations into incidents in 19 provinces continued.
In the first week of April 23 people were detained during house raids in Malazgirt district (Muş) on allegations of having shouted slogans for an illegal organization during the Newroz celebration. They detainees were named as Ahmet Şancı, Abdin Kabişen, Adem Teker, Ahmet Yağcı, Çetin Sarıyıldız, Ekrem Kaçar, Dilaver Yaldız, Erdal Kaçar, Ethem Keklik, Eylem Yağmur, Fatma Özer, Fırat Keklik, Hasan Sarıyıldız, İbrahim Özkahraman, İhsan Bertan, Lale Kabişen, Özlem Güzelyıldız, Reyzan Kalın, Serkan Keklik, Sibel Yağmur, Sinan Kökses, Taner Atabay and Zeynep Özbahçivan.
The court case against the minors from Mersin who allegedly tried to burn the Turkish flag started at Mersin Penal Court No. 2 on 2 May. The first secretaries of the Dutch Embassy, Willemijn van Haaften and the Norwegian Embassy, Torleiv Opland wanted to observe the hearing, but the presiding judge Nimet Demir did not allow reporters, relatives and foreign observers to enter the court room because of the young age of the defendants. After the hearing V.S., C.S., F.B., S.T., E.V. were released. The defendants C.S. (12), M.A. (12), F.B. (13) and V.S. (14) were charged with insulting the Turkish flag (Article 145 TPC), praising a crime (Article 312 TPC), staging an illegal demonstration and resisting the police. The defendants S.Ş. (16) and E.B. (17) were charged under Article 312 and with staging an illegal demonstration.
The trial continued on 11 July, 7 November and 27 December. On 11 July the presiding judge did not allow representatives of the Embassy of the UK and Norway to observe the hearing. Defense lawyer Ali Bozan stated after the hearing that the juveniles were not the offenders but victims. They had been tortured and ill-treated and he had asked the court to file an official complaint what he would do separately.
During the hearings of 7 November and 27 December the court was still trying to establish the identity of the person who had given the flag to the juveniles. Defense lawyer Ali Dinsever stated that the investigation into the claims of torture and ill-treatment was still continuing. The next hearing was scheduled for 13 March 2006.
In Adana five police officers were indicted for having injured Cemil Aktaş during Newroz celebrations on 18 March 2004. According to the information provided by the lawyer Beyhan Günyeli the police officers from the department to fight terrorism, Mevlüt Zengin, Murat Şahin, Nihat Kılıç, Ömer Yakar and Dursun Çakır were charged with causing life endangering injuries by an incautious act. The trial started at Adana Heavy Penal Court No. 3 on 14 March and concluded on 27 March 2006 in acquittal. The court ruled that the police officers acted according to Article 6 of the Law on Duties and Competences of the Police.
In the first quarter of 2005 Bitlis Penal Court passed a verdict on Caner Ülkü and Hüseyin Ülkü charged with having insulted police officers during the Newroz celebrations in 2002. Hüseyin Ülkü was fined 2,726 YTL and Cafer Ülkü was sentenced to 33 days' imprisonment.
In Siirt two separate trials were initiated against 20 people in connection with the Newroz celebrations in 2004. In November Siirt Penal Court acquitted the defendants from charges under Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings. The case launched for having used the letter "w" ended at Siirt Peace Court on 25 October. The defendants including the chair of the HRA in Siirt, Vetha Aydın and the trade unionists Sabri Özdemir and Şahin Kayıkçı were fined 100 YTL. On appeal the fines were lifted.
In April İsmail Kaplan, executive of DEHAP in Suruç district (Urfa) was indicted in two separate cases for his participation in a demonstration on 13 February and for having shouted slogans of an illegal organization during the Newroz celebrations on 21 March. Kaplan also faced three investigations into activities on 26 November 2004, 20 February 2005 and 27 March 2005.
The prosecutor in Diyarbakır indicted nine persons from DEHAP in connection with the Newroz celebrations. The case was based on Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings. The prosecutor's office announced that another investigation had been launched against five people from the organizing committee and five Norwegian citizens.
In Ankara a trial was launched in April against Ercan Ç. and Veli Y. on the accusation that they had carried posters of Abdullah Öcalan during the Newroz celebration. Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 was to hear to the case.
In İstanbul a court case was opened against Murat Omurtağ, chair of the MHP in Fatih, Cafer Yaylan and Hikmet Kurt in connection with a protest against the incidents in Mersin. The trial launched under Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings started at Fatih Penal Court No. 5 on 21 November.
The disciplinary council at Muğla University expelled 23 students in June because they had participated in the Newroz celebrations. Enver Güngör, Yaşar Akdağ and Lütfü Yoldaş were expelled for two terms; the other 20 students were expelled for one term.
In Isparta 19 students from the Süleyman Demirel University and 7 executives of DEHAP were indicted for having praised a crime during the Newroz celebrations. The case started on 8 July. The dean of the university started a disciplinary investigation against 21 students.
At the Pamukkale University in Denizli 9 students were expelled for two terms because they had participated in the Newroz celebrations and allegedly shouted slogans for Abdullah Öcalan.
The prosecutor in Van started an investigation against seven members of the organizing committee of the Newroz celebrations of 20 March under Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings.
In Şırnak the prosecutor started an investigation against 21 persons under Law 3713 on Fighting Terrorism. They had participated in the Newroz celebrations.
In Yüksekova district (Hakkari) Mesut Karabulak and Şefik Soydan from the organizing committee of the Newroz celebrations were arrested on 20 April. The other members of the organizing committee were subjected to an investigation. In Çukurca district an investigation was launched against 45 people alleged to have shouted slogans of an illegal organization during the Newroz celebrations.
In Bursa the 7 members of the organizing committee of the Newroz celebration from SDP, ESP, DEHAP and EMEP were also subjected to an investigation.
In Diyarbakır investigations were launched against 350 teachers, most of them members of the trade union Eğitim-Sen for having participated in the Newroz celebrations.
In Malatya 14 people were subjected to an investigation on the allegation of having shouted slogans during the Newroz celebrations. Photographs with open mouths were shown as evidence. In Tunceli 5 people were subjected to an investigation on the same allegation.
In Aydın 9 students from the Adnan Menderes University were subjected to an investigation for their participation in the Newroz celebrations.
In Elazığ the provincial chair of DEHAP, Celal Arslan was subjected to an investigation because he used the word Newroz in a speech. This was a suspected offence against the Law on Political Parties. 1 May Labor Day
On 21 April the police in Mersin prevented EMEP members to hang up posters for 1 May in Mersin.
Beyoğlu Peace Court decided to confiscate the banners and posters which the DEHAP İstanbul branch had prepared for Labor Day. The decision was taken under Article 8/1 of the Law on Political Parties since the "Bijî 1 Gulan" (Kurdish for "long live the first of May") was written on them. Mersin Penal Court No. 2 banned the posters of the SDP with the slogan "war against occupation, peace for the Kurds, long live socialism".
In most towns the meetings on 1 May went without incidents. In İstanbul 59 people were detained, in Batman 7 and in Siirt one person was detained. In İstanbul the Workers' Movement Party gathered in İstiklal Street to march to Taksim Square. The police detained 9 members and 20 members of the Revolutionary Students' Union. The detainees were beaten in the buses and sprayed with pepper gas. During the meeting in Kadıköy (İstanbul) members of the TKP and the ÖDP clashed.
On 2 May 45 of the detainees in İstanbul were released on order of İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 11. Five minors were released by the Juveniles' Court.
On 3 May members of the Platform of the Unit of Struggle spoke at a press conference of the HRA. Dilek Gül stated in the name of 56 people and said that they had been kept waiting in a bus for 24 hours. They had been insulted strongly and subjected to pressure. She added that despite the fact that several demonstrators had visible wounds Bakırköy and Bayrampaşa Hospital had refused to issue reports for them.
In İzmir a short fight broke out on 1 May between members of DEHAP and police officers. In Siirt the student Hüseyin Damar was detained.
Form Batman lawyer Mustafa Yıldız reported that İsmet Açıkalın, Nasır Aslan, Gülsüm Cuci, Burhan Keser, Farıs Kurt, Eyüp Doğan, Ahmet Vatan Ekmen and Adil Aslan had been arrested on 2 May in connection with their participation in a demonstration on 1 May. They had been charged with staging an illegal demonstration and praising an offence.
On 10 May 20 students from Atatürk University were detained during raids on their houses. On 11 May Abdulcelil Çelebi, İsmail Koç, İbrahim Çeliker, İsa Pan, Aziz Doğan, Berivan Yüksel, Cemal Özcan and Ümit Karaca were arrested on charges of having disseminated propaganda for an illegal organization. The students were released shortly afterwards, but the administration of the university started an investigation against them.
In Hozat district (Tunceli) Erdem Ulaş Çelik, chair of EMEP and the EMEP members Hasan Kılıç, Nihat Aldemir, Alihan Muratkan and Özdal Akbaba were indicted under Article 536/1 old TPC for having put up posters and distributed leaflets on the 1st of May without permission. Hozat Peace Court acquitted them in March 2006.
In Balıkesir investigations were launched against 22 students, who had participated in the demonstration on 1 May. They were accused of having shouted slogans for Abdullah Öcalan and having supported an illegal organization. 17 students were detained, but released shortly afterwards.
In Adana the police raided several houses on 27 June and detained 11 people. The Front for Rights and Freedoms stated that the detention had been made in connection with International Labor Day on 1 May.
On 11 July Bursa Penal Court No. 10 started to hear the case of 15 ESP members in connection with 1 May. All arrested defendants were released. The names of some of the defendants were Serpil Arslan, Rıza Çimen, Hıdır Aslan, Mehmet Genç, Özcan Pamuk, Barış Çırpan, Hüseyin Akbalık, Meral Anaşin, Hacer Yıldız, Evrim Aliz, Aysel Akdemir and Ali Mete Kiraz. The trial did not conclude in 2005.
In connection with the same demonstration in Bursa Talip Arslan and Özkan Özcan had been arrested on 23 May. They were released on 29 August. The court case against them did not conclude in 2005.
On 20 December Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No. 4 concluded the case against Mazlum Tekdağ (DTP) and the members of the closed DEHAP, Şoreş Tekdağ, Ayşe Kaçak, Münir Akdeniz, Şahin Biçimli and Candan Yürek. They had been charged with having shouted slogans for an illegal organization on International Labor Day. The Court sentenced them to terms of imprisonment between 10 months and one year and a fine of 500 YTL according to Article 7/2 of the ATL. Protests against the military coup of 12 September
During the closing session of the 23rd World University Summer Sport Games in the Atatürk Stadium of İzmir Görgü Demirpençe and Veysi Yıldız opened a banner demanding that the "generals of 12 September be tried". They were detained and interrogated, but released after two hours.
On behalf of the anniversary of the coup of 12 September a meeting was supposed to be held in Kadıköy (İstanbul), but the governor postponed the event for one month. The speaker of the "Initiative of 78ers", Celalettin Can stated that the meeting under the heading of "The temporary Article 15 of the Constitution has to be lifted and the leaders of the coup have to be tried" had been postponed because of the incidents near Gemlik (near Bursa, where a demonstration for Abdullah Öcalan was to be held), the general security of the country and the fact that the meeting was open to provocation.
In protest at the decision of the governor a press conference was held in Kadıköy on 11 September. The police intervened, used gas bombs and dispersed the crowd under beatings. 54 persons were detained. They shouted slogans, when they were taken to the buses and the police used pepper gas. Reportedly the arm of Özgür Karakaya was broken and Cem Dinç, chair of the trade union Limter-İş was wounded to his head. The names of the detainees were:
Cem Dinç (Limter-İş), Ayşe Yumli Yeter (Tekstil-Sen), Figen Yüksekdağ (Socialist Platform of the Oppressed), Nahide Kılıç (Working Women's Union), Zuhal Yıldırım (BEKSAV), Bülent Kapar, Abbas Duman, Neriman Şaşmaz, Umut Yakar, Tacim Kaplan, Ezgi Kaplan (12), Emel Kaplan, Kenan Bektaş, Derya Demircioğlu, Serap Kervancı, Mutlu Kızılgedik, Aktaş Erdoğan, Özgür Karakaya, Işıl Altınmakas, Yılmaz Koruk, İbrahim Tunç, Kamber Saygılı, Çetin Poyraz, Münevver İltimur, Selver Orman, Yüksel Bulut, Murat Güner, Sevim Keleç, Genç Akyüz, Kenan Baştuğ, Ferdi Tunalı, Mustafa Karaoğlan, Emrah Avcı, Eylem İrğaç, Zafer Kaya, Aydın Gülünç, Yılmaz Bozkurt, Sevda Çevik, Hilal Aslan, Selin Eylem Mumcu and persons with the first names of Gizem, Kurtuluş, Yücel, Özgür, Levent and Melahat. Students' Actions
On 16 March students gathered at Ankara University (Cebeci-Yerleşkesi) to commemorate the anniversary of the armed bomb attack on students in İstanbul on 16 March 1978 that had resulted in the death of 7 people. The police used forces and gas bombs and detained Fatma K.
On 25 March students protested with a press conference against the dismissal of 14 students from İstanbul University. The police intervened in the action of members of the "Youth Federation" and detained 13 people. They were released the same, but staged a hunger strike in Gazi Park near Taksim Square until 27 March.
In Van the gendarmerie intervened when students from the 100 Year University wanted to hold an alternative spring festival. The students had gathered at Van Lake on 11 May, but the soldiers dispersed them under beatings. Reportedly some 60 students were detained and Sıddık Güler, reporter of Dicle News Agency was kicked. The following day another 10 students were detained at the university.
At the Faculty of Education of Atatürk University in Erzincan right wing students attacked left wing students on 1 June. The next evening the police intervened when two groups clashed in front of the university. A group of left wing students tried to protest the attack and the police used pepper gas and truncheons to disperse them. Allegedly the police did not intervene when right wing students marched in front of the faculty with sticks in their hands.
On 27 October some 500 students gathered in the Cebeci Campus of Ankara University to protest YÖK (Law and Council of High Schools). The police tried to disperse the crowd and some students threw stones at them. No detentions were made.
On 2 November 13 students were detained in İstanbul, when members of the Youth Federation wanted to distribute leaflets against YÖK on İstiklal Street.
With the exception of Ankara all protests against YÖK passed without an incident. In Ankara the students gathered in Kurtuluş Park and wanted to march towards Kızılay Square. When the police tried to disperse them under force a fight between the police and the students with stones and sticks developed. Some 50 students were detained. The following names of detained students were mentioned:
Didem Akman, Orçun Ekinoğlu, Eylem Mumcu, Ziya Aldemir, Yıldız Yılmaz, Serkan Onur Yılmaz, İlker Ekiz, İlker Doğan, İlhan Kaya, Özgür Başkaya, Harika Yılmaz, Hasibe Çoban, Hasan Selim Gönen, Abdullah Özgün, Sema Üstünalan (Üstündağ), Didem Tekcan, Utku Aygar, Nurgül Acar, Songül Demir, Caner Yenili, Selman Çiçek, Kemal Çete, Necdet Cabbar, Gizem Tekcan, Ender Aldanmaz, Ayfer Uyanık, Sedat Karakaş, Özkan Kaya, Gökhan Aktaş, Gökhan, Hakan, Zeynep Karademir, Binnaz Takak, Erhan Yavuz, Galip Katancı and Volkan Alkış.
On 8 November 40 detainees were taken to the prosecutor who charged them with staging an illegal demonstration. The prosecutor released one student. Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 ordered the arrest of Hasan Selim Gönen, Serkan Onur Yılmaz, Abdullah Özgün, Mustafa Doğru, Ekrem Kurtuluş, Özkan Kaya, Nurgül Acar, Didem Akman, İlhan Kaya, İlker Doğan, Kemal Çete, Volkan Alkeş, Ömer Deniz, Tufan Bakır, İlker Ekiz, Mesut Aydın, Engin Aslan, Ziyahan Aldeniz, Cihan Çınkı and Ender Aldanmaz on allegations of membership of an illegal organization. Nine students were released by the Juveniles' Court, since they were under the age of 18.
On 13 November students at Muğla University protested the events in Şemdinli, when a group of right wing students tried to attack them. The police intervened and prevented more serious developments. The next day left and right wing students clashed in Kötekli quarters. Some 20 students were injured, three of them seriously. The police detained some 45 people. On the same day some students wanted to hold a press conference against the attack of the right wing students. The police detained 8 of them.
On 16 June Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 concluded a trial against 10 students charged in connection with an action at Hacettepe University on 14 December 2003. The court sentenced Haydar Karaca and Mehmet Selim Ensari to 10 years' imprisonment. The other students were acquitted.
On 24 August Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 conducted a hearing in the case of the students Yasin Güngör, Nihat Fırat, Ferhat Yiğit, Taner Bektaş, Dilek Akdağ, Rahman Sümer, Abdullah Dündar, İhsan Altay, Hikmet Toprak and Yunus Emre Akan. They were charged in connection with a protest of YÖK on 5 November 2004 in Ankara Sakarya Street and allegedly had carried posters of Abdullah Öcalan. After the hearing Rahman Sümer was released, but Ferhat Yiğit remained in pre-trial detention. In connection with the same action the Dean of Gazi University had expelled Dilek Akdağ on the grounds that she was a member of an illegal organization.
The prosecutor in İzmir charged 26 students, Mustafa Rollas, chair of the HRA in İzmir and ÖDP executive Ruken Sansür in connection with a protest against YÖK on 6 November 2004. The defendants were charged under Article 312 TPC for having shouted slogans at the demonstration. The case is heard at İzmir Penal Court No. 12.
Twenty students were tried for their protest at police officers entering METU (Ankara) in uniform in April. They were charged with having resisted the police and not listened to the orders of officials. Ankara Penal Court No. 25 held the first hearing on 10 November. It was said that the students Engin Bozkurt, Umut Soytaş, İsmet Yücetaş, Yücel Takak and Ali Kemal Arslan had not been at the university on that day. No important development in the trial was noted during the year.
In connection with the same action Kamer Doğan was expelled from the university for ever. Serdar Özbek, İlhan Kaya, Eyüp Çimen, Asım Ekin Yılmaz, Engin Bozkurt, Özgür Yeşilaraz, Ali Yücel Özden, Atakan Özel, Kemal Serin, Caner Çelik, Sinan Sürmeli, Volkan Gümüş, Umut Soytaş, Begüm Tuncer, Özgür Yıldırım, Hamit Vedat Altun, Özgür Yıldırım and Özlem Ejder were expelled for terms ranging from one month to one year.
On 16 November İzmir Penal Court No. 7 concluded the case in connection with a protest of the US occupation of Iraq held on 11 April 2003. Lawyer Aysun Koç reported that two students were sentenced to three years' imprisonment and 14 students to 18 months' imprisonment. The latter sentences were suspended.
Dismissed and Expelled Students
Sixteen students who had protested at civilian dressed police officers filming an action at the Law Faculty of İstanbul University on 22 December 2004 were dismissed. The reason was given as "insulting the staff of the university". The student Özgür Ceylan Aytaç made a declaration in February and said that the staff members Ersan Şen, Birsen Ersen and Rauf Verbay who had carried out the investigation had threatened him and the student Tamer Doğan asking them to become informers.
Following an attack of right wing students some students held a press conference in front of Zonguldak Karaelmas University. Twelve of them were dismissed. In addition, one student was expelled for two terms, one student for one month and six students for one week. Six students received a warning.
At Abant İzzet Baysal University an investigation was launched against 25 students in March supposed to have participated in an action in which they drew attention to problems with transport, food and accommodation. Reportedly one of the students had graduated one year ago and another one had quit university two years ago.
Although on 31 December 2004 Edirne Administration Court had overruled the decision of the disciplinary council at Thrace University to punish students in connection with the spring festival held on 20 May 2004 the disciplinary council decided on 2 February that the students had to "serve" the remaining penalties. 35 students had been expelled for one year, 18 students for one term and 11 students for one month. At the festival students allegedly carried photographs of Abdullah Öcalan. Therefore the police had intervened and detained many students, 20 of which had been arrested. The dean of the university appealed to Edirne Administration Court to correct the verdict, but the appeal was turned down on 24 February.
At Kocaeli University the students Serdar Yıldırım, Metin Kaya, Seda Kumral, Süriye Çatak, Nazım Hoplar, Kuzey Boy, Ekin Güneş Saygılı, Tufan Bakır and Çağlayan Bozacı were dismissed in September because they had participated in an action on the anniversary of the death (by hanging) of the student leaders Deniz Gezmiş, Hüseyin İnan and Yusuf Aslan on 6 May.
During the action the gendarmerie soldiers had shot at the students carrying banners. The soldier Levent Gencelli died in the shooting. In connection with the incident one soldier and 33 students are on trial at Kocaeli Penal Court No. 4. Meanwhile it was reported that in 2004 and 2005 the dean expelled about 80 students for a total of 20 years and 7 months from university.
The student Hamza Ertaş had been expelled from the students' dormitory after he allegedly had participated in a protest at the operations of 19 December 2000 in prisons on 17 December 2002. He won his case at the administrative court, since he had not participated in the action.
Faruk Tatlı, the former chair of the students' association at Van 100 Year University, was expelled from university for one week because of a press statement in protest at the investigation against students of 20 December 2004.
Tahir Baykuşak, student at Diyarbakır Dicle University, was expelled for one term because he participated in a protest at police officers entering the university on 13 October 2004 and in an action against YÖK on 5 November 2004.
At Mersin University five students were expelled for one term, five students were expelled for one month and the student Kadir Özer was expelled for one year because they had participated in a protest at YÖK on 4 November 2004.
At the Süleyman Demirel University in Isparta the student İsmail Yıldız was dismissed because he participated in the Newroz celebrations. The disciplinary council decided in August to expel four students for two terms, eight students for one term and three students received a warning. A court case on the accusation of "praising a crime" is continuing at Isparta Penal Court No. 2 with 30 defendants.
At the Faculty for Language and History-Geographies of Ankara University 20 students were punished with expulsion ranging from two weeks to one term in connection with the incidents in June. The names of the students are: Fırat Belen, Nagihan Gültekin, Dündar Gün, Şenol Durur, Mithat Öner, İnan Kaya, Mehmet Selim Süzer, Ufuk Şafak, Cihan Baykal, Cihat Akgül, Mehmet Baran, Serkan Tögen, İsmail Oğuz Başağa, Serkan Tatlı, Eray Destegül, Samet Yüce, Kubilay Han, Cemal Keskin, Halim Harputlu and Metehan Çolak.
In September the investigations against 148 students at İstanbul University, who had been involved in fights that arose after an attack of right wings students in November 2004, concluded. 36 students were punished with expulsion of between one week and one term. A court case against 46 left wing students on charges of hindering education and violent acts is continuing.
In 2004 and 2005 some 2,000 students at Van 100 Year University were subjected to investigations. As a result of these investigations eight students were dismissed and 100 students were expelled for terms between 2 months and one year. About 40 students were arrested. Actions of Workers and Civil Servants
On 18 February the police intervened when workers of the SEKA factory in Kocaeli protested against the closure. The police prevented the workers from entering or leaving the factory and sprayed them and their families with pepper gas. The worker Tarık Kılıçkaya broke his legs when he tried to enter the factory by jumping from a roof.
After 20 February the workers started a picket in front of the factory. They were visited by members of the Front for Rights and Freedoms on 6 March. The police detained 16 visitors.
Earlier, on 20 February members of the Revolutionary Workers' Committee and the Front for Rights and Freedom had staged an action in Beyoğlu in support of the workers from SEKA. The police detained 40 of them.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened a case against the daily Evrensel for having printed the slogans of the SEKA workers. He asked for 15,000 YTL as compensation since the slogans allegedly contained an insult. Ankara Judicial Court No. 16 turned down the demand in March 2006.
On 18 February Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan went to Adana to participate in a meeting of the Chamber of Trade. Some workers protested by lying under the bus that carried the Prime Minister and some other ministers. The police dispersed them using pepper gas and truncheons.
On the same day some 500 workers of Tekel Cigarette Company in Tokat protested against the privatization of their factory on the road between Tokat and Turhal. The police intervened.
On 24 February an incident occurred, when workers of a factory in İkitelli (İstanbul) protested the dismissal of 34 workers. A group said to be sent by the employer attacked the demonstrators and injured the trade unionist Çayan Dursun and the workers Harun Bulut and Erdal Bozkurt. The police intervened and detained 20 people.
On the same day workers protested the dismissal of colleagues from Desan Company in Merter (İstanbul). The police intervened and detained the trade unionist Fethiye Erdoğan and another 15 member of the trade union Tekstil-Sen.
The police in Ankara intervened on 9 March, when members of the trade union Türk Büro-Sen protested in front of the GNAT against the reduction of staff in the Presidency for Administering Income.
While the collective bargaining in the leather industry in Tuzla (İstanbul) was continuing the governor of Tuzla and the local commander of the gendarmerie asked to ban the press conference of the workers scheduled for 23 March. On 23 March the gendarmerie circumvented the trade union's office of Deri-İş.
In Konya-Seydişehir the workers of an aluminum factory protested the privatization. When on 23 May they heard that representatives of the company wanted to inspect the premises 1,500 workers locked themselves up and their relatives gathered in front of the factory. The police broke down the doors, sprayed the workers with water and threw gas bombs. Outside the factory the police beat up the relatives. The incident lasted for 5 hours resulting in injuries of 48 workers and 18 police officers.
On 21 May the teachers' union Eğitim-Sen wanted to hold a press conference in front of the Ministry for Education. The gathering was prohibited on the grounds that the place was not a legal place for meetings.
On 5 June the police in Diyarbakır detained 15 people who had participated in a meeting in protest at the demand to close Eğitim-Sen.
In mid-July the company Thrace-Transport responsible for the distribution of Coca Cola sacked 110 employees reportedly because they were members of the trade union Nakliyat-İş. They occupied the factory in Dudullu (İstanbul). The police detained the workers under force and dispersed the colleagues in front of the factory under beatings. Two demonstrators had to be taken to hospital.
In Çorlu district (Tekirdağ) several workers were dismissed from a leather factory in February because of their membership in the trade union Deri-İş. On 8 August the workers and trade unionists protested in front of the factory. The police detained them, but released them in the evening.
In Tuzla (İstanbul) workers from a leather factory who had been dismissed staged an action. On 30 November they were attacked by some 40 persons said to have been engaged by the employer. The aggressors used stones and sticks and injured five workers. Afterwards the gendarmerie detained 19 members of the trade union Deri-İş. The workers continued their action and, on 8 December, the trade unionist Hasan Sonkaya and four workers were detained. They were released the next day. On 20 December the gendarmerie intervened in a demonstration in solidarity with the workers and detained the trade unionist Zeynel Erdoğan.
The Great March of Educators
On 26 November Eğitim-Sen organized the great march of educators in Ankara. The teachers who had come from distant places were not allowed entry to Ankara on 25 and 26 November. On 25 November some teachers wanted to march from the junction Kolej. They made a press conference in Ziya Gökalp Street. The police closed the road to Kızılay Square with armored vehicles. The teachers waited there for a long time, but despite some heavy disputes no important incident was reported.
On 26 November clashes occurred at the place where the teachers were waiting for action. 17 people were injured, two of them seriously. Several teachers were detained, but released shortly afterwards. The SG of Eğitim-Sen, Emirali Şimşek held a press conference at the office of the trade union and said that the teachers from distant places had been forced to stay in Gölbaşı, Polatlı and Elmadağ. These teachers occupied the roads when they heard of the police intervention in Kızılay Square. The police used water cannons and gas bombs to disperse the demonstrators. Eight teachers were injured. The teachers in Ankara gathered in Güven Park and tried to cross the barricades of the police. Nine teachers were injured here. The President of Eğitim-Sen, Alaaddin Dinçer and KESK President İsmail Hakkı Tombul tried to meet the Prime Minister, but were not given an appointment. Together with another 11 trade unionists they staged a sit-in in front of the Prime Ministry. The demonstrations ended at 5pm. Summarizing the results of the day the trade union announced that Mehmet Arda had been hit by a gas bomb from close range and had broken rips. Erkan Barikan had a broken leg. Except for the teachers from Samsun, Eskişehir and Konya directions the teacher waiting outside Ankara were given permission to enter Ankara in the evening. On 27 November the teachers gathered in Güven Park, but the police hindered them again to march. Later the teachers were able to hold a press conference that ended without an incident.
Later Eğitim-Sen President Alaaddin Dinçer visited the injured teachers in hospital. Security officers claimed that the visit had not been allowed and forced journalists to leave the hospital. In the garden of Numune Education and Research Hospital Dinçer held a press conference stating that six of the 17 injured teachers in Sincan State Hospital and 8 injured teachers in Numune Hospital had been released. Ertan Beritan would be unable to walk because of an injury to his foot.
The trade union filed an official complaint against Ankara Chief of Police, Ercüment Yılmaz and the commander of the gendarmerie, Major Vahdettin Bereceli and the police officers and soldiers on duty. The complaint listed 18 injured teachers who had been injured by the water cannons held at them from close range and gas bombs that had been used as weapons. The force used by the police and gendarmerie was "disproportional".
Investigations and Court Cases
On 9 February Sungurlu Penal Court (Çorum) concluded the trial against seven teachers who had participated in the strike action of 11 December 2003. The court acquitted the teachers Asker Akyol, Soner Karaca, Cevher Boztaş, Yurdanur Saraç, Hülya Yiğitoğlu, Hatice Kel and Elvan Sökeli who had been tried with not going to work without an excuse.
In March an investigation was launched against 53 trade unionists and politicians who had protested against the transfer of SSK hospitals to the Health Ministry. They were accused of having violated Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings.
On 20 April İstanbul Penal Court concluded the trial against 85 trade unionists and members of the Medical Association. They had been charged after an action of 5 November 2003 in which they demanded the right to free health service and an improvement of working conditions. The prosecutor argued that the demand was in line with the Constitution and international agreements and asked for acquittal. The court followed the argument and acquitted the defendants.
In Tarsus Cuma Erçe, Şahin Yücel, Necdet Eser (from Eğitim-Sen), Bekir Geyik (from the HRA), Mehmet Erel and Sinan Okutulmuş were indicted for having participated in an action on 20 February. The action was held in protest at the demand to close Eğitim-Sen. The court case launched under Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings did not conclude in 2005. In connection with the same action another court case was opened against 21 people from KESK and Eğitim-Sen.
On 8 December 2004 one protest action was held in Kadıköy (İstanbul). 56 demonstrators were indicted. Kadıköy Penal Court No. 6 started to hear the case on 18 May and passed a judgment of acquittal since the offence had not materialized.
The teacher Hacer Koçak was "exiled" to Aktaş village in Kumlu district (Hatay) because in July 2004 she had participated in an action of the Association for Basic Rights and Freedoms in connection with the death fast actions in prison. She had first been dismissed, but returned to her profession on a court's order.
At the beginning of April executives of KESK had to testify to Ankara Public Prosecutor in connection with a general stop to work action on 1 December 2000.
In Gebze 120 people were indicted in connection with an action against the closure of Eğitim-Sen. Gebze Penal Court No. 2 started to hear the case on 14 October. Lawyer Nadir Selvi said that the hearing was adjourned to 13 April 2006.
On 21 November Tunceli Penal Court acquitted 830 civil servants in connection with a protest at the draft law on civil servants. Lawyer Hüseyin Aygün stated that the decision was based on Article 260/2 new TPC (action for professional and social rights of civil servants).
On 14 September the police officer R.L. killed the taxi driver Hasan Akdağ in Tunceli. Subsequently a press conference was held in which many trade unionists participated. Some of them were "exiled" to different places: Murat Özkan (Kültür-Sen) to Kastamonu, Kenan Korkmaz (Yapı-Yol-Sen) to Karaman, Selma Polat (Eğitim-Sen) to Kastamonu, Vedat Ali Çelik (Eğitim-Sen) to Çankırı, Hasan Hayri Kılıç (Eğitim-Sen) to Yozgat, Yaşar Yamaç (Eğitim-Sen) to Samsun, Hüseyin Erler (Eğitim-Sen) to Yozgat, Ufuk Unaş (Eğitim-Sen) to Konya. Some 100 civil servants were subjected to a disciplinary investigation.
On 9 December İzmir Penal Court continued to hear the case of 220 civil servants who had participated in the one day stop working action of KESK on 1 December 2001. The defendants had been acquitted in the first round, but the Court of Cassation had quashed the verdict. Living Shields
On 31 March a group of 78 people including three Germans who wanted to stop military operations in East and Southeast Anatolia and who named themselves "Living Shields" were detained in Derik district (Mardin). They were released on 2 April. The Germans Daniel Hübner, Martin Dolzer und Christoph Kolaczkowski were deported. When 70 members of the group wanted to enter Çay village in Derik district again they were detained. Later they alleged that soldiers had beaten them and filed an official complaint.
On 3 April 27 of the detainees were arrested. Another 31 members of the group who had been released on 3 April were arrested. All of them were charged with resisting officials on duty. 27 defendants were released on 25 April. The court case at Mardin Penal Court is continuing.
On 31 March another group of 24 people were detained, when they wanted to go to Şırnak from Adana. They were released on 1 April, but detained again, when they tried to continue their trip.
On 3 June the trial against 6 members of the "Living Shields" who had been detained on 27 March when they wanted to go to Cudi Mountain from İskenderun continued at İskenderun Penal Court. The court decided that the case should be heard in Şırnak. The trial did not conclude in 2005. Demonstrations for Abdullah Öcalan
On 6 February a demonstration was held in Davutlar town of Aydın province to commemorate the anniversary of the transfer of Abdullah Öcalan to Turkey. On 7 February several houses were raided in the town and Ercan Dinçer, Yasin Aslan, Emrah Erçetin, Yılmaz, Yağmur Bağca and three unnamed persons were detained.
For the same reasons demonstrations were held between 13 and 16 February in many towns. In many cases clashes broke out when the police intervened. Many people were injured and lots of people were detained.
On 13 February people in Toroslar town (Mersin) province gathered in front of the DEHAP office. The police prevented the crowd of 300 people to march and used water and pepper gas. This resulted in clashes. In Adana the police intervention resulted in many detentions and several shops were damaged.
On 13 February the police in İstanbul prevented a group from holding a press conference in Ümraniye. On İstanbul Street in Bakırköy the police clashed with demonstrators. The clashes resulted in damages to three branches of banks and some shops. The police detained 10 people. On 14 February the police detained 35 women who had staged a demonstration on the Golden Horn Bridge.
On 15 February a group of people wanted to hold a press conference in Dağkapı Square (Diyarbakır). When they wanted to march a struggle with the police broke out. The police used pepper gas and water and the demonstrators responded with stones and sticks. About 60 people were detained and 12 persons including two police officers were injured. On the same day the police did not allow a demonstration in Nusaybin district (Mardin)
In front of the DEHAP office in Şırnak about 1,000 people gathered and wanted to march towards the Cumhuriyet Square. In the struggle one person was injured. In Cizre (Şırnak province) the police intervened when a group wanted to march. In the struggle one police vehicle was damaged. In Silopi district about 3,000 people gathered and tried to go the office of the AKP. The police prevented them from doing so.
In Istanbul DEHAP wanted to hold a press conference in front of Galatasaray Lyceum. The police used gas bombs and truncheons and the demonstrators responded with stones.
In İskenderun the police prevented 5 women from the DEHAP to leave a black wreath at the office of the AKP.
In İzmir the police hindered some 1,000 people from walking from the DEHAP office to the AKP office in Basmane. Some demonstrators staged a sit-in in front of the AKP office. The police intervened. In the incident Hülya Akman from the youth wing of DEHAP suffered a broken arm and leg.
During a demonstration in Şırnak on 20 February the police detained three persons.
M. Abi (16) declared that police officers had beaten him during the demonstration in Van on 14 February. He told the HRA that he had been on his way home in the evening when police officers had detained him: "They beat me with the butts of their arms on my head. Then they stepped on me and bruised my hands and feet. After another blow to my head I fainted. When I regained consciousness I found myself next to a riverbed. Someone who knew me took me to his house and informed my family."
Tahir Koç, Gülistan Koç and Mikail Şan who had been detained after a press conference of DEHAP in Hakkari were arrested on 21 February according to Article 7/2 ATL. Erdoğan Bozan was released, but will also be charged. In Mersin Abdurrahman Gültekin, Remziye İnan, Gülistan İnan, Remziye Sarıca, Nezahat Kaya, Kadriye İlbaş and Remziye Beyter who had been detained for the same reason were arrested on 22 February. Çetin Gezer, Fuat Sarman, Nimet Sarman and Raşit Bulut who had been detained after a demonstration in İstanbul-Esenyurt were arrested on 22 February. Saliha Karakoç from the DEHAP will be tried without pre-trial detention.
On 7 April Mehmet İnan and another unnamed six people were detained in Diyarbakır after a demonstration in favor of Abdullah Öcalan.
During house raids in Mersin on 25 April M.A., Z.A. and another two unnamed minors were detained on the grounds that they participated in a demonstration for Abdullah Öcalan and the Newroz celebrations.
Right wingers attacked a press conference of DEHAP in Adana on 15 June. The press statement had been concerned with the situation of Abdullah Öcalan. The police intervened and injured Orhan Baday, Raife Ergün, Vasifiye Akgül and Fikriye Özbay from DEHAP. In Çukurova State Hospital the police put physicians under pressure not to issue reports for the injured persons.
In Batman the executives of the prisoners' solidarity association TUHAY-DER, İslam Koyuncu und Mehmet Gidici who had been arrested after a demonstration demanding the release of Abdullah Öcalan were released on 3 May on objection of their lawyers.
On 3 July the police in İzmir used gas bombs and water under pressure against demonstrators who wanted to draw attention to the situation of Abdullah Öcalan and protest the operations in Southeast Anatolia. The demonstrators clashed with the police. On the same grounds the police in Siirt intervened in a demonstration on 14 July.
During a similar demonstration in Kızıltepe (Mardin) on 26 July Deniz Yüksel, Mehmet Kino and İsmail Asi were detained and arrested on 30 July together with İhsan Tankara.
On 10 August an action for Abdullah Öcalan was conducted in front of the AKP office in Van. The police detained Eylem Açıkalın, Hatice Tokluiçten, Tevfik Say, Mirza Yacan, Osman Görür and Behzat Kaplan. They were arrested on 12 August.
Police interventions were reported from Adana and Batman on 30 August when demonstrations for the situation of Abdullah Öcalan were held. Clashes arose when the police used tear gas.
On 11 September a press conference for Abdullah Öcalan was held in Urfa and 62 people were detained. Among them A.F., H.S., A.F., H.P. and A.F. were arrested on 13 September on the grounds of having disseminated propaganda for an illegal organization.
In Cizre (Şırnak) 11 people were detained on 23 November after a protest at the prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan. The detainees were named as Revşen Gün, Özlem Güven, Nesrin Güven, Hunav Darga, Rıban Darga, Hane Darga, Hemgin Malgaz, Fatma Malgaz, Suat Aygaz, Hüsnü Akman and Şirin Gazyag. Hane Darga and Şirin Gazyag were released after a short while.
Ümit Gönültaş: On 15 February (anniversary of the transfer of Abdullah Öcalan to Turkey) a demonstration was held in Mersin. The demonstrator gathered in Akdeniz and Toroslar township and the police shot in the air and used water cannons to disperse the crowd. Raif İnan (30) and another person were detained. In the evening demonstrators erected barricades in Kurdali quarter. The police used armored vehicle to tear down the barricade. The crowd ran into side streets. Later the corpse of Ümit Gönültaş (19) was found close to the scene. He had been shot.
Deputy Chief of Mersin Police, Süleyman Ekizer stated after the incident that an investigation into the allegation that Ümit Gönültaş had been shot by police officers was continuing. The bullet had been found and it could also be possible that he had been shot by an enemy. The person had a criminal record of an offence against property, but no record of activities for the PKK.
The daily Özgür Gündem quoted an unnamed witness as saying that members of the political police had shot Ümit Gönültaş. The witness had stated that they made an action at 9.30pm by lighting a fire. The police had occupied the side street. Ümit Gönültaş had been between him and his brother. Officers of the department to fight terrorism had shot at them directly. Ümit had held his chest and then tumbled to the ground. They had only been able to carry him for 15 to 20 meters, because the police had shot at them again.
The witness alleged that Ümit Gönültaş had been alive when they left him and that it would have been possible to rescue him, if the police officers had taken him to hospital in time.
The governor's office in Mersin made a declaration on 17 February stating that the Ministry of the Interior had been asked to send a state inspector to investigate the incident. The incident itself was described as a usual police operation to open streets for traffic. The prosecutor had been informed immediately.
During a demonstration in protest at the killing of Ümit Gönültaş the police intervened in Şevket Sümer quarter of Mersin on 16 February and injured Ferhat Sabtık (12) and Cihan Geçkin (14) with arms. Geçkin was taken to Mersin State Hospital. He said that on his way home from school he had seen a crowd. He had stopped there. First someone had thrown a stone from above and later someone came down and pointed at them with a pistol. He had tried to hide next to a wall but a bullet had hit him at the shoulder. The owner of a shop had fired the shots. The father of Ferhat Sabtık said that everyone in the quarter said that the shop owner had fired the shots.
Reportedly an investigation was launched against Ferhat Sabtık and Cihan Geçgin for praising a terror action.
On 17 February a crowd gathered in front of the DEHAP office in Mersin. The police intervened and detained 14 people including the DEHAP executives Ercan Sezgin and Halis Değer. In addition, the police confiscated the camera of Evrensel reporter Ferhat Uyar and beat and threatened Nesrin Yazar from the news agency DİHA.
At the beginning of March the Kars branch of DEHAP held a press conference in connection with the death of Ümit Gönültaş. The police detained several people. Among them Mehmet Uşar, Enver Yıldız, Fatih Taşdemir and Ebru Şanlı were arrested on 5 March. In connection with a demonstration for Abdullah Öcalan that had been held in Kars on 19 February DEHAP chair for Kars, Güngör Alp and the students İsmail İmre, Ahmet Uğurlu, Yunus Eriş and İbrahim Boçnak were arrested on 3 March for having shouted slogans of an illegal organization.
The report of the HRA in Mersin on the death of Ümit Gönültaş was announced on 26 February. It stated that no evidence was found that the demonstrators had used arms. The report mentioned that Gönültaş had been shot at 9pm, but the police claimed to have been informed one hour after the incident. The HRA asked whether the police had made recordings of the action and criticized that no testimony had been taken from the persons that had been with Ümit Gönültaş.
One witness, Mehmet Suretli, had told the HRA that armored vehicles had come to the place of the action and he had heard some shots. Someone had shouted "he was hit, he was hit" and then, "I saw that they had taken the wounded person in front of my house. At the same time police officer shouted they escape' and catch them'. I saw how the police officers followed the persons who carried the wounded man. First civilian dressed police officers with sticks in their hands came and later members of the anti-riot squad and uniformed police officers gathered there in numbers of 150 to 200." Mehmet Suretli added that he had not heard any warnings before the shots, but also had not seen the person who fired the shots.
The prosecutor in Mersin indicted nine persons who had participated in the press conference of DEHAP after the killing of Ümit Gönültaş. According to the information of lawyer Ali Bozan the prosecutor wanted Fahri Turgut to be convicted as a member of an illegal organization, while he requested a conviction of Abdurrahman Gültekin, Remzi Beyter, Gülistan İnan, Nezahat Kaya, Remziye İnan, Remziye Sarıca, Kadriye İlbaş and Mustafa İlgen according to Article 125 TPC. The case was to be heard at Adana Heavy Penal Court No. 7.
The Gemlik Meeting: DEHAP and the Law Solidarity Association with Families of Prisoners (TUHAD-FED) organized a meeting in Gemlik district (Bursa) for 4 September to protest the situation of Abdullah Öcalan. The governor's office in Bursa banned the meeting. In various towns incidents occurred after this decision. The police killed one person. Many people were injured and a lot of detentions were made.
On 1 and 2 September buses left in many towns trying to go to Gemlik. On the way these buses were searched frequently. At other places the buses were not allowed for traffic. Those buses that continued were stopped in İnegöl district (Bursa) on 4 September. Thousands of people returned, since they were not allowed to move on. In İstanbul the deputy chair of DEHAP Murat Yazıtekin stated that the bus company that they had an agreement with to hire 150 buses had withdrawn from the agreement because of a letter from the Ministry of the Interior.
At various places clashes between the police and demonstrators evolved. In Gaziosmanpaşa quarter one bus of the municipality was burned and in Çağlayan quarter a Molotov cocktail was thrown into a bank. İstanbul Governor Muammer Güler announced that on 3 and 4 September 145 people were detained. Of the 61 people that had been detained during incidents in Ümraniye and Esenyurt 18 had been arrested. Of the 18 people detained during a demonstration in Kadıköy 9 were arrested on 9 September.
In several cities the buses were attacked by right wingers. In Bozüyük district (Bilecik) 41 people in the buses, 8 security officers and 5 attackers were injured. Sadriye Sular told that the police had warned them not to continue their journey, because they would be attacked on the way. We should enter the bus and wait. "As soon as we entered the bus again, another bus hit us from behind and our driver was injured badly. We could not drive away. They threw stones and Molotov cocktails at us. They also set the bus on fire. Police officers took some of us out of the bus, but nine of us stayed inside and had to hide behind the seats in order not be hit by stones. Someone entered and asked how many people we were. We were glad to be taken out but instead they bent our arms on the back and dragged us over the ground to the police station." Sular alleged that they were beaten at the polite station and injured persons had been beaten at the hospital. No news had been received of Mahmut Tekin who had been in the bus with them.
Reportedly İhsan Güler, chair of Kürt-Der, who had been seriously injured, had to be taken to the hospital of Hacettepe University in Ankara. Bilecik Governor Musa Çolak claimed that the incident had developed because of a provocation of the people in the bus. Reyhan Yalçındağ, deputy chair of the HRA, drew attention to the fact that the incident had happened close to the police station and not a single attacker had been detained.
In İznik district (Bursa) 14 people were detained. Subsequently right wingers attacked five people claimed to be of Kurdish origin.
Incidents continued in various cities on 5, 6 and 7 September. In Van the police intervened when a group returning from Gemlik wanted to hold a press conference. The group responded by throwing stones. 10 people including three police officers were injured. The police detained 80 people. One person was wounded with a gun to his arm and Selahattin Urgan was wounded with a bullet to his head. Selahattin Urgan entered vegetative state.
The demonstrators also beat Ahmet İzgi, reporter of the Anatolian News Agency. Incidents continued in Van on 6 September. In the clashes Nurettin Gül was wounded with a gun. The car of a police officer was set on fire and stones were thrown at many shops and the office of the AKP.
Among the detained demonstrators in Van 14 were arrested and 71 were released to be tried without pre-trial detention. The names of the arrested persons were given as: Habib Güven (15) Behan Burak, Mehmet Kıpçak, Çuli Abi, Tuba Aslan, Şemsettin Aslan, Güllü Burak, İlhan İşsiz, Münir Demircan, Rahim Kaya, Eyüp Özdemir, Şirin Aslan (65), Refik Şeker (16) and Ömer Kesercik. DEHAP chair in Van, Abdurrahman Doğar was arrested on 17 September in connection with the demonstration of 5 September. Reportedly he was arrested on the grounds of having made propaganda for an illegal organization and having motivated the people to violence.
On 5 September clashes arose in Diyarbakır, when a group of people wanted to welcome the travelers from Gemlik. The demonstrators threw stones at some cash points, the office of the MHP and the police station 10 April. During the incident one police car was set on fire. The demonstrators also beat up the security officers in front of the MHP office.
In Mersin clashes between the police and a returning group that wanted to hold a march emerged on 6 September. Among the detainees M.H.A. and Y.P. were arrested. After release Yılmaz Pişkin and M.K. (14) alleged that they had been tortured.
On 6 September the police in Siirt intervened when a group met the people returning from Gemlik. During the clashes 17 people including one police officer were injured and 93 people were detained. Abdullah Ayan who had been wounded to his head with a gun died in hospital. A witness who wanted to remain unnamed said:
"The crowd gathered in front of the People's Library at Atatürk Square. A military jeep came and the crowd threw stones at the jeep that drove away quickly. Just before the vehicle turned around the corner an officer shot at the crowd with an automatic gun. Abdullah Ayan was hit and fell to the ground."
20 of the people who had been detained in Siirt alleged that they had been beaten and insulted in custody. They filed an official complaint. Among the complainants Metin Beydoğan said: "After the action we went to the office of DEHAP. Police officers broke the door and came in. They attacked as with truncheons and sticks, laid us on the ground and continued to beat us. In the car and in custody the beatings went on and we were insulted and cursed at. In custody they stubbed out a cigarette on my arm.
In Diyarbakır the people who had been detained on 5 September were arrested on 10 and 12 September.
On 7 September the police in Yüksekova district (Hakkari) intervened in a demonstration. During the incident 11 people were injured including two police officers and one journalist. The demonstrators Cengiz Alçiçek and İshak Er were said to be seriously wounded. The demonstrators also beat Senar Yıldız from the news agency İhlas. The incidents continued for 3.5 hours and 10 people were detained.
During a demonstration in Adana on 7 September the commissioner Süleyman Göbel had a heart attack and died.
The court case against Müjdin Bayav, Mesut Alagaş, Mustafa Akpınar, Müslüm Candan, Mahsum Erol and Hasan Güler who had participated in a demonstration in protest at the prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan on 21 January 2003 started again at Adana Heavy Penal Court No. 7 on 12 January. The first trial had concluded on 12 January 2004. The court had sentenced Müjdin Bayav to 7 years' imprisonment for having used explosives and made propaganda for an illegal organization. The other defendants had been sentenced to one year's imprisonment under Article 7/2 ATL. The 9th Chamber of the Court of Cassation had quashed the sentence on 17 March 2004.
On 31 January Mersin Penal Court No. 5 continued to hear the case against 9 people who had been charged in connection with petitions asking for the release of Abdullah Öcalan. After the hearing Mevlüt Uçar, Kazım Avcı, Süleyman Çakmak, Zümeyra Oğuz, Ozan Bekçi, Ali Aktaş and Mehmet Eren Teke were released. Yunus Aşan and Şükrü Sungur had been released on 7 December 2004. The defendants were charged under Article 312 TPC and with a violation of Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings.
In Hakkari an investigation was launched in January against 1,851 people who in October 2004 had handed over petitions for the release of Abdullah Öcalan to the governor's office in Hakkari. Reportedly the police raided their houses and took the suspect to the police headquarters to testify.
On 4 February İstanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 9 continued to hear the case of three people who had participated in a demonstration on the anniversary of Abdullah Öcalan's transfer to Turkey. After the hearing Sebahattin Çatıkkaş and Ekrem Üzer were released. Cemal Özen remained in pre-trial detention.
Of the 62 people who had been detained after a demonstration in Diyarbakır on 15 February 41 were arrested on 17 February on the accusation of having staged an illegal demonstration. A total of 70 people were indicted and three separate trials were initiated: one at the Juveniles' Court (3 defendants); one at Diyarbakır Penal Court No. 1 (3 defendants) and one at Diyarbakır Penal Court No. 3 (64 defendants). The first hearing was held on 14 March. The court cases did not conclude in 2005.
In Yüksekova district (Hakkari) 1,100 shop owners who had kept their shops closed on the anniversary of Abdullah Öcalan's transfer to Turkey (15 February) were charged with having disseminated propaganda for an illegal organization. The trial started at Yüksekova Penal Court but continued at Van Heavy Penal Court.
In May the prosecutor in Mersin indicted 9 people in connection with a demonstration for Abdullah Öcalan on 16 February and the Newroz celebrations on 21 March. He demanded sentences under Article 125 TPC.
On 10 November Urfa Penal Court No. 1 continued to hear the case of 9 people alleged to have shouted slogans for Abdullah Öcalan during the opening ceremony for the Kurdish language course in Urfa. In this trial the defendants including the Özgür Gündem reporter Eyyüp Tutal, Cengiz, Eriş, Halil Yazar, Güzel Kutlu, Mahmut Aslan and Fahri Yüksekyayla were charged under Article 312 TPC.
On 24 June Ankara Penal Court No. 25 started to hear the case of Mehmet Emin Özyalçın (in pre-trial detention for another offence), Abdurrahim Bilen, Tuncay Yoğurtçu, İsmet Aras, Erol Kaplan and Mehmet Şirin Karademir in connection with the press conference on Kızılay Square on 15 February. On 7 September the court decided that there was no case against the defendants that had been initiated under Article 312 TPC.
In February 30 people were indicted in Tatvan (Bitlis) for having participated in the funeral of the HPG militant Rıza Çakan who had been killed in a clash in November 2004. The prosecutor wanted the defendants to be convicted for having shouted slogans for an illegal organization, but Tatvan Penal Court later acquitted the defendants, named as: Mehmet Can Demir (chair of DEHAP in Bitlis), Bahattin Çağtay (chair in the central district), the DEHAP executives Medeni Yalçınkaya, Emrullah Cayhan, Medeni Başkan, Mine Şerefhanoğlu, Nezir Çalışkan, Sait Aydemir, Suhat Altun and the DEHAP members Çetin Aydemir, Sebahattin Özel, Ramazan Dalgalan, Ferhat Koç, Mehmet Galip Ulus, Ahmet Nuyan, Maşallah Demirtaş, Fırat Yetişkin, Emine Dikmen, Nesim Karadaşlı, Erdinç Tulay, Derviş Gündüz, Osman Çakan, Behvar Barz Şerefhanoğlu, Orhan Bezirganoğlu, Mehmet Nezir Karabaş, Hasan Ülkü, Abdurrahman Eren, Vedat Yamaç, Mehmet Salih Aydemir and Onur Yalçınkaya.
The police in Siirt intervened in the funeral of Sibel Sartık and Nergiz Özer, two out of 5 HPG militants who had been killed near Toptepe village in Kumçatı district (Şırnak) on 19 January. The police used pepper gas and shot into the air while the demonstrators threw stones. 9 police officers and 25 demonstrators were injured. A crowd of some 1,000 people insisted on burying the militants at a place for which the municipality had not given permission and another clash with the police arose during which 100 people were detained. In March 62 of them were indicted for an offence under Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings. The court case at Siirt Penal Court did not conclude in 2005.
In connection with the same incident the Ministry of Interior launched a case against 26 people asking for compensation since they had damaged a police car. This court case, too, did not conclude in 2005.
During the funeral of HPG militants who had been killed near Tepecik village in Beşiri district (Batman) Hasan İş was killed. He was buried on 29 August. The autopsy report of Batman State Hospital claimed that Hasan İş had been killed before the funeral was held. Batman Police HQ maintained that the police was not responsible for the death. Chief of Batman Police, Arif Öksüz said:
"Hasan İş was shot from 5 to 10 centimeters. The police shot into the air from a distance. We estimate that it was a criminal killing or one police officers must have accidentally fired a shot, while he was standing next to the victim."
Ferhat Bayındır, the lawyer of the family said that Hasan İş had been killed during the funeral by a single shot that entered his head at his right ear and left his head at the left ear. The daily Özgür Politika quoted a witness called Abdulselam Yıldız. He said:
"During the funeral they shot at us and Hasan İş fell to the ground. We tried to help him but because of the incident could only put him into a taxi after 10 to 15 minutes. We also called an ambulance. When the car came we wanted to put him there, but two civilian dressed police officers prevented us. They took possession of the corpse."
The witness Nuri Kilit stated that Hasan İş had been at the funeral together with them and had been shot directly to his head. He had been bleeding from his ear. The witness Ayşe Toprak also confirmed that the victim had been at the funeral. Shots had been fired from armored vehicles. Hasan İş had been shot at their side.
Ten of the persons who had been detained during the funeral of Hasan İş were arrested on 30 August.
On 1 September 22 witnesses of the killing of Hasan İş testified at Batman Police HQ. Among them, Eşref Karaarslan and Ayşe Toprak were detained because they participated in the funeral. Karaarslan was arrested for having made propaganda for an illegal organization and praised a crime. Toprak was released to be tried without pre-trial detention.
On 2 September Metin Yılmaz, executives of the Mesopotamian Culture Center, was detained because he had participated in a commemorating meeting for the HPG militant Gaffur Doğan who had been killed in Iraq in 2004.
The police intervened in a funeral of HPG militants who had been killed near Gerçüş district (Batman) on 31 August and detained several people. M. Salih Ataç, Ramazan Boğadır, Hüseyin Andıç and Ömer Faruk Akyüz were arrested the same day on the ground of conducting an illegal demonstration, praising a crime, attacking the security forces and damaging public property. The public prosecutor released M. Salih Ekinci, Ahmet Sarıtaş, Abdulkuduz Garzan and Fahrettin Işık. Fahrettin Işık stated that he had been detained although he had not been at the funeral. He had been injured to his head and bruises on his back and his face. Ahmet Sarıtaş said that he had been detained under beatings in the cafe where he worked. He had been beaten and the beatings had continued in the ambulance that he had been taken to.
On 31 August Nazım Kök (DEHAP chair in Nusaybin district), DEHAP executive Azize Yağız, DEHAP members Hülya Kök, Seyithan Kaya, Ahmet Çağın, Murat Bal, Süleyman Tekin (from a local newspaper) and Engin Tokay (Özgür Gündem) were arrested for having participated in the funeral of HPG militant Mesut İsa. He had been killed in Maçka district (Trabzon) and buried in Nusaybin district (Mardin).
HPG militant Ayhan Seven who had been killed near Mazgirt district (Tunceli) was buried in Yüksekova district (Hakkari) on 9 September. The participants of the funeral wanted to march and clashed with the police. During the clashes many shops and vehicles were damaged. For the HPG militant Ziver Demirbağ who had been killed in the same clash a funeral was held in Nusaybin district (Mardin). The police detained several people. Among them Azad Yüksekdağ and Abdulvahap Abandır were arrested on 10 September. DEHAP chair for Mardin, Cemal Veske, Alaattin Sinayiç, Hatice Kaya and Garbi Acar were released.
On 13 October M. Şirin Arı (chair of TUHAY-DER) was called to Batman Police HQ to testify in connection with his participation in funerals of HPG militants. He was arrested on the same day, while the trade unionist Halis Yakut and the spokesman of a sport club, Hüseyin Tüzer who testified on the same day were released. Other Demonstrations
During a demonstration of groups opposing Turkey's entry to the EU incidents developed on Kızılay Square on 17 January. The demonstrators had gathered in Kurtuluş Park and wanted to march to the square. The police detained 198 people. During clashes between the demonstrators and the police several people were injured in the side streets. Among the detainees Uğur Eyilik, Mert Kavak, Onur Özdemir, Musa Kurt, Hasan Balıkçı and Fatih Beygirci were arrested on 21 January. The remaining 192 people were released.
Following an earthquake in Hakkari on 25 January a crowd protested in front of the governor's office on 27 January the fact that no help was received. The police intervened and the crowd went to the office of the AKP and broke the windows. The police shot in the air and beat some demonstrators up. About 15 people were detained. Among them Bülent Demir, Maruf Engin and Ömer Balıkesir were arrested on 29 January on charges of having shouted slogans of an illegal organization and damaged public property.
In March 26 people were indicted under the Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings. The case was to be heard at Hakkari Penal Court. Reportedly Bülent Çiftçi who had joined the PKK 10 years ago and had not returned was among the defendants.
The governor of Bakırköy (İstanbul) did not allow a commemoration meeting on 26 January, the 12th anniversary of the death of Cumhuriyet columnist Uğur Mumcu on the pretext that illegal groups might be provoked.
The police intervened when members of the People's House staged a demonstration against the visit of US Foreign Minister Condolezza Rice at Kızılay Square (Ankara) and detained four people.
Young members of DEHAP wanted to erect a tent at Kadıköy Pier on 5 February as part of the campaign "no permission for war" but the governor banned it. In Siirt the gendarmerie intervened when a press conference was to be held in connection with the same campaign. Four people were injured. In Salihli district (Manisa) the police detained 111 people when they wanted to leave a black wreath at the office of the AKP. Reportedly Asiye Kaya, Şirin Özdemir, Kadriye Özdemir, Yağmur Deniz, Sultan Yıldız, Gülistan Adıyaman, Meryem Gök, Mahmut Ecer and Hamit Özdemir were injured.
In İstanbul-Eminönü street vendors protested the municipality on 12 February because they had not been given permission for sale. The police detained 14 people. On 24 February the police prevented 30 street vendors from holding a press conference in front of the new mosque in Eminönü.
On 13 March several people protested when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan participated in the meeting of the women's wing of AKP. The police detained 14 people. They were released by the public prosecutor.
On 7 April a group calling themselves "Assembly of Free Citizens" wanted to hold a press conference in Diyarbakır. The police detained seven people, among them Mehmet İnan, Yılmaz Kahraman, Aslan Akbalık and Şeref Kılıç.
On 9 April the police in Van intervened when members of the "Independent Youth Movement (BAGEH) wanted to hold a press conference. The police detained Fadıl Taşçı (chair of the students' association at Van 100 Year University), Yunus Eriş, Özgür Abik, Osman Özgenç, Mesut Uçer, Hüsna Yakut (from the journal Genç Bakış), Sinan Çağlar, Nihat Abay and 7 unnamed others. Later 10 people were arrested. Among them Hüsna Yakut, Sinan Çağlar and Nihat Abay were released on 26 April.
On 28 April Şakir Özaydın, Sıddık Eren, Tuncay Ok and Bulut Kişin were detained after they participated in a press conference of the Democratic People's initiative and the "Independent Youth Movement". All but Özaydin were released after four hours.
On 8 April the police in İstanbul intervened when a crowd demanded the release of members of "Hizb-üt Tahrir" after they came out of the Friday prayers in a mosque in Beyazıt. The police detained 10 people.
On 30 May 20 students were detained in Ankara because they participated in commemorating meetings for the death of Deniz Gezmiş and his friends. Among the detainees Aydın Acar, Hikmet Toprak, Erhan Arif, Ferhat İnsen, İdris İnsen, Cemal Ataş, Zeki Demir, Aziz Gezik, Erkan Erol and Mehmet Emin Özyalçın were arrested on 31 May. On the same reason Erdal Atasoy, Erdal Emeç, Mehmet Sait Arzu, Hüseyin Kayan, Burhan Güneş, Yunus Kurt, Veysi Ayhan, Sedat İpek, Tekin Çakırgöz, Nizamettin Çelebi, Adnan Şinegu, Alaaddin Bingül, Hacer Karaoğlu, Nurcan Çakı, İbrahim Demir and Bora Yılmaz Taş were arrested in Sivas. An arrest warrant in absentia was issued for Şeyhmus Boz.
In Eskişehir the students Mehmet Ali Ay, Hasan Ekinci, Devran Balkaş, Cihan Hayta, Uğur Tekel, İbrahim Yıldırım, Cuma Bozkurt, Suphi Taş, Edip Uysal, Ruşen Şahin and students with the first names of Hüseyin, Akif, Serhat, Ferhat and Muhittin were detained on the same grounds. Fellow students protested at the courthouse. The police detained 20 of them.
On 5 June, World Environmental Day environmentalists held a festival in Bergama (İzmir). They were attacked by mine workers. Reportedly the police and gendarmerie did not intervene.
On 18 April the Socialist Platform of Oppressed (ESP) made a demonstration in Bursa. The police detained five people including the ESP representative for Bursa, Serpil Arslan.
On 25 June Gökhan T., Hüseyin Ö., Yaşar Ç., Olcay B., Ferhat A., Şehabettin Ö., Savaş K., Merve Y., Dilek K., Hasan T., Ahmet D., İbrahim Y. and İbrahim A. were detained in Samsun in connection with a press conference on the killing of 17 MKP (Maoist Communist Party) in Tunceli. They were arrested on 28 June.
DEHAP member Mehmet Kino was arrested in Kızıltepe (Mardin) on 13 April because of a press conference on 27 March. The arrest warrant was issued under Article 7/2 ATL.
On 8 July three people were detained in İstanbul after a demonstration for the release of the conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan. First the police was uncertain, whether the action of two persons, Evşen Yaşar Akçay and Bahar Bayram could be called a public action and waited for permission of the prosecutor to intervene. When Doğan Özkan from the HRA joined the sit-in the police detained them, since it were three people.
On 10 July a press conference was held in Adana. The police detained eight people including Tayyip Yıldız (chair of DEHAP for Adana province) and Hıdır Taşkıran (chair of Yüreğir district).
In Suruç district (Urfa) the governor did not allow a "peace tent" to be erected by the DEHAP on 15 July.
On 18 July a ceremony was held for İzmir Governor Yusuf Ziya Göksu before he quit his post. People from Bergama protested because the governor had not ordered the closure of the gold mine in Bergama. The police detained some 20 people. The activists were released in the evening.
In İstanbul the police intervened when a group of people protested the demolition of houses in Kağıthane quarters on 21 July.
During the hearing on 26 June of Serpil Cabadan charged in İstanbul with membership of the DHKP-C some people wanted to hold a press conference on the death fast actions. The police detained 30 people while a group of 10 members of the Idealists' Union from Sarıyer attacked the group. Milliyet reporter Musa Kesler was also attacked.
On 1 April two persons who wanted to put up a banner against the ban on headscarves and a Turkish flag on Ankara Wall were detained.
On 2 August a group of people in Adana first threw carnations into Seyhan River and later sent postcards to prisoners with the aim of "securing public peace". Among the participants Adnan Uygar (DEHAP), Durmaz Özmen (DEHAP) and Nuriye Aksoy were arrested on 13 August.
Serdar Aka was detained on 15 August during a demonstration in Akdeniz town (Mersin) on the anniversary of the PKK's start of armed actions. He was arrested on 18 August.
On 27 August a demonstration for an end of military operations was held in Beşiri district (Batman). Special teams, gendarmerie and the police intervened. Clashes broke out when armored vehicles moved towards the crowd, shots were fired into the air and tear gas was used.
On 29 August 21 Greenpeace members staged an action at the coal fired power plant in Çanakkale. 12 activists climbed the cooling tower, but were unable to fix a banner. Later the activists chained themselves at the entrance. After five and a half hour the gendarmerie detained the activists. All 21 demonstrators including five foreigners were banned from leaving the country. The ban was lifted in September.
On 30 August the police in Ankara intervened when a commemoration meeting was held for Erdal Yıldırım, who had been killed 10 years ago in Keçiören quarter of Ankara. The police detained Hasan, Ali and Hakan Yıldırım.
On 29 August Bayram İçlek, Fatih Gökhan Arslan and Ufuk Sayın opened a stand as part of a campaign of the Association for Basic Rights and Freedoms against the increase of fees for transport by İzmir Municipality. They were detained and on 31 August put in pre-trial detention.
In İstanbul protests were held against a festival organized by the municipality in Sarıgazi on 3 September. The police detained 72 people. Nine of them were arrested on 4 September. On 9 November Ümraniye Penal Court No. 2 started to hear their case based on charges under Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings. After the hearing Goncagül Telek (from the journal Atılım), Mehmet Fatih, Ali Nail, Celal Alabay, Gülnaz Yapışkan, Murat Ateş, Hayri Durukan and Şeracettin Yağmur were released.
On 2 September a radical Islamic group held a demonstration near Fatih Mosque (İstanbul). The police detained 7 people. Among them Uğur Kankur and Erdal Ercan were arrested on 6 September. Hakan Ercan, Ömer Duman, Türker Güven, Zeynep Karslı and Hürü Güler were released. Cengiz Kabataş was detained in Erzurum on 13 September. Allegedly he had participated in the demonstration.
In October 19 demonstrators were indicted and charged with membership of an illegal organization with the aim to change the constitutional order and establish the caliphate of Rashid. Süleyman Uğurlu was named as the person responsible for İstanbul.
In Ankara a group demonstrated on 9 September, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was in the Hacı Bayram Mosque for the Friday prayers. The police detained 38 people. On 12 September 24 demonstrators were arrested on charges of being members of the Islamic organization Hizb-üt Tahrir. Two separate cases were launched against them. Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 heard the case on charges related to membership of an illegal organization and Ankara Penal Court No. 13 heard the case related to the charges of resisting police officers. The trial at Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 started on 29 November. The court issued an arrest warrant for Şinasi Ünver.
In Diyarbakır a demonstration was held in protest of the killing of Abdulrezak Özdemir who had been killed in Karatavuk village, Akçakoca district (Düzce) during a fight among seasonal workers collecting hazelnuts. During the demonstration 14 people were detained. On 10 September Vasfi Erdem, Halit Kayık, Çetin Demir, İdris Nakçi and Ümit Aslan were arrested.
During a press conference in Tunceli Özcan Dutağacı, chair of the Association of Basic Rights and Freedoms in Hozat and the executive Ali Demir were detained. They were arrested on 25 September. On 28 September members of the Association protested against the arrests. This time, Murat Kaymaz, chair of the Association of Basic Rights and Freedoms in Tunceli, Ziya Kulbak, Ali Ekber Kaya, Hüsniye Mavi, Eylem Vural, Onur Munzur, Özgür Demir, Timuçin Kılınç, Oğuz Bulat and Duygu Kalanç were beaten and detained. On 29 September 7 of them were arrested on charges of having refused to identify themselves, resisted officials and spoiling public peace. On 28 November Ali Ekber Kaya, Hüsniye Mavi, Eylem Vural, Ali İhsan Çıplak and Murat Kaymaz were released from pre-trial detention.
In İnay village (Uşak) the gendarmerie hindered the inhabitants to stage a demonstration on 22 September against the TÜPRAG Company that was digging for gold using cyanide. The villagers staged a sit-in on the way to Gümüşkol village and clashed with the gendarmerie. 11 people were injured and 12 people were detained.
On 27 September members of the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed protested against the Anti-Terror Law on Kızılay Square in Ankara. The police detained 7 people who were released in the evening.
On the same day a demonstration was held in Tunceli. 10 people were detained and 8 of them were arrested later.
The governor in Diyarbakır ordered the postponement of a meeting to be held on 2 October under the heading of "Yes to the EU". The decision was taken because of the 4th International Middle East Industrial Fair since the international guests might be at risk.
On 15 October members of the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed chained themselves to traffic lights at Taksim Square (İstanbul). The police detained four of them.
On 17 October the police in İstanbul dispersed a crowd of people from the Federation of Associations of Basic Rights and Freedoms protesting the destruction of buildings in slums (gecekondu) in Saraçhane Park. After clashes with the police 20 people were detained. Cihan Keşkek, member of the music group Yorum was released the same day.
A group of the ESP (Socialist Platform of the Oppressed) protested on 1 November against the F-type prisons by blockading the Bosphorous Bridge on the Anatolian side. The police intervened and detained Emine Güngör, Ağca Kaplan, Tuğba Gümüş, Arzu Baysungur, Güneş Şenyüz, İbrahim Uçar, Fırat Çağla, Cengiz Özgül, Hüseyin Güneş, Emrullah Avcı and Abbas Duman.
On 11 November a group protested in İstiklal Street (İstanbul) the cutting of trees. The police dispersed the crowd under beatings and detained 3 persons including the theatre actress Sevinç Aytuğ Civan.
On 27 November, the anniversary of the foundation of the PKK, the police and demonstrators clashed in Gaziosmanpaşa quarter of İstanbul. The police detained 15 people.
Following a meeting on "Democratic and Peaceful Solution of the Kurdish Question" held in Diyarbakır in 13 November the girl F.D. (17) was detained. Later she alleged to have been tortured. She told the HRA in Diyarbakır that she had been held at the anti-terror department of Diyarbakır Police HQ for eight hours. Later she had been taken to the department for juveniles. She had been strip searched and held for another 40 hours. Together with other children she had been held in a cold cell without fresh air and had not been given anything to eat or drink for two days.
In connection with the same meeting Zennur Kızılkaya, Süheyla Gül, Reşat Ayaz and a person with the first name of Sabri were detained on 22 December. Reşat Ayaz was released the same day.
In protest at the incidents in Şemdinli and Yüksekova districts (Hakkari) a demonstration was held in Seyhan district (Adana) at the beginning of December. The ESP members Gülcan Taşkıran, Hatice İlden Dirini and Halil Göğercin were released on 7 December.
In connection with worldwide human rights day a press conference should be held in Şemdinli district (Hakkari) on 8 December. Participants came from various places but were not allowed entry to the town. Some groups arrived in Yüksekova and held a press conference in front of the dissolved DEHAP's office. The crowd dispersed without an incident.
The governor in Tunceli banned a meeting scheduled for 24 December in protest at the decisions to "exile" civil servants in November and December. No reasons were given for the ban. Instead of the meeting the Labor and Democracy Platform of Tunceli held a press conference at the meeting place.
Other court cases
A court case was opened against the members of the organizing committee for activities on 1 September 2004, World Peace Day. The committee members Emin Sarı, Emrullah Öztürk, Nevzat Geylan, Abdullah Tekin, Saadettin Taşçı, Fazıl Yılmaz and İbrahim Ötengil were charged with a violation of Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings. The trial started at Şemdinli Penal Court on 9 March.
In İstanbul the members of the organizing committee of a meeting in Zeytinburnu on 5 September 2004 on behalf of World Peace Day faced the same charges. The committee members Hürriyet Şener (former chair of HRA İstanbul), Şah İsmail Karagöz, Engin Yaşar, Yıldız Aktaş, lawyer Oya Ersoy Ataman, Hasan Toprak, Hüseyin Bektaş and Çetin Ova were tried at İstanbul Penal Court No. 1. The first hearing took place on 28 April.
At Fatih Penal Court No. 1 a trial against 16 people started on 10 February on the same charges. These people had participated in a press conference on 22 September 2003 in protest at the detention of Tuncer Bakırhan (chair of DEHAP), Ahmet Turan Demir (chair of ÖTP) and the musicians Haluk Levent, Göktuğ Şenkal and Demir Karacehennem after return from the Kurdish Festival held in Germany. The defendants included Eren Keskin (chair of İstanbul HRA), Hüseyin Ayyıldız (trade union Tüm Bel-Sen) and Rıdvan Turan (SDP). The trial did not conclude in 2005.
The prosecutor in Bursa started an investigation in January on accusations that 14 people might have insulted the Republic in a press conference of the youth wing of DEHAP in Bursa on "yes to differences, no to discrimination" on 5 December 2004.
The 8th chamber of the Court of Cassation quashed a verdict of Hatay Penal Court No. 1 passed on 8 demonstrators who had been sentenced for resisting police officers during an action in 2004. The Court ruled that it was a democratic right to make a demonstration without prior permission.
The governor in Bursa did not allow an investigation to be started against police officers who had filmed during an action on 5 September 2004 on behalf of World Peace Day. The governor's office argued that the officers had acted on orders of their superior and no offence was committed.
On 6 April a trial started against EMEP officials in Bursa in connection with a press statement of 28 November 2004 on the US attack on Iraq. On 14 June the court decided to drop the case against Cengiz Yıldız, Gökhan Aydın, Ömer Furkan Özdemir, İsken Yıldız, Öznur Çağlayan, Enis Öztay, Emel Sözer, Özcan Kılıç, Musa Garip and Yasin Çelik.
In Ceylanpınar district (Urfa) the trial against 25 people charged in connection with a demonstration on 20 July 2004 continued on 18 May. No information was available on further developments.
On 15 April Cizre Penal Court concluded the case against Tuncer Bakırhan (chair of DEHAP), Resul Sadak (former chair of DEHAP in Şırnak) and Mehmet Dilsiz (chair of DEHAP in Cizre). They had been charged with violating Law 2911 on Demonstrations and Meetings during a meeting held before the local elections on 28 March 2004. The court sentenced the defendants to 18 months' imprisonment and fines of 346 YTL each. The sentences of Sadak and Dilsiz were suspended, while the sentence of Tuncer Bakırhan was not suspended since he had earlier been sentenced by Kars Penal Court No. 2 on the same grounds.
On 28 April the trial against Baki Akkuş (Association of People from Tunceli) and the DEHAP officials Güneş Yavuz, Tuncay Arsan, Ercan Turan, İbrahim Çiçek, Kutbettin Toprak, Mehmet Şirin Alp, Semra Yavuz, Bedriye Işık and Enver Erdal started at Bursa Penal Court No. 5. They were charged in connection with a press statement on 5 September 2004.
The prosecutor in Trabzon indicted Murat Bektaşoğlu and Ethem Kücük from the People's House in Trabzon with insult since they had thrown eggs at the Prime Minister on 24 June. On 14 November Bektaşoğlu testified at Trabzon Penal Court and claimed that the throwing of eggs was a democratic right and no insult. Actually the Prime Minister had insulted them by calling them provocateurs.
On 22 June Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 continued to hear the case of 46 people from the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed who had been detained on 7 December 2004 during a protest of the draft law on execution of sentences. The court released Selver Orman (Atılım), Burcu Gümüş (Atılım in Bursa), Nuray Kesik (Atılım in Eskişehir), reporter Seda Aktepe, Gökhan Yaman, Güneş Şenyüz and Mahir Akkaya. Deniz Bakır (Atılım in Ankara), Dursun Armutlu (Atılım in Eskişehir), Yusuf Bayraktar and Gülcan Taşkıran stayed in pre-trial detention. The case did not conclude in 2005, but the defendants were also put on trial with the demand on compensation for damaging car of Ankara Police HQ. Ankara Peace Court started to hear this case on 22 November.
In Ankara the DEHAP officials İsmail Ancı, Abdürrahim Bilen, İsmet Aras, Mehmet Kaya, Şirin Altay, M. Şirin Karademir, Erol Kaplan, Dilek Yıldırım, Rahman Sümer, Metin Yıldız and Dursun Turan were on trial in connection with a meeting of the trade union confederation KESK on 25 September 2004. The defendants were charged for having shouted slogans. Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 2 started to hear the case that later continued at a penal court on 11 July and 13 September. There was no important development in 2005.
On 29 July Siirt Penal Court concluded the case against 22 defendants. The DEHAP executives Mahmut Yıldız, Muhyettin Timurlenk, Rıdvan Oğuz, Gürü Toprak and Halit Taşçı were sentenced to 6 months' imprisonment for their participation in a demonstration on 9 October 2004 and the shouting of slogans of an illegal organization. The sentence of Mahmut Yıldız was suspended and the sentences of 5 defendants were commuted to a fine of 1,980 YTL. 16 defendants were acquitted.
On 29 July Menemen Penal Court started to hear the case of ESP members who on 11 June had protested against the privatization of Seydişehir Aluminum Factory. The court ordered the release of Mert Yamaç, Yılmaz Karaçam and Barıs Bozyığıt and scheduled the next hearing for 29 November.
On 15 July Nurten Karakaş, chair of the "Democratic Women's Movement" in Ankara was arrested, reportedly because of a press conference on the killing of 17 MKP militants in Tunceli. For the same reasons Azime Peker was arrested in Mersin on 20 September.
On 3 October a trial against 5 people continued at Adana Heavy Penal Court No. 7 in connection with a press conference on the killing of the PKK militants in Tunceli. The court released the defendants. The police dispersed the crowd that hat gathered in front of the court house and detained Seda Aktepe (Atılım in Adana), Zahide Bektaşlı (Atılım in İskenderun), Nihal Gül (Devrimci Demokrasi), Zemin Demirel (Kızıl Bayrak), Yasemin Tuğcu, Emrah Topaloğlu, Emrah İlingi, Faris Hacıoğlu, Ufuk Köse, Erdağ Yenel, Derya Günaydın, Suna Düşkün, Arap Türk, Vahab Toraman, Çiğdem Diren Kırkoç and Mustafa Sarısözlük.
On 12 October Ankara Heavy Penal Court No. 11 continued to hear the case of alleged members of the Islamic organization Hizb-üt Tahrir who had staged a demonstration in Abdi İpekçi Park (Ankara) on 22 May. The court released the defendants Ahmet Sirven, Metin Aydoğan, Aydın Karademir, Kurtuluş Sevinç, Hüseyin Bayrak and Ömer Aksu and adjourned the hearing.
On 22 December İstanbul Penal Court No. 6 continued to hear the case of 24 people who had staged an action with headscarves during the İstanbul Marathon in October. Mazlum Der chair in İstanbul, Mustafa Ercan said that they had worn t-shirts with one letter each to express "Freedom for Headscarves".
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