The Republic is 86

In Documents, Turkey and Kurds, Turkey in Europe, Turkish military on October 29, 2009 at 15:30

Instead of self-congratulations here how we stand at our human rights record:

Turkey’s dirty stories on display – Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review


Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
October 26, 2009

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contributed to the generally free practice of religion; however, constitutional provisions regarding the integrity and existence of the secular state restrict these rights.
The Government generally respected religious freedom in practice. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the Government during the reporting period. The Government continued to impose limitations on Islamic and other religious groups and significant restrictions on Islamic religious expression in government offices and state-run institutions, including universities, for the stated reason of preserving the “secular state.” Authorities continued their broad ban on wearing Islamic religious headscarves in government offices as well as public schools. The Government also continued to oppose “Islamic extremism.” Religious minorities said they were effectively blocked from careers in state institutions because of their faith. Minority religious groups also faced difficulties in worshipping, registering with the Government, and training their followers. Although religious speech and persuasion is legal, some Muslims, Christians, and Baha’is faced some restrictions and occasional harassment for alleged proselytizing.

A nation grows up

Turkey celebrates its national day and the founding of the republic in 1923 today. The creation of a nation-state out of the ruins of an empire is a heroic story, and every Turkish child is schooled in this tale of patriotic obstinacy, of a ragtag army which managed to regroup to defy both the odds and the great European powers to redraw the map in a way that resembles Turkey’s current frontiers.

Kurdish letters are now in official documents. This is an ID card approved by a local Registration office in Çankara according to an Hürriyet news.And in another case a father named her daughter as Helin Kürdistan…

No Hêvî.

by Jenny White

One step forward, one step back. Much hoopla in the news about a “Kurdish Opening”, giving Kurdish villages their original names back, allowing Kurdish to be spoken openly, even taught as a language, opening a Kurdish language TV station. And yet…

Artist Rojin Sues Journalist Turgut for “Sexual Harassment”

Kurdish artist Rojin filed a criminal complaint against Akşam newspaper editor Serdar Turgut. Rojin said, “I do not expect an apology, I want this insult to be punished on behalf of all women”.

2009 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom
Source: U.S. Department of State

The International Religious Freedom report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide.

“Action Plan against Reactionary Forces” – a Chronology

from Bianet :: English
The “Action Plan against Reactionary Forces” was initially brought to the agenda by the news in June earlier this year in the context of the Ergenekon case. Eventually, the document was proven to be authentic and signed by Colonel Çiçek, who had formerly denied any connection to the document.

Are there any Ergenekon disbelievers left?
Today’s Zaman
The fact that must not be forgotten is that the document is a product of Ergenekon. It remains fresh in people’s mind how the Supreme Board of Judges and

EP member calls for civilian courts’ full access to military archive
Today’s Zaman
Turkey’s credibility as a state founded on the rule of law is at stake vis-à-vis the eventual fate of an ongoing investigation into Ergenekon,
FACTBOX-Coups in Turkey over last 50 yearsReuters
Reputation of Turkey’s military takes a hitNational
Turkey’s military investigates new plot reportReuters India

Anti-Terror Law Thwarts Kurdish Initiative

from Bianet :: English
Filiz Koçali, Ramazan Pekgöz and Ziya Çiçekçi from Günlük newspaper are facing imprisonment and severe fines because of an interview with Murat Karayilan on Kandil Mountain about the Kurdish initiative. The case is scheduled for 24 February 2010.

Did Başbuğ Paşa know the truth all along?


The story was first reported in the Taraf newspaper last June. The enormous headline read:  “A plan to finish off the AK Party and Gülen.”

Concerning civilian-military relations


A consensus between the civilian government and the military is critical for democracy in Turkey now. The military has long been a powerful political player, but the people are now demanding change in the relationship between the military and the civilian government.

‘Piece of paper’ ends military’s myth


Truth finds you with a smile or comes as a slap in the face. Not so long ago I met a foreign diplomat — an ambassador of a powerful European country — over dinner.

FACTBOX-Coups in Turkey over last 50 years
A shadowy group known as Ergenekon first came to light in June, when a cache of explosives was discovered in a police raid on an Istanbul house.
Reputation of Turkey’s military takes a hitNational

General Staff Launched New Investigation into “Piece of Paper”

from Bianet :: English
The General Staff launched a further investigation into the “Action Plan against Reactionary Forces” after it was found to be an original document. General Başbuğ had previously referred to the document as a “piece of paper”. The General Staff voiced their concerns about the leaking of the letter of advice to the press and wants the ones responsible for the leakage to be punished.

Briefing on the Release of the 2009 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom

by Turkish Digest

“Briefing on the Release of the 2009 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom

Michael H. Posner
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Washington, DC
October 26, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Secretary Clinton introduced Assistant Secretary Posner at the conclusion of her remarks on the release of the 2009 International Religious Freedom Report.]

…QUESTION: (Inaudible) with Turkish daily Hurriyet. Regarding Turkey here and the executive summary, it says authorities continue their broad ban on wearing Islamic religious headscarves in government offices, as well as in public schools. So what are you saying? Are you saying that the ban on headscarves should be lifted in Turkey?

Secretary Clinton Releases 2009 International Religious Freedom Report

Secretary Clinton recently provided remarks during the release of the 2009 International Religious Freedom Report. She stated, “The right to profess, practice, and promote one’s religious beliefs is a founding principle of our nation. In fact, many of our earliest settlers came because they wanted the freedom to practice their own religion without a state interfering or oppressing that practice. It is the first liberty mentioned in our Bill of Rights, and it is a freedom guaranteed to all people in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

turkeybans: – (a personal weblog) blocked (in Turkish)


Prison Sentence for “Azadiya Welat” Distributor Altay

from Bianet :: English
Azadiya Welat distributor Altay was found guilty of “making propaganda for an organization”. The court decided on the grounds of a picture in one of the issues showing PKK leader Öcalan holding up the daily with both of his hands. Defendant Ete was also convicted because he had unfolded pieces of cloth with the organization’s emblem at the opening ceremony of an office.

Transsexuals Complain at Prime Ministry about Police Violence

from Bianet :: English
About 80 people gathered in Ankara upon the call of the Pink Life Transgender Association. Despite police resistance they managed to hand their petition for redress to the Human Rights Presidency of the Prime Ministry. The petition is concerned with police violence against transvestites and transsexuals and rights violations occurring in the Act on Misdemeanour.

Struggle against Homophobic Discrimination in Professional Life

from Bianet :: English
LGTB organization Kaos GL held a “LGB Employees Meeting” in Ankara to draw attention to the discrimination of homosexual and bisexual people in professional life. One of the most urgent problems is the rejection of applications because of a person’s sexual identity.

Establishment, Doğan media and freedom of the press in Turkey

As we all know, the Doğan Media Group has been vehemently claiming that because the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government is trying to eradicate freedom of the press in the country, their group is targeted.


Turkey: Amnesty International Calls on Turkish Authorities to Respect the Rights of Refugees (Amnesty International)

from Yahoo news
Amnesty International urges the Turkish authorities to allow its citizens of Kurdish origin to return to Turkey without fear of harassment and discrimination. This call comes as refugees begin to leave the Mahmur camp in northern Iraq.

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