Incidents in Turkey: July - August 2003

July 2003
Burhan Ekinci, correspondent for Dicle News Agency was attacked while covering a demonstration organized by MHP followers on 6 July in order to protest the detention of Turkish soldiers in Iraq. Ekinci who was wounded by his chin was hospitalized.

On 6 July, a group of MHP members wanted to march to U.S. Consulate in Istanbul in order to protest the arrest of Turkish soldiers in Iraq. Police dispersed the group and used pepper gas arguing that the action was extra-legal.

29 Members of the association of prisoners' relatives TAYAD were beaten by rightists in Afyon on 28 July. According to the press release by TAYAD in Ankara, the members of the association were injured during the incident. The driver of their bus was also stabbed. Security forces reportedly did not intervene the incident.

On 7 July and 27 August, Istanbul Penal Court No. 1 continued to hear the case of Ömer Karakus and Ziya Yücetepe, who killed Sinan Kayis on 31 August 2002, member of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) and injured Yalçin Köse (owner of the coffee shop where the incident took place). During the hearing on 7 July, the defense lawyer Kazim Ayaydin alleged that his client Ziya Yücetepe had been threatened by Sinan Kayis and that there had been "extreme incitement" in the incident. The Court decided to release Ömer Karakus. The court adjourned the hearing to 2 October for final decision at the hearing on 27 August.

On 24 August, a quarrel broke out in front of the Ankara Representation of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) between security forces and the members of Idealists' Union, when the members of Idealists' Union wanted to hold a protest action after the killings of 10 Turkmen in Northern Iraq. The police wanted to take away the demonstrators from the representation, but the demonstrators resisted and responded with sticks and stones. 23 police officers and 5 demonstrators were wounded during the incident. 46 persons were detained in connection with the incident. 9 of the detainees were released without being indicted for being under 18 years. Two court cases were launched against 37 persons one on allegations of "staging unauthorized demonstration" and the other on allegations of "resisting security forces". Ankara Penal Court of First Instance No 10 started to hear the case of "staging unauthorized demonstration" on 25 August. Ahmet Güvenç, one of the 37 persons, was arrested after the court.

Police prevented the demonstration that was planned to be staged on 30 August in Istanbul by the Idealists' Unions and the youth wing of Labor Party on the allegation that it was extra-legal.

(This information is from the monthly reports of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT))

Incidents in Turkey - Incidents in Turkey - February 2004
Incidents in Turkey - Incidents in Turkey - January 2004
Incidents in Turkey - Incidents in Turkey - December 2003
Incidents in Turkey - Incidents in Turkey - November 2003
Incidents in Turkey - Incidents in Turkey - September / October 2003
Incidents in Turkey - January / June 2003
Incidents in Turkey - November 2000/December 2002