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Human Rights

“I will be arrested if they send me back,” Turkish asylum seeker calls out to German authorities 

German Police raided the house of a Turkish national who sought asylum in Germany fleeing Erdogan regime’s crackdown on Hizmet movement, following a court ruling for his deportation back to Turkey, a country where he can face arrest or worse.

Rahman Gün, the Turkish asylum seeker who face deportation, worked in Turkey’s largest petrochemical company PETKIM. He and his family came to Germany in March 2018 and demanded asylum. However, German authorities decided to deport them back to Turkey.

Gün, who started work from the moment he came to Germany not receiving any benefit from public offices, found a job in Africa not to be deported back to Turkey.

However, Gün’s papers are not given back to him.

 

“I am definitely going be arrested if I am deported,” said Gün.

 

Merseburg Police in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany raided the residence of Rahman Gün and his family in the morning of November 15 with 8 police officers. The police came to deport Rahman Gün, his wife Ayşe Hilal Gün and his two children back to Turkey.

Rahman Gün, an electrician, had to seek asylum in Germany due to his predicament in Turkey over his ties to the Hizmet Movement. His spouse Ayşe Hilal Gün was a kindergarten teacher and she worked in the schools affiliated with the Hizmet Movement.

Ayşe Hilal Gün, who was already being treated for panic attacks, had an attack during the police raid. Her family members allege that she was beaten by the police.

Gün was taken to a hospital by an ambulance. Doctors decided to keep her in hospital for a while. She is still being treated in the hospital.

Gün is baffled by the police raiding his house to deport him back to Turkey despite the fact that he had permission to stay in Germany until the 10th of December. Gün also has stated that he would go to Africa voluntarily because he found a job there, which makes sending him back to Turkey all the more pointless.

Gün describes what happened as follows:

“I was working for PETKIM in Turkey. Nearly 15 colleagues of mine associated with the Hizmet Movement were arrested. At work, my relationship with the Hizmet Movement was well-known so I was under intense pressure. I was having temper tantrums because I couldn’t talk to anyone.”

“My wife was staying at home alone because I worked on the night shift. My wife started to have panic attacks due to waiting in constant stress because the cops always came at night. She began to receive treatment and take medication on a regular basis.”

“The first hearing of my friends who were arrested was in January 2018. I realized that I would be next when I found out that some questions were asked about me at the hearing. I took my wife and children and hastily fled Turkey and came to Germany. I would have gone to Canada because I could easily find a job suitable for my professional skills there, however, I did not have the time to wait for a visa because I could be detained any time by then. After coming to Germany in March 2018, I found a job to make a living.”

In August, BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) refused our asylum request. I objected to the ruling and the court overruled the objection a week later. Then we appealed to a higher court. On October 17, the appeal was rejected as well. That was the final decision which meant that I would be deported back to Turkey.

I was told that I had to find Ausbildung (a vocational training course) to solve my problem but I could not manage to enroll in any training program because I lacked sufficient language skills for the programs. They finally gave us a deadline to leave Germany until December the 10th.

However, they suddenly came with 8 policemen and said: ‘We will send you back to Turkey,’ even though I still had time.

“They hit my wife’s head against the ground” 

“When the cops came, my wife got sick as she has been having panic attacks.”

“The cops tore us apart. My wife fell. She was trying to get to the kids, but the cops wouldn’t let her. Meanwhile, when she suddenly screamed, I went there next to them. The cops assaulted her on the ground. Her head hit the ground.”

“Then I called an ambulance. She was taken to a rehabilitation facility. There, the doctors decided to hospitalize her. She is still in the hospital.”

 

“I will be arrested if I go to Turkey”

 

“If they send me back to Turkey, I will be arrested. My file shows that my phone call records have just been issued. I found a job in Africa to avoid going to Turkey and getting arrested. But my passport and all my documents are in the hands of German authorities. So I cannot go there[to Africa] either. ”

“I have submitted all the documents showing that I found a job in Africa, including my work agreement. I have permission to stay in Germany until December 10. They could at least give me the right to go to the country where I found a job. I don’t understand how they deport me even though it is certain that I am going to be arrested there.”

Human Rights

Understanding shifts in Turkey through Yamanlar College

Erdoğan Regime shut down nearly 1400 foundations, associations, and schools belonging to the Gülen Movement. Yamanlar College was one of the most emblematic ones. The college was the first college founded in the years when the movement was founded.

Starting to serve in the education field in 1982, the school preferred the modern education system. Cleric Mr. Gülen said to his followers that education is the fundamental problem of Turkey, and instead of building mosques or religious vocational high schools, they shall open modern schools.

Yamanlar College, the first school, established within this scope, became Turkey’s one of the most successful private schools. Afterward, the Gülen Movement founded 21 universities and nearly 1400 private schools in Turkey.

Erdogan accused the Gulen Movement in 2013 after the corruption operation targeted Erdogan’s four ministers and his son Bilal. These operations, known as the 17/25 December Corruption Operation, were closed with the dismissal of police and prosecutors.

Erdogan immediately sent the officers to the foundation schools belonged to the Gülen Movement to impose a fine, some of the schools were cut off the water, and some of the schools’ gardens were destroyed by constructing new roads.

The repression continued, and Erdogan started to confiscate the school administration. The complete confiscation of schools and the cessation of education took place after the controversial coup attempt on 15 July 2016.

Seizing all the power in his hands after the coup attempt in Turkey, Erdogan declared the State of Emergency and started the presidential system. Meantime, all the foundation schools owned by the Gülen Movement were closed down.

The Erdogan regime has transformed most of these schools into religious vocational high schools (Imam Hatip in Turkish), where teachers mostly teach Salafi beliefs. The Gülen Movement’s first school Yamanlar College was one of them.

An event held during the first days of 2020 has launched a new debate in Turkey over Yamanlar College’s transformation.

The Sıla Foundation organized a conference on Shariah in the premises of Yamanlar used in the past as a sports hall and theater. İhsan Şenocak, one of the speakers at the Sıla Foundation’s meeting, wanted a declaration war against Israel and called the government officials, “You walk towards Tel Aviv, we’ll come after you.” These words received great support from the hall.

One of the significant issues discussed in the meeting was covering the picture of the Republic of Turkey’s founder Kemal Ataturk in the hall.

People wearing turban and robes in the hall and the speeches made were on the axis of the change after the school, which had modern education in the past, was taken away from the Gülen Movement.

The education system in Turkey experienced significant changes in recent years. The Erdogan regime opened thousands of new religious vocational high schools, or the existing schools were turned into religious vocational high schools. Families complain about this, but the number of schools that provide modern education is decreasing day by day.

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Human Rights

Pregnant behind bars with a two-year-old kid

Elif Aydın, 31, is one of the educators arrested in Turkey over the past three years. She was two-months pregnant when she was sent to prison in the western province of Gebze on May 25, 2018. She also had two kids, 6 and 3 years old at that time.

She couldn’t leave behind her younger child, Musab; thus, she brought him along to prison. They did not provide a separate bed for her son in the eight-person ward. The pregnant woman stayed by sharing the same bed with his son in prison for months.

The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) ‘s deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a prominent human rights activist, has been fighting for her release from prison.

Turkish law forbids the arrest of pregnant women; however, this ban has not been applied for suspects from the Gulen movement and of Kurdish origin.

Gergerlioğlu filed a complaint on July 1, 2018, with the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) against the judge and prosecutor who gave the arrest decision for Elif Aydın. A response from HSYK to his complaint came 1.5 years later. They have not investigated it so far.

“By this decision, HSYK has become an accomplice to this crime,” Gergerlioğlu said.

Elif Aydın, on the other hand, is trying to be the voice of other arrested pregnant women by revealing what she had been through.

 

Aydın: “I fell downstairs twice”

“I was the director of a private student residence. That was the only accusation leveled against me. My husband had stayed in prison for a year over links to the Gulen movement. They arrested me nine months after he was released from jail. I left my older child behind and took Musab in prison with me. And I was pregnant with my third child. We all three were trying to sleep in the same bed.

“I fell downstairs twice and was taken to the hospital. My kid, Musab, also fell downstairs several times, and his face and eyes got hurt. The ward was an eight-person ward, but there were times also where nine people had been staying in our ward. The prison is tough for a woman with a child. It was summer, fortunately, when I was jailed, so we could spend most of our time in the yard. When it became colder, we had to stay inside.”

“There was no hygiene in prison. Musab’s eyes caught an infection. He hit his head on the bunk beds many times. He fell off the bunk bed, and he hurt his head and mouth. I was pregnant and was seeing all these (Musab had been through) so, I grew depressed.

“Many pregnant women were arrested like me. And, this is still going on. There are no special arrangements or facilities in place for pregnant women and children in prison. Life is quite hard in prison.”

 

Thousands of educators arrested

Erdogan’s regime mainly targeted well-educated people. About 1,400 Gulen-affiliated schools, kindergartens, student residences, and universities were shut down. Thirty thousand teachers were dismissed, and their licenses were revoked. Thousands of teachers were arrested.

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Human Rights

Slaying of cadets remains mystery years after coup bid

SEVİNÇ ÖZARSLAN

BOLD- Murat Tekin and Ragıp Enes Katran were Turkish cadets. On July 15, 2016, they were attacked and killed on the Bosphorus bridge.

Was it the angry mob who killed the two military students or the obscure organization called SADAT of Erdoğan?

On July 15, 2016, Turkey experienced a coup attempt. There are various allegations about that night, which are still unexplained. One of those events was the murder of two cadets at the Bosphorus Bridge.

One of those students was Ragıp Enes Katran, a 20-year-old student of the Air Force Academy. According to an autopsy report, he succumbed to stab wounds on his body. The footages made by cell phones on that night shows Katran covered in blood.

His elder brother, Fevzi Katran, who was a soldier like him, now lives in Germany as a refugee. He was expelled from the military shortly after his brother was killed. Subsequently, an arrest warrant was issued. He was forced to flee Turkey.

On that night, Turkey allegedly used militant groups in Istanbul and Ankara, who were also on the ground in Syria.

The group in question is a mercenary company called SADAT, led by a retired general of the Turkish Armed Forces, Adnan Tanrıverdi. He is known for his extreme Islamist ideas.

Tanriverdi, who did not hesitate to say that they used SADAT in Syria, stated that they were on the streets on the night of the coup bid. However, he denies the murder allegations.

Fevzi Katran does not believe that the people who stabbed his brother were the angry mob.

“There were bruises, holes, and cuts on his body. I mean, this is murder. They murdered my brother, Murat and the other soldiers. There was a group of people there. I can’t call them regular people. I think our people wouldn’t do that.”

NO BALLISTIC REPORTS

According to the Erdogan regime, more than 250 civilians were killed on the night of July 15. The soldiers on trial importunately demand the ballistic reports of the weapons used in the hearings. However, authorities reject these demands.

Trying to recover in Germany

TRYING RECOVER IN GERMANY

Fevzi Katran, who tries to recover in Germany, stated that very few soldiers participated in the putsch bid on July 15, and cadets were taken to the bridges to increase the number:

“They put the cadets into the cars and said they were going to the Air Force Academy because there had been a terrorist attack. The students did not know anything. No cell phones, no access to anything. They set off thinking they were going to the Air Force Academy. They had shut down all military schools by getting the students involved in the coup. This could be a reason. There were not enough people involved in the coup attempt that night. They increased the number of people with cadets. Those who planned this took out all the students from there to shut the schools down. And they took new ones instead.”

Ragıp Enes Katran with her brother in Istanbul.

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