Mon 4 Sep 2017 6:11AM

Should NZ break diplomatic ties with Turkey?

SD Suzie Dawson Public Seen by 93

While Western media bleat on endlessly about Nazis and Trump, the below is happening to journalists, writers, academics, artists, and other thinking people, in Turkey. What should we do about it?


Suzie Dawson Mon 4 Sep 2017 6:11AM

I was sent this by PEN International:

Dear All,

It was said in the last official announcement made by the Ministery of Justice in November 2016 that there were 179.000 prisoners in 370 jails in Turkey, 7894 and 4704 of whom being women and foreigners, respectively (the number of foreign prisoners were 23 in various jails in Turkey in 2009).

This number has increased incrementally during the period of OHAL (state of emergency) which was taken as an opportunity to silence opponents from all fractions beyond judging actors of the coup, following the coup attemp in July 2016. Jurisdiction’s getting under Erdoğan’s control almost entirely and acting politically in jurisdiction without minding law have pulled the number of arrests up to unbelievable levels.

Today 21 people are staying in rooms for eight; three are sharing the same bunk in jails.

Erdoğan who imprisoned all political opponents though there were no rational evidence, accorded the right of being transferred to open prisons and parole to offenders of hate murder, women murder, etc. by way of statutory decree no. 671 that he issued to make room at the prisons (initially 38000, in total 100000 prisoners are going to benefit from this statutory decree).

Erdoğan’s last statutory decree no. 693 has given the government the right to build prisons in public forestry lands. Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ announced that 175 new prisons are going to be built in 2017.

Number of women like writers, journalists, painters, academicians, lawyers, non-governmental organization representatives, human rights defenders, union members, students, mps, etc. in prisons have almost doubled. Most of these women who are or taken as opponents are being tried with aggravated life imprisonment; are kept as prisoners without their bills of indictment were prepared. They are forced to live a scary uncertainty.

A group of woman activists in Turkey have made a world-wide call to all women to write letters to impr,soned women in Turkey.

You can learn about this call, text of which is below and detailed information about this campaign by contacting these activists and Ms. Melek Özman ([email protected]) who is the director of FilmMor which is one of the two Women’s film festivals in Turkey.

Please share this call with all women in your contact lists.

Best regards

ps. In May 30, 2017, Bergül Varan who is the sister of Betül Varan, one of the vocalists of Grup Yorum which is one of the leftist music groups, members of which are frequently arrested and concerts of which are cancelled, and was taken into custody during a police raid at Idil Cultural Center in Istanbul, was tortured by her hair being torn out from their roots as it is seen in the photograph, in the action force vehicle where she was kept for two hours.


Jo Booth Mon 4 Sep 2017 10:07AM



idiom axiom Tue 5 Sep 2017 1:39AM

Hell, lets just invade while we are using the government as a tool of moral projection.


Colin England Mon 11 Sep 2017 10:07PM

The people are the government. In a democracy the government should only be doing stuff that the people want and so a policy like this is, essentially, asking if the people want this.


Jo Booth Mon 11 Sep 2017 1:43PM

I think it's better to walk along side people - even if you don't agree with them - just being there can be a positive influence.

What can we do to diplomatically frown at this behaviour but still allow Turkey to maintain their own soverienty - are we able to do more by being there than not?