Wednesday, 01 February 2023

Verdict due for Turkish activists held on terror charges

A Turkish court is to issue a verdict on the case of 11 rights activists arrested in 2017 on terror charges, a case that has been widely criticised.

They include Taner Kilic and Idil Eser, the former head and former director of human rights group Amnesty International in Turkey respectively.

All 11 are accused of having links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, leader of a banned group which Turkey blames for a failed coup attempt in 2016.

They have denied the charges.

They have since been released on bail, but are awaiting a ruling on the case.

In a statement, Amnesty said the charges have been "repeatedly and categorically disproven", and called for the immediate acquittal of the activists.

Speaking outside the court ahead of the ruling, Mr Kilic said he was "optimistic for justice".

Wednesday's verdict comes the day after the prominent businessman and rights activist Osman Kavala was re-arrested just hours after his acquittal, on a new warrant issued over the attempt to oust Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

Amnesty said Mr Kavala's renewed detention "smacks of deliberate and calculated cruelty", while Human Rights Watch Turkey director Emma Sinclair Webb called the new warrant "lawless and vindictive".

In December, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Mr Kavala had been arbitrarily detained and called for his immediate release.

Authorities in Turkey have arrested tens of thousands of people and fired thousands more teachers and civil servants in a major crackdown since the attempted coup, a move that has been strongly criticised by the country's Western allies.

President Erdogan says the plot was orchestrated by Mr Gulen, who denies any involvement.

What's the background?
Mr Kilic was arrested in June 2017 at his home in Izmir.

The then-president of Amnesty Turkey was accused of using an encrypted messaging application called ByLock, which the authorities say Gulen supporters shared to avoid detection.

Mr Taner's defence said forensic experts found no evidence ByLock had ever been downloaded on his phone.

The following month, ten human rights activists - including Idil Eser were detained on Buyukada island near Istanbul. They were charged with aiding terror groups, including supporters of Mr Gulen.

All were eventually released on bail - Mr Kilic spent more than a year behind bars - though the charges against them remained.

Read 285 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Login to post comments
Post-Brexit talks: We'll find
The head of the UK's unions has warned Boris Johnson she
Five dead in Milwaukee
Five people have been killed in a shooting at the Molson
Trump names VP Pence to lead
President Donald Trump has appointed Vice-President Mike
Post-Brexit talks: UK
The UK has warned the EU it will walk away from trade talks
Coronavirus: Two new cases
Two more patients have tested positive for coronavirus in
Greek protests: Dozens hurt
More than 60 people have been hurt, many of them riot
Budget 2020: Chancellor must
The new chancellor must raise taxes in his first Budget or
Health officials: Coronavirus
Health officials in the US have warned Americans to brace


A man has been
Researchers say
A law introducing
US scientists are
The Yazidi

Hot News

Featured photos and videos

One show at Paris Fashion Week proved to be
Saudi Arabia has temporarily halted the entry of
Taylor Swift plays a man-spreading, cigar
Five people have been killed in a shooting at the
President Donald Trump has appointed
Two more patients have tested positive for
More than 60 people have been hurt, many of them
At least 20 civilians, including nine children,
Template Settings


For each color, the params below will give default values
Black Blue Brow Green Cyan


Background Color
Text Color
Layout Style
Select menu
Google Font
Body Font-size
Body Font-family