Pro-Kurdish rights defender Dr. İpekyüz detained by Turkish police in Diyarbakır

Dr. Necdet İpekyüz. Photo: Bianet

Human rights advocate Dr. Necdet İpekyüz, a member of the Executive Board of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV), the chairperson of the Diyarbakır Institute for Political and Social Research (DİSA) and former President of Diyarbakır Chamber of Medicine was detained together with seven people in Diyarbakır on Wednesday morning.

It was reported that other seven detainees are former Presidents of Diyarbakır Chamber of Medicine Dr. Şemsettin Koç and Dr. Selçuk Mızraklı, Trade Union of Public Employees in Health and Social Services former department chief Hülya Alökmen, Dr. Cengiz Günayi, teacher Sadrettin Kaya as well as Democratic Society Congress co-Chair’s official chauffeur Fırat Tursun.

As a part of the same investigation, Dr. Osman Doğan has also been taken into custody in Adana and will be sent to Diyarbakır as well. According to a report by pro-Kurdish Dihaber news agency, some of the detainees were assigned in the Democratic Society Congress.

Bianet reported that Dr. Necdet İpekyüz is still the coordinator of a programme for Coping with Social Trauma. He has participated in preparing reports on topics such as forced migration, infectious diseases, preventive health care, health problems in the State of Emergency, health care and human rights, forensic medicine in the region, role of health care workers in preventing torture, peace and health care, trauma and state of mind as well as mother tongue and health care and worked as a coordinator in preparing recommendations for the Southeastern Region of Turkey Health Care Master Plan.

Six human rights defenders, including the director of Amnesty International Turkey, and two trainers arrested by an İstanbul court on Tuesday. While four of the ten human rights defenders were released by the court on bail, the Turkish authorities ordered pre-trial detention for the two trainers along with four Turkish human rights defenders.

Turkish police, acting on an anonymous tip, raided a hotel on Büyükada, one of the Princes’ Islands off İstanbul, and detained Eser from AI, İlknur Üstün from the Women’s Coalition, lawyer Günal Kurşun from the Human Rights Agenda Association, lawyer Nalan Erkem from the Citizens Assembly, Nejat Taştan from the Equal Rights Watch Association, Özlem Dalkıran from the Citizens’ Assembly, lawyer Şeyhmuz Özbekli, and Veli Acu from the Human Rights Agenda Association. Two foreign trainers — a German and a Swedish national — as well as the hotel owner, who was later released, were among the detainees.

After being interrogated at the anti-terror branch of the İstanbul Police Department on the 12th day of their detention, 10 human rights defenders who are accused of membership in a terrorist organization were referred to the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan on Monday morning. Six of the human rights activists were subsequently arrested while the court decided to release four of them on judicial probation. The court overseeing their case ruled to arrest Eser along with five other activists: Dalkıran, Acu, Kurşun, trainees Ali Garawi and Peter Steudtner. The accusation leveled against them was “abetting a terrorist organization.”

July 19, 2017

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