Fiasco! Anti-Terror law changed but many children still in jail

Amendments did not apply to all children


Although anti-terror law (TMK) has been modified and more than 100 children who were on trial under this law have been released, because necessary amendments have not been done in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) the children tried under TCK are not released by the courts.

Victims of the Turkish anti-terror laws better known with “stone-throwing terrorist” are still in custody due to insufficient legal amendments by the Turkish government. Istanbul Heavy Criminal Court Nr.9 refused to release the Kurdish children who have been in custody for 8 months on account of throwing stones to the police during a demonstration. The courts said the cases of the children fall within the scope of the Turkish Penal Code and unlike the other children whose files were within the scope of Anti-terror law the new legal amendments do not apply these children. Continue reading

KHRP Commends Reforms of Anti-terror Law for Children

KHRP commends today’s reforms passed by the Turkish Parliament concerning the application of anti-terror laws against children in Turkey, which sends an important signal that the current practice of treating children as terrorists is incompatible with international human rights norms and is not conducive to creating a space for a democratic resolution to the Kurdish issue. KHRP urges the government to allocate sufficient human and financial resources and expertise to ensure not only adequate implementation, but to more widely confront the widespread criminalisation and detention of children.

For more info contact Pranjali Acharya, Resources and Communications Manager or Catriona Vine, Legal Director of the Kurdish Human Rights Project on +44 (0) 207 405 3835

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TURKEY: Kurdish teenager convicted as terrorist for attending demonstration

Convicted of terrorism, a Kurdish teenager is serving a seven-year, nine-month prison sentence in Turkey’s Prison E in Diyarbakir.

Source: Los Angeles Times

 On October 9, 15-year-old Berivan Sayaca left her parents’ home in Batman in southeast Turkey to pay a visit to her aunt. She never came home. Convicted of terrorism, a Kurdish teenager is serving a seven-year, nine-month prison sentence in Turkey’s Prison E in Diyarbakir. On October 9, 15-year-old Berivan Sayaca left her parents’ home in Batman in southeast Turkey to pay a visit to her aunt. She never came home.

According to news reports, Turkish authorities charged that Sayaca stopped at a demonstration organized by the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, known by the acronym PKK, and threw stones at police. Her advocates deny that she attended the protest and say she simply passed through the crowd. They say the rally was coordinated not by the PKK but by the recently banned Kurdish political party Peace and Democracy, or BDP.

In densely populated and economically suffering southeast Turkey, pro-Kurdish protests are commonplace. On some occasions, youths have thrown stones and gasoline bombs at police, who respond with tear gas and water cannons, the BBC reported. Continue reading

Story of a ‘stone throwing terrorist’

Hundreds of Kurdish children and teenagers are imprisoned in Turkey. They are being charged with terror crimes on account of throwing stones to the police.


Hundreds of Kurdish children and teenagers are imprisoned in Turkey. They are being charged with terror crimes on account of throwing stones to the police. While some of these ‘stone terrorists’ are held with adults some of them are suffering various diseases.

Epileptic Enes Baran was 16 when he was imprisoned for throwing stones to the police. His mother Valide Baran describes him as a good son and a good student at school.

Enes was arrested on the third day of eid el-adha in 2009 after he left his house to visit some relatives. The family was not allowed to see him until next day evening despite the fact hat he was underage. Continue reading

Act now to stop unfair prosecutions of children under Turkey¹s anti-terror laws


Act now to stop unfair prosecutions of children under Turkey’s anti-terror laws

19 July 2010
AI Index: PRE01/005/2010

Amnesty International has warned that draft legislative amendments scheduled to be discussed by the Parliament tomorrow, 20 July, would not, on their own, prevent violations of the rights of children.
“To end unfair prosecutions under anti-terrorism laws, the authorities must amend the definition of the crimes themselves, not only the ones under which children are sentenced,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey.

Amnesty International’s research has shown that children, some as young as 12, have been prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws in adult courts, in violation of present domestic law, in provinces where no Children’s Courts exist.

The amendments would reduce or withdraw the sentences of some of the children convicted under anti-terrorism laws, a reform long demanded by civil society groups in Turkey. They also aim to end the prosecution of children in adult Special Heavy Penal Courts.

Overly broad and vague anti-terrorism legislation regarding “membership of a terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” under which the children are prosecuted would remain unchanged. Continue reading

Young Berivan suffers from isolation in prison

Her family says she has hurt herself several times

Source: ANF Ankara

Fifteen-year-old girl goes through a trauma in prison since she has been held alone in a barrack for nine months. She has hurt herself sometimes, said her families.

Young Berivan Sayaca had been sentenced to seven years and nine months in prison for simply throwing stones at police during a meeting organized by Peace and Democracy Part (BDP) in Batman.

Berivan began to be known by public following her letter to the Human Rights Association Elazig Branch. She said in her letter that “I’m drowning and imprisoned though I have committed no great crime. It is more than I can stand. I feel so much pain. I do not deserve to be here.” Continue reading

Turkey: “Too many children are detained”

Strasbourg, 07.07.2010 –

“There is a need of radical reform of the juvenile justice system in Turkey”, said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing today two letters sent to the Turkish Government on human rights issues.
Following the Commissioner’s visit to Turkey from 23 to 26 May 2010, the letters were sent to the Ministers of Justice and of Interior, focusing mainly on juvenile justice, and implementation of anti-terrorist laws, as well as on the human rights of internally displaced and of asylum seekers.

In his letter to the Minister of Justice, the Commissioner expresses his concern about the situation of children detained, prosecuted and sentenced particularly under anti-terrorist legislation in east and southeast Turkey. “Too many children are detained in Turkey. This situation is at variance with international and European standards. Detention of children should be an exceptional measure and a means of last resort.” Continue reading

Justice and Freedom for Kurdish children – public meeting on Tue 20 July 7pm

“The Turkish authorities are obliged under international and domestic law to protect the rights of children, during their arrest, detention and trial. However, these rights are systematically violated. The arrests and prosecutions continue,” said Andrew Gardner, author of a new Amnesty International report, “Turkey: All Children Have Rights.” 

Public Meeting

Justice and Freedom for Kurdish Children
End the Prosecution of Children under the Anti-Terror Laws in Turkey

Tuesday, 20 July, 7-9pm
Committee Room 4, House of Lords, Westminster, SW1
Hosted by Lord Rea
Guest speaker: Serkan Akbas
Lawyer, Member of Diyarbakir Bar Association, Executive Committee of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Diyarbakir
and supporter of Justice for Children Initiative
Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP

Hywel Williams MP
Andrew Gardner
Researcher on Turkey for Amnesty and author of the AI report
“Turkey: All Children Have Rights”

Carla Ferstman
Director of Redress
Ali Has
Kurdish lawyer, British Peace Council Continue reading

Dayê Min Bifiltîne/ My mum rescue me, by Aygul Erce

Aygul Erce is a singer-song writer of Kurdish and Turkish origin. Aygul is known for her unique eclectic style and blend of Jazz, Blues and Traditional folk melodies, fused with her  inspiring Operatic vocals.

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30 soldiers attacked children in Maltepe Prison

Children in Maltepe prison suffer threats and violence


According to reports obtained by ANF, Kurdish children detained in Maltepe prison under the TMK (Anti-Terrorism Law) were first threatened, then attacked and tortured by soldiers. The families of children are anxious because the children aren’t provided with food and are deprived of hygiene, health and education rights.

In a phone call to his family, a child named W. said that soldiers threaten them while counting heads and also got in the wards late at night and attack children. The pressure on child prisoners is gradually increasing. It was stated that soldiers used violence on children in the attack on 8 June. At the same day, nearly 30 soldiers attacked the children together with guardians. The kids have not been fed, while windows were broken during the attack. The same child, named as W., was exposed to more pressure and continuous threats after his statements were televised on Roj TV.

Translator: Berna Ozgencil