31 Children Tried Under Charges of Terrorism

Emine ÖZCAN- According to information from the ‚Call for Justice for Children‘ Initiative 31 children appear before the courts under charges of terrorism only in August.

One child was released, one child was sentenced to 6 months in prison. The ‚Call for Justice for Children‘ initiative requests „Immediate justice to the children who are victims of the Anti-Terrorism Law (TMK)“. On the World Peace Day on 1 September the group organized an event in Istanbul called „The name of peace is child“ to inform about detained and tried children.

The Anti-Terrorism Law was effected in 1991 and renewed in 2006. It states that children aged between 12 and 18 years accused for terror should be detained, interrogated and tried under the same conditions as adults. Tilbe Saran and Murat Garipoğlu from the organization Civil Platform object to the law, warning that with every day that passes by another victim of the law is being added.

According to the group’s information 127 children are currently detained. 3000 children are on trial but the Ministry of Justice does not confirm a precise figure.

The cases of children that attended court hearings in Diyarbakır and Adana throughout the months of August are listed below:

4 August, Diyarbakır: after 6 months in detention 17-year-old adolescent K.E. from the town of Bismil and 16-year-old K.G. were not released. The hearing was postponed to 4 September.

6 August, Diyarbakır: 8 children attended a court hearing: 15-year-old S.Ş, the two 16-year-old A.E. (in detention for 18 months) and Ş.A., the three 17-year-old adolescents M.U., A.T. (tried without detention) and S.O. and the two 18-year-old M.G. and M.T. Only 17-year-old S.O., who had been detained since 4 April 2009, was released. For the other 7 children the hearing was postponed to 29 September.

14 August, Adana: 15 children from Mersin are on trial, only 16-year-old H.A. is not in detention. For 15-year-old Y.A. an arrest warrant was issued. The other children are trialed in detention and none of them was released in this hearing. The case was postponed to 3 November 2009.

18 August, Diyarbakir: 17-year-old F.K. was sentenced to 6 months in prison.

20 August, Diyarbakır: The two 17-year-old M.S.T. and M.K. are detained since 20 September 2008, 17-year-old M.H.G. is in detention since 15 February 2009. Their hearing was postponed to 1 September 2009.

20 August, Diyarbakır: The hearing of 16-year-old K.A. from Diyarbakır, who is detained since 15 February 2009, was postponed to 24 September 2009.

Hearings scheduled for September 2009:

1 September, Diyarbakır: Hearing of un-detained 14-year-old Y.V.

3 September, Diyarbakır: Hearing of detained 17-year-old K.Y. from Batman.

4 September, Diyarbakır: Hearing of the two adolescences K.E. and K.G. 17-year-old K.E. is detained for 6 months. 16-year-old K.G. is tried un-detained.

8 September, Adana: Hearing of the three teenagers F.E., M.K. and S.K. from Adana. 15-year-old F.E. is in detention since 11 months. 16-year-old S.K. is on trial un-detained.

14 September, Diyarbakır: Hearing of different groups of children on trial under various articles from the Anti-Terrorism Law (TMK) and the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK). One group consists of 6 children from Diyarbakır aged between 15 and 17 years. One of them is the juvenile C.B., who was released from detention after 5 months on 17 March. Adolescences H.D. and Z.Ç. from the second group are detained for five and a half months. On the same day 16 children from the town of Cizre and one child from Kızıltepe district in Mardin are on trial.

16 September, Izmir: Two separate groups of children are on trial. In the first group 3 children, who have been released from detention some time ago, are tried. Also the second group consists of three children. Teenager A.G. has been kept in detention for 2 years and 2 months. Meanwhile he reached his eighteenths birthday in prison.

21 September, Adana: Trial of 15-year-old H.K., 16-year-old İ.A. and 17-year-old K.G. All three juveniles were released after a 6 month detention.

29 September, Diyarbakır: Hearing of H.D and Z.Ç, both of them detained for 8 months, together with un-detained İ.Ö.

30 September, Van: Three children on trial. 17-year-old R.D. was released after 4 and a half month in detention. The two 14-year-old F.A. and S.A. are un-detained.

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