We’ve gathered here because
we want Yiğit back!

BEHIND BARS for 191 Days!

Why isn’t Yiğit with us?

Yiğit Aksakoğlu was one of 13 academics, rights activists and NGO professionals, including Dean of Bilgi University Law School Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı and Prof. Dr. Betül Tanbay of the Mathematics Division of Boğaziçi University, and taken into custody during police raids on their residence early on Friday 16 November 2018.

The detainees were informed that they were being investigated under Article 312 of the Turkish penal code, which regulates crimes involving attempts to overthrow government or obstruct its functioning. They were questioned regarding theGezi Park demonstrations of 2013 and alleged connections with Mr. Osman Kavala, who has been in prison pending trial since 2017.

While all other detainees were released during the day or the following day, Yiğit  was placed under arrest on Saturday 17 November 2018 by the 6th Magistrates’ Court.

What accusations lead to Yiğit’s arrest?

The justification given for Yiğit’s pre-trial arrest is his alleged moderation of a civil society seminar which, according to the Prosecution, aimed to incite “civil disobedience” and “non-violent action.” The Court has stated that it had not been able to “ascertain the precise nature and proceedings of this seminar” though the Court has stated that it was “persuaded that the activity’s aim was to propagate and deepen Gezi Park demonstrations”. However the criminal nature of the event, the legal basis of the accusations and the existence of valid evidence remains uncertain. Furthermore, no evidence regarding Yiğit’s alleged involvement with Mr. Osman Kavala and Anadolu Kültür (Charity founded & run by Mr. Kavala) has yet been provided by the prosecution.

About Yiğit Aksakoğlu

Yiğit Aksakoğlu is an NGO professional working on rights-based approaches to early child development.He graduated from St. Joseph High School in İzmir in 1994 and continued his education at Yıldız Technical University graduating as a Civil Engineer. During his university studies, Yiğit Aksakoğlu, started his NGO activities through active involvement in AEGEE (Association des Etats Generaux des Etudiants de L’Europe). His line of work was on European integration, youth participation and good governance.

After his graduation from Yıldız Technical University (Istanbul), he continued his post graduate studies at London School of Economics on “NGO Management and Development in Developing Countries”. He worked at TESEV (Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation) and Istanbul Bilgi University’s NGO Training & Research Center professionally. Between 2003 and 2008, he lectured on “Advocacy and Influencing Policy” and “Project Management”. He also published two books in the same period, titled “Advocacy and Influencing Policy” and “Preparing Project Proposals for NGOs”.

Since 2011, he has been working as a consultant and later as the official representative of Netherlands based Bernard van Leer Foundation, working for children aged between 0-3 yrs., in the fields of early childhood development, well-being of mothers and supportive and safe city planning and development.

Yiğit Aksakoğlu is married and has two children.

Judicial Process

4 March 2019

Istanbul 30th High Criminal Court acknowledged the bill of indictment on "Gezi Park Acts" sent by the Prosecutor's Office on the 19th of February.

1 March 2019

Yiğit's lawyers filed an appeal to the Constitutional Court. Motives of the appeal were as follows: Yiğit has been held in solitary confinement for more than three months, the review of his detention status was conducted without a hearing, requests for his release have been rejected without grounds and the Prosecutor’s Office refuses to meet with Yiğit's lawyers over the investigation.

19 February 2019

Istanbul Prosecutor's Office, on 19th February 2019, made a public announcement during a press conference, that the bill of indictment regarding the so-called “Gezi Park Acts” had been prepared and sent to 30th High Criminal Court for acknowledgement.The indictment will not become public until it has been acknowledged by the Court, thus it is not yet known what the accusations against Mr. Yiğit Aksakoğlu are.

8 February 2019

Yiğit, continues to be detained at Silivri Prison. Ever since his detention, appeals for his release have been systematically denied. On the third month of his detention (February 8, 2109), the request to review his detention which was heard in court was also denied.

30 November 2018

The appeal of 20th November was rejected on 30th November 2018, 10th day following the appeal, by the Court.

20 November 2018

After his arrest on 17th of November 2018, appeal by his lawyers against Yiğit's detention was referred to 7th Magistrates' Court through the Prosecutor's Office.

17 November 2018

While all other detainees were released during the day or the following day, Yiğit Aksakoğlu was placed under arrest on Saturday 17 November 2018 by the 6th Magistrates' Court.

16 November 2018

Yiğit was one of the thirteen academics, rights activists and NGO professionals, including Dean of Bilgi Üniversity Law School Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı and Prof. Dr. Betül Tanbay of the Mathematics Division of Boğaziçi University, taken into custody in police raids on their homes early on Friday 16 November 2018.

Send Yiğit a letter

Statements

English
18 Nisan 2019

16 April, Press Release

150 days ago, a “lottery” gave me prison and solitary confinement. Of the 16 people…
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English
11 Mart 2019

Turkey Must Release Civil Society Figures

Osman Kavala, Yiğit Aksakoğlu and 14 other prominent civil society figures are facing life in…
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EnglishPress Releases
1 Mart 2019

Lawyers for Yiğit Aksakoğlu take Unlawful detention to Constitutional Court

Yiğit Aksakoğlu was taken into police custody on 16 November 2018 and put in pre-trial…
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We’ve gathered here because
we want Yiğit back!

BEHIND BARS for 191 Days!