Citation: 2020 RLLR 40
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: February 25, 2020
Panel: J. Kim
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Aleksandar Jeremic
RPD Number: TB8-27767
Associated RPD Number: TB8-27831
ATIP Number: A-2021-00655
ATIP Pages: 000071-000075
 MEMBER: Okay, this is a decision for the following claimant’s [XXX] File number TB8-27767. I’ve considered your testimony and other evidence in the case and I’m ready to render my decision orally.
 You are claiming to be citizens of Turkey and are claiming refugee protection pursuant to Section 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
 I find that you are Convention refugees for the following reasons.
 You allege the following; that you are citizens of Turkey and are Alevi’s and that if you were to return you will face persecution due to your active involvement with HTP and CHP. You allege that there is no state protection for you or an internal flight alternative.
 You allege that you were detained multiple times by the police and that even after you left Turkey people who knew you were being asked about you by the police when they themselves were detained.
 Your personal identity as citizens of Turkey has been established by your testimony and the supporting documents including your passports and your identity as Alevi has been established by your testimony and the supporting documents including a support letter from your father, [XXX] and a letter from Canadian Alevi Culture Centre.
 I find that on a balance of probabilities that your personal and religious identities have been established.
 I find that there is a link between what you fear and one of the five convention grounds specifically political opinion. I therefore assessed your claims under Section 96.
 In terms of your general credibility I have found you to be credible witnesses and I therefore believe what you have alleged in your oral testimony and in your basis of claim forms. Your testimony was straightforward and was in keeping with your basis of claim form and there are no significant inconsistencies or omissions that went to the heart of the claim.
 I therefore find the following to be credible; that you are people who face persecution due to your involvement with the oppositional parties, namely HTP and CHP, at the hands of the state authorities.
 Your oral testimony today included details regarding your involvement with HTP and CHP and the incidents you experienced with the police. You testified how you became involved with both parties and the roles and responsibilities you had.
 You also describe the number of protests and rallies you attended as well as the work you did helping with referendum and election campaigns which lead to a house raid where your parent’s house was raided by the police and all of your sisters including yourself was taken into the police station and was interrogated.
 You testified prior to the house raid that you experienced violent encounters with the police and were detained multiple times after protests. You also testified that you received phone calls that threatened you to stop your political engagements.
 Your sister the associate claimant also testified regarding her involvement in political parties and rallies and the subsequent detainment and the house raid she also experienced.
 You also provided documents in support of your testimony that you have been active members and supporters of HTP and CHP and that you have been experiencing threats and risk from the police and these documents include letters of support from your friend, father and sister, photographs of the associate claimant as she was campaigning for the referendum and a letter from Canadian centre for victims of torture.
 You also submitted social media posts that were critical towards the government, the letter from your sister and your friend who was detained and interrogated after you left Turkey which describes how police were still looking for you and harassing your family members and friends to get information about you.
 Your testimony and the supporting documentation all establish that you have been actively involved in the HTP and CHP and therefore have been targeted by the state authorities.
 The objective documentation supports your allegations that individuals in your circumstance face persecution at the hands of state authorities and society at large.
 According to the national documentation package Item 1.6, 2.1, 2.3, 13.1 and 13.3 the persecution that the HTP supporters and those who voice criticism against the government face, they face discrimination and violence.
 National documentation package Item 13.1 speaks to it by stating that the anti Kurdish sentiment is high in Turkey and permissive political environment turns this sentiment into violence in some cases.
 Item 13.3 describes that the anti terrorism legislation led members of the Kurdish community to be vulnerable to violence and that there are significant restrictions on their rights to freedom of expression and association as well as (inaudible), arrest and detention and persecution.
 In your case it’s not that the state authorities identify you as Kurdish people but as those who are active in supporting HTP and their goals.
 Item 2.3 describes the correlation between the heightened conflicts between the resurgence and how the Turkish government has been using these conflicts to justify a crackdown on Kurdish political parties, media outlets and civil society organizations.
 NDP Item 1.6 and 2.3 also describe how the different laws such as anti terror and defamation laws have been used to stop political opponents as well as ordinary citizens from voicing criticism by filing criminal charges against and persecuting a wide range of individuals.
 According to the national documentation package Item 2.1 during the year of 2018 the government opened investigations into thousands of individuals including minors for insulting the president and the detainees charged against anti terror laws had no substantial link to terrorism and that they were detained to silence critical voices or weaken political opposition to the ruling AKP particularly the HTP members and officials.
 Specifically Item NDP Item 11.3 and 11.4 describe the lack of freedom of speech on the internet and how the government recently started to crackdown on those who post, posted critical things against the government through criminal investigation and persecutions which have affected a wide range of people from journalists and human rights activists to high school and university students and construction workers.
 I therefore find that you have a well founded fear of persecution. I find that you have rebutted the presumption of state protection because the state is the agent of persecution in this case and it would be unreasonable for you to seek state protection in this case.
 According to the national documentation package Item 2.1 the government continues to take limited steps to investigate, prosecute and punish members of the security forces and other officials accused of human rights abuses and that impunity for such abuses remained a problem.
 In Item 2.3 it describes that the issues of corruption remains a major problem in Turkey.
 Based on your personal circumstances as well as the objective country documentation l find that the adequate state protection will not be available to you as the state will be unwilling to protect you in Turkey.
 As you have rebutted the presumption of state protection and since the country documentation indicates that the situation for individuals in circumstances such as yours is the same throughout the country, I find that you do not have a viable internal flight alternative.
 Based on the totality of evidence I find that you have established that there is a serious possibility of persecution on the convention ground namely the political opinion. I therefore find that you are Convention refugees and I accept your claims.
 Thank you.
———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-