Human Rights Organizations
Human Rights Watch: In Custody: Police Torture and Abductions in Turkey
October 2017 / (49 Pages)
Based on interviews with lawyers and relatives, and on a review of court transcripts, this report looks in detail at ten cases in which security forces tortured or ill-treated a total of 22 people, and an eleventh case in which police beat scores of villagers, 38 of whom lodged formal complaints of torture. The report also presents details of five individual cases of abduction that likely amount to enforced disappearance by state authorities since March 2017.
December 2016 / (5 Pages, Video)
Turkey is experiencing an unprecedented rate of press freedom violations. At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, all of them facing anti-state charges, in the wake of an unprecedented crackdown that has included the shuttering of more than 100 news outlets. The 259 journalists in jail worldwide is the highest number recorded since 1990. In Turkey, media freedom was already under siege in early 2016, with authorities arresting, harassing, and expelling journalists and shutting down or taking over news outlets.
Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2017: Turkey
2017 / (28 Pages)
Turkey’s political rights rating declined from 3 to 4, its civil liberties rating declined from 4 to 5, and it received a downward trend arrow due to the security and political repercussions of an attempted coup in July, which led the government to declare a state of emergency and carry out mass arrests and firings. Over 150,000 people—including soldiers, police, judicial officials, civil servants, academics, and schoolteachers—were detained, arrested, or dismissed from their positions in a massive purge of suspected coup plotters and other perceived enemies of the state.
May 2018 / (22Pages)
From July 2016 through the end of the year, police arrested more than 50,000 individuals for alleged ties to the Gulen movement or related groups. During the year the government suspended or dismissed thousands of public officials from state institutions, including more than a thousand Diyanet employees. The government continued to prosecute individuals for “openly disrespecting the religious belief of a group” and continued to limit the rights of non-Muslim minorities, especially those not recognized under the 1923 Lausanne Treaty.
October 2018 / (30 Pages)
On 20 July 2016 with the stated aim of countering threats to national security arising from the coup attempt. While the state of emergency was initially declared for three months, it would be renewed seven times, and its remit broadened to include combating ‘terrorist’ organizations. The state of emergency finally ended on 18 July 2018, two years after it was first announced, On the evening of 15 July 2016, elements within Turkey’s armed forces attempted a violent coup. The coup attempt was quickly thwarted as thousands of people took to the streets and state forces overpowered the coup plotters. Hundreds died, and thousands were injured in a night of terrible violence. The government declared a state of emergency soon having ushered in a period of tremendous upheaval in Turkish public life.
United Nations Human Rights
Life sentences imposed on six journalists today by a court in Turkey are an unparalleled attack on freedom of expression and on the media, two international experts on media freedom have said in a joint statement.
“These harsh sentences are an unacceptable and unprecedented assault on freedom of expression and on the media in Turkey,” said David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Harlem Désir, the Representative on Media Freedom for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).