Republic of Turkey
Joined United Nations: 24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 11 January 2013
79,749,461 (July 2012 est.)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Prime Minister since 14 March 2003
President elected by the National Assembly for a single seven-year
term; last election: 28 August 2007
Next scheduled election: 2014
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Prime minister appointed by the president from among members
of parliament; last held on 12 June 2011
Next scheduled election: June 2015
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Turkish 70-75%, Kurdish 18%, other minorities 7-12% (2008 est.)
Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)
Republican parliamentary democracy with 81 provinces (iller, singular - il); Legal system is a civil law system derived from various
European continental legal systems; note - member of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), although Turkey claims
limited derogations on the ratified European Convention on Human Rights; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Executive: president elected by the National Assembly for a single seven-year term; prime minister appointed by the president
from among members of parliament
election results: Abdullah GUL received 339 votes in the third round of voting on 28 August 2007, after failing to garner the two
thirds vote required by law in the first two rounds; Next election
note: president-elect must have a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly on the first two ballots and a simple majority on the
third ballot; The Law on Presidential Elections accepted and put into effect on 20 January 2012 decided that presidential elections
will be held in 2014 instead of 2012; within 60 days following the end of the seven-year term of incumbent President of Turkey
Abdullah Gül whom will be the last indirectly elected President of Turkey. I
Legislative: Unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey or Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi (550 seats; members are elected by
popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 12 June 2011 (next to be held by June 2015)
Judicial: Constitutional Court; High Court of Appeals (Yargitay); Council of State (Danistay); Court of Accounts (Sayistay);
Military High Court of Appeals; Military High Administrative Court
Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian
note: there is also a substantial Gagauz population in the European part of Turkey
The Anatolian peninsula (also called Asia Minor), comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest continually inhabited
regions in the world due to its location at the intersection of Asia and Europe. The earliest Neolithic settlements such as Çatalhöyük
(Pottery Neolithic), Çayönü (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A to Pottery Neolithic), Nevali Cori (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B), Hacilar (Pottery
Neolithic), Göbekli Tepe (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) and Mersin are considered to be among the earliest human settlements in the
world. The first major empire in the area was that of the Hittites, from the 18th through the 13th century BCE. Subsequently, the
Phrygians, an Indo-European people, achieved ascendancy until their kingdom was destroyed by the Cimmerians in the 7th century
BCE. The most powerful of Phrygia's successor states were Lydia, Caria and Lycia. The Lydians and Lycians spoke languages that
were fundamentally Indo-European, but both languages had acquired non-Indo-European elements prior to the Hittite and Hellenic
periods. The west coast of Anatolia was meanwhile settled by the Ionians, one of the ancient Greek peoples. The entire area was
conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire during the 6th and 5th centuries and later fell to Alexander the Great in 334 BCE.
Anatolia was subsequently divided into a number of small Hellenistic kingdoms (including Bithynia, Cappadocia, Pergamum, and
Pontus), all of which had succumbed to Rome by the mid-1st century BCE. In 324 CE, the Roman emperor Constantine I
chose Byzantium to be the new capital of the Roman Empire, renaming it New Rome (later Constantinople and Istanbul). After the
fall of the Western Roman Empire, it became the capital of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire). The House of Seljuk
was a branch of the Kinik Oğuz Turks who in the 9th century resided on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian
and Aral Seas in the Yabghu Khaganate of the Oğuz confederacy. In the 10th century, the Seljuks migrated from their ancestral
homelands into the eastern Anatolian regions that had been an area of settlement for Oğuz Turkic tribes since the end of the first
millennium. Following their victory over the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the Turks began to abandon their
nomadic roots in favour of a permanent role in Anatolia, bringing rise to the Seljuk Empire. In 1243, the Seljuk armies were
defeated by the Mongols and the power of the empire slowly disintegrated. In its wake, one of the Turkish principalities governed
by Osman I was to evolve into the Ottoman Empire, thus filling the void left by the collapsed Seljuks and Byzantines. The Ottoman
Empire interacted with both Eastern and Western cultures throughout its 623-year history. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was
among the world's most powerful political entities, often locking horns with the powers of eastern Europe in its steady advance
through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Following years of decline, the Ottoman Empire
entered World War I through the Ottoman-German Alliance in 1914, and was ultimately defeated. After the war, the victorious
Allied Powers sought the dismemberment of the Ottoman state through the Treaty of Sèvres. The occupation of İstanbul and İzmir
by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish national movement. Under the leadership of
Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli, the Turkish War of
Independence was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres. By September 18, 1922, the occupying
armies were repelled and the country saw the birth of the new Turkish state. On November 1, the newly founded parliament
formally abolished the Sultanate, thus ending 623 years of Ottoman rule. The Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 led to the international
recognition of the sovereignty of the newly formed "Republic of Turkey" as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, and the
republic was officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923, in the new capital of Ankara. Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first
president and subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of founding a new secular republic from the remnants of its
Ottoman past. According to the Law on Family Names, the Turkish parliament presented Mustafa Kemal with the honorific name
"Atatürk" (Father of the Turks) in 1934. Turkey entered World War II on the side of the Allies on February 23, 1945 as a
ceremonial gesture and became a charter member of the United Nations in 1945. Difficulties faced by Greece after the war in
quelling a communist rebellion, along with demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits, prompted the
United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of
Turkey and Greece, and resulted in large-scale US military and economic support. After participating with United Nations forces in
the Korean conflict, Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet
expansion into the Mediterranean. Following a decade of intercommunal violence on the island of Cyprus and the subsequent
Athens-inspired coup, Turkey intervened militarily in 1974. Nine years later Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was
established. TRNC is recognised only by Turkey. Following the end of the single-party period in 1945, the multi-party period
witnessed tensions over the following decades, and the period between the 1960s and the 1980s was particularly marked by
periods of political instability that resulted in a number of military coups d'états in 1960, 1971, 1980 and a post-modern coup d'état
in 1997. The liberalization of the Turkish economy that started in the 1980s changed the landscape of the country, with successive
periods of high growth and crises punctuating the following decades. With the turn of the 1990s, political instability returned. In
1997, the military, citing his government's support for religious policies deemed dangerous to Turkey's secular nature, sent a
memorandum to Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan requesting that he resign, which he did. This was named a postmodern coup. A
series of economic shocks led to new elections in 2002, bringing into power the conservative Justice and Development Party (AK
Party) of former mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The political reforms of AK Party has ensured the beginning of the
negotiations with the European Union. AK Party again won the 2007 elections, which followed the controversial August 2007
presidential election, during which AK Party member Abdullah Gül was elected President at the third round. 2011 figures showed a
9% GDP growth for Turkey. Alleged members of a clandestine group called Ergenekon were detained in 2008 as part of a long
and complex trial. Members are accused of terrorism and plotting to overthrow the civilian government. On 22 February 2010
more than 40 officers arrested and then were formally charged with attempting to overthrow the government with respect to so-
called "Sledgehammer" plot. The Syrian conflict which began in March 2011 has drawn Turkey onto the periphery of the conflict as
tens of thousands of Syrian refugees have sought asylum in Turkey and arms to rebel forces are purported to stream into Syria
across the Turkish frontier. On 3 October 2012, a Syrian–Turkish border clash ensued when a mortar shell fired from Syria hit a
residential neighborhood of the Turkish border town of Akçakale. Five Turkish citizens were killed, and the Turkish military
responded with artillery strikes against targets inside Syria. This was the most serious cross-border escalation to date.
Source: Wikipedia: History of Turkey
Turkey's largely free-market economy is increasingly driven by its industry and service sectors, although its traditional agriculture
sector still accounts for about 25% of employment. An aggressive privatization program has reduced state involvement in basic
industry, banking, transport, and communication, and an emerging cadre of middle-class entrepreneurs is adding dynamism to the
economy and expanding production beyond the traditional textiles and clothing sectors. The automotive, construction, and
electronics industries, are rising in importance and have surpassed textiles within Turkey's export mix. Oil began to flow through the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in May 2006, marking a major milestone that will bring up to 1 million barrels per day from the
Caspian to market. Several gas pipelines projects also are moving forward to help transport Central Asian gas to Europe through
Turkey, which over the long term will help address Turkey's dependence on imported oil and gas to meet 97% of its energy needs.
After Turkey experienced a severe financial crisis in 2001, Ankara adopted financial and fiscal reforms as part of an IMF program.
The reforms strengthened the country's economic fundamentals and ushered in an era of strong growth - averaging more than 6%
annually until 2008. Global economic conditions and tighter fiscal policy caused GDP to contract in 2009, but Turkey's
well-regulated financial markets and banking system helped the country weather the global financial crisis and GDP rebounded
strongly to 8.2% in 2010, as exports returned to normal levels following the recession. Turkey's public sector debt to GDP ratio has
fallen to roughly 40%. Continued strong growth has pushed inflation to the 8% level, however, and worsened an already high
current account deficit. Turkey remains dependent on often volatile, short-term investment to finance its large trade deficit. The
stock value of FDI stood at $99 billion at year-end 2011. Inflows have slowed considerably in light of continuing economic turmoil
in Europe, the source of much of Turkey's FDI. Further economic and judicial reforms and prospective EU membership are
expected to boost Turkey's attractiveness to foreign investors. However, Turkey's relatively high current account deficit, uncertainty
related to monetary policy-making, and political turmoil within Turkey's neighborhood leave the economy vulnerable to destabilizing
shifts in investor confidence.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Turkey)
Turkey is a parliamentary representative democracy. Since its foundation as a republic in 1923, Turkey has developed a strong
tradition of secularism. Turkey's constitution governs the legal framework of the country. It sets out the main principles of
government and establishes Turkey as a unitary centralized state.
The head of state is the President of the Republic and has a largely ceremonial role. The president is elected for a seven-year term
by the parliament but is not required to be one of its members. The last President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, was elected on May 16,
2000, after having served as the President of the Constitutional Court. He was succeeded on August 28, 2007 by Abdullah Gül.
Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers which make up the government, while the
legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The judiciary is independent of the
executive and the legislature, and the Constitutional Court is charged with ruling on the conformity of laws and decrees with the
constitution. The Council of State is the tribunal of last resort for administrative cases, and the High Court of Appeals for all others.
The Prime Minister is elected by the parliament through a vote of confidence in his government and is most often the head of the
party that has the most seats in parliament. The current Prime Minister is the former mayor of İstanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,
whose conservative AKP won an absolute majority of parliamentary seats in the 2002 general elections, organized in the aftermath
of the economic crisis of 2001, with 34% of the suffrage. In the 2007 general elections, AKP received 46.6% of the votes and
could defend its majority in parliament. Neither the Prime Minister nor the Ministers have to be members of the parliament, but in
most cases they are (one notable exception was Kemal Derviş, the Minister of State in Charge of Economy following the financial
crisis of 2001; he is currently the president of the United Nations Development Programme).
Since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the modern secular Republic of Turkey in 1923, the Turkish military has perceived itself as
the guardian of Atatürkçülük, the official state ideology. The TAF still maintains an important degree of influence over Turkish
politics and the decision making process regarding issues related to Turkish national security, albeit decreased in the past decades,
via the National Security Council. The military has had a record of intervening in politics. Indeed, it assumed power for several
periods in the latter half of the 20th century. It executed coups d'état in 1960, in 1971, and in 1980. Most recently, it maneuvered
the removal of an Islamic-oriented prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan, in 1997. On 22 February 2010 more than 40 officers
arrested and then were formally charged with attempting to overthrow the government with respect to alleged "Sledgehammer" plot
. They include four admirals, a general and two colonels, some of them retired, including former commanders of the Turkish navy
and air force (three days later, the former commanders of the navy and air force were released).
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Turkey
complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea; status of north Cyprus question remains; Syria and
Iraq protest Turkish hydrological projects to control upper Euphrates waters; Turkey has expressed concern over the status of
Kurds in Iraq; in 2009, Swiss mediators facilitated an accord reestablishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, but
neither side has ratified the agreement and the rapprochement effort has faltered; Turkish authorities have complained that blasting
from quarries in Armenia might be damaging the medieval ruins of Ani, on the other side of the Arpacay valley;
Refugees (country of origin): 5,277 (Iraq); 150,906 (Syria) (2012)
IDPs: 954,000-1.2 million (fighting 1984-99 between Kurdish PKK and Turkish military; most IDPs in southeastern provinces)
Key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, the US - via air, land, and sea routes;
major Turkish and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine
base into heroin exist in remote regions of Turkey and near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal
opium poppy cultivation and over output of poppy straw concentrate; lax enforcement of money-laundering controls.
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: Turkey
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
Turkey is a constitutional republic with a multiparty parliamentary system and a president with limited powers. In the June 12
parliamentary elections, considered generally free and fair, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) formed a parliamentary majority
under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces.
The most significant human rights problems in the country during the year were:
1. Deficiencies in effective access to justice: Broad laws against terrorism and threats to the state, political pressure, and inadequacies in
the judicial system limited access to justice, as did lengthy pretrial detention and lack of transparency in the prosecution of cases related
to state security. The time lag between arrests and presentation of indictments; leaks of information, evidence, or statements; restricted
defense access to evidence put forward by the prosecution; and the secrecy of the investigation orders also fueled concerns about the
effectiveness of judicial protections for suspects. The close connection between prosecutors and judges gave the appearance of
impropriety and unfairness in criminal cases, while the broad authority granted to prosecutors and judges contributed to inconsistent and
uncertain application of criminal laws. During the year the government adopted judicial reforms to speed up and improve judicial
2. Government interference with freedom of speech and press: The penal code and antiterror law retain multiple articles that restrict
press freedom and public speech on politically and culturally sensitive topics. The arrest and prosecution of journalists, writers, and
Kurdish intellectuals and political activists, coupled with condemnatory speeches by political leaders, had a chilling effect on freedom of
expression. Politicians, including the prime minister, sued their critics for defamation at all levels. More than 100 journalists remained
imprisoned at year’s end, with most charged under antiterrorism laws or for connections to an illegal organization. Intellectuals, writers,
journalists, and media outlets increasingly report practicing self-censorship to avoid prosecution, although the media continued to
criticize government leaders and policies daily and in many cases adopted an adversarial role with respect to the government. The
government and the courts limited access to a broad range of Web sites based on their content.
3. Inadequate protection of vulnerable populations: The government did not effectively protect vulnerable populations, including women,
children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, from societal abuse, discrimination, and violence. Violence
against women, including so-called honor killings and rape, remained a particularly significant problem. Child marriage persisted.
Other significant human rights problems reported during the year included: Security forces committed unlawful killings. Demonstrations
in the country’s southeast and elsewhere related to the Kurdish issue, student’s rights, and activities of the Higher Education Board
(YOK) were marred by violence, and members of the security forces allegedly used excessive force. Prisons were overcrowded. Law
enforcement officials did not always provide detainees immediate access to an attorney.
The government investigated reports of abuse by security forces and other government officials, but the number of arrests and
prosecutions was low, and convictions remained rare. Impunity was a problem.
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3 November 2012
Human Rights Committee
Concluding observations on the initial report of Turkey adopted by the Committee at its 106th session, 15 October to 2
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the initial report of Turkey and the information presented therein while regretting
that it was submitted late. The Committee is grateful to the State party for its written replies (CCPR/TUR/Q/1/Add.1) to the list of issues
which were supplemented by the oral responses provided by the delegation and for the supplementary information provided to it in
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee welcomes the following legislative and institutional steps taken by the State party:
(a) The 2010 Constitutional reform;
(b) The abolition of the death penalty in 2002 and the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances in 2004;
(c) The 2003 new Labour Law No. 4857, that introduced new improvements to eliminate inequalities between men and women in
the field of work.
4. The Committee welcomes the ratification by the State party of:
(a) The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2004;
(b) The Optional Protocols I and II to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in 2006;
C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations
5. The Committee is concerned that the State party maintains its declarations and reservation made at the time of ratification of the
Covenant and its Optional Protocol. In particular, the Committee is concerned that one of these declarations appears in fact to be a
reservation limiting the effect of the Covenant to the national territory of the State party, which could result in the complete non-
applicability of the Covenant to persons subject to its jurisdiction in situations where its troops or police forces operate abroad.
The State party should consider withdrawing its reservation and declarations. In accordance with the Committee’s general comment No.
31, the State party should ensure that all persons under its jurisdiction and effective control are afforded the full enjoyment of the rights
enshrined in the Covenant.
6. The Committee is concerned at the apparently limited level of awareness of the provisions of the Covenant among the judiciary,
the legal profession and the general public, as a result of which there are few cases in which the provisions of the Covenant have been
invoked or applied by national courts. (art. 2)
The State party should take measures to raise awareness among judges, legal profession and the general public of the rights
set out in the Covenant and their applicability under domestic law. In its next periodic report, the State party should include detailed
information on the application of the Covenant by national courts.
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Obama Must Speak Out on Hostile Climate for Free Speech in Turkey
Jan 10 2013 - 11:00am
Dear Mr. President,
Turkey is a longstanding and valuable ally of the United States. On a bipartisan basis over the course of ten Presidencies, the United
States has supported democratic and economic reform in Turkey, as well as the emergence of civilian control over the military and the
expansion of human rights and civil liberties. In order to anchor Turkey in the West, the United States has consistently supported
Turkey's inclusion in the premier security and economic institutions of Europe—NATO and the European Union.
We are concerned, however, that in recent years Turkey's progress has stalled and in some crucial areas regressed. As noted in the U.S.
State Department’s most recent Human Rights report on Turkey: “The arrest and prosecution of journalists, writers, and Kurdish
intellectuals and political activists, coupled with condemnatory speeches by political leaders, had a chilling effect on freedom of
Since that report was issued, the situation has only gotten worse. An October 2012 report by the Committee to Protect Journalists
stated that Turkey now has “the disreputable distinction of being the world’s worst jailer of the press”—an analysis shared by Reporters
Without Borders. These developments have had a detrimental effect not only upon Turkey internally, but also hinder Turkey's
contribution on the world stage.
Prime Minister Erdogan has recently voiced support for anti-blasphemy laws that would further restrict freedom of speech. The
government has largely abandoned efforts to protect Kurdish minority rights and to end the armed Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Hundreds
of military officers, as well as various scholars and journalists, have been arrested and charged through trials dogged by allegations of
fabricated evidence used by the prosecution. Many now face prison terms of twenty years or more pending appeal. Moreover, given
that many of these officials have worked closely with the United States and our NATO allies over the years, these trials are also a blow
to NATO's overall collective capability. Finally, Turkey, once a leader in the region on the role of women in society, has alarmingly few
women in high level government positions and professions, and has seen a steady decline in women's participation in the labor force.
America's close ties to Turkey and our considerable stake in Turkey's future require attention to these developments. With respect, you
have reportedly built a close personal relationship with Prime Minister Erdogan. We urge you to express publicly and privately America's
concerns about Turkey's backsliding, and to direct diplomatic efforts toward ensuring that Turkey resumes a course designed to
consolidate democracy and the rule of law.
Given recent developments in the Middle East, especially in Syria, but also across the region, close U.S.-Turkish relations are more
important than ever. That relationship, however, needs to be based on our shared values, not just shared strategic interests. We urge
you to make rule of law and political freedoms a priority in your engagements with Prime Minister Erdogan.
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Turkey: No truth and no justice one year after the Uludere/Qileban bombing
27 December 2012
Amnesty International is extremely concerned that, one year on, the truth about the bombing by a Turkish warplane in the Uludere/
Qileban district of the south eastern province of Şırnak in which 34 civilians, majority of whom were children were killed, has still not
been established. A Parliamentary inquiry by a sub-committee of the Human Rights Inquiry Committee was established in January 2012,
with the task of investigating the incident. According to media reports, the Uludere sub-committee has been denied access to key army
documents. The sub committee’s chair has, in any case, stated on a number of occasions that its task would not be to determine
individual responsibility for the decision to carry out the bombing. Amnesty International is concerned that the publication of the sub-
committee’s report has repeatedly been postponed and that recent scheduled meetings have reportedly been cancelled.
Significant flaws in the criminal investigation have already been highlighted by Turkish human rights organisations and in by the
European Union in its annual progress report on Turkey published in October this year. There was no investigation of the scene, witness
statements were not taken and no military officials had been interrogated months after the incident. To date no charges have been
brought and the entire investigation has been conducted in secret, with even relatives of the victims been denied any additional
information on its progress or findings to date.
Although the families of the 34 people who died were given compensation for the deaths, they have set it aside until they learn the truth
and see justice done1. Amnesty International is calling on the Uludere sub-committee to conclude its inquiry and publish its findings as
soon as possible and on the Turkish authorities to ensure that a thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the incident is
concluded without delay. All those identified as being responsible for the deaths must be brought to justice, in accordance with Turkey’s
obligations under international human rights law.
On 28 December, a Turkish warplane bombed the area near the village of Roboski/Ortasu in the Uludere/Qileban district of Şırnak. 34
civilians including 18 children were killed in the bombing. In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, eye witness accounts included
statements about soldiers from the Turkish army blocking the passage of the villagers, keeping them in the area where the bombing
subsequently took place. The initial statements by the government regarding the authorities’ belief that the group of villagers were PKK
fighters were put in doubt due to the soldiers’ knowledge of the villagers’ smuggling activities.
In January 2012, a sub committee of the parliamentary Human Rights Inquiry Committee was
established, with the task of investigating the incident.
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Iraq/Turkey: Open Borders to All Syrian Refugees
At Least 10,000 Stranded in Difficult, Dangerous Conditions
October 14, 2012
(Beirut) – The Iraqi and Turkish authorities should immediately re-open border crossings where more than 10,000 Syrians have been
stranded for weeks and allow all those wishing to seek asylum to cross without delay, Human Rights Watch said today. Tens of
thousands of Syrians fleeing recent fighting – including in Syria’s Aleppo, Idlib, and Deir el Zor provinces – are attempting to use the
crossings to reach Iraq and Turkey quickly and safely.
Since the second half of August 2012, Iraq and Turkey have unlawfully prevented thousands of Syrians from entering their countries
through these crossing points. Each country has allowed only a limited number of people to cross, either based on medical emergencies
or on arbitrary limits. Blocking people from crossing international borders to claim asylum – whether through formal or informal
crossing points – breaches international law, Human Rights Watch said.
“Over 10,000 desperate Syrians fleeing the terror of aerial bombardment and shelling are stuck on the Iraqi and Turkish borders, many
living in miserable conditions,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugees researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch. “Iraq and Turkey
should keep their borders open at all times to people fleeing threats to their lives and other forms of persecution.”
Human Rights Watch said that Turkey deserves credit and support for hosting almost 100,000 refugees in 14 camps and thousands of
other Syrians who live outside camps, but that it is required to keep its borders open to people who want to claim asylum. Donor
countries, including the European Union, should provide generous financial and other support to Turkey to establish further camps for
Syrians fleeing the conflict, Human Rights Watch said.
On October 6 and 9, Human Rights Watch met with dozens of Syrians in Syria who were stranded near the Turkish border, all of whom
said they fled aerial bombardment and shelling and that they had been stuck at the border for weeks after Turkish border guards said that
they could not cross. Some said border guards told them they could not cross because Turkey’s refugee camps were full.
A senior Turkish official told Human Rights Watch that because its refugee camps were at capacity, Turkey was making sure some aid
was getting to Syrians inside Syria near Turkey’s border who in Turkey’s view were not in danger of getting caught up in fighting and
only needed assistance.
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Statement by H.E. Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey, at the Open Debate on Security Council Resolution
1325 on Women, Peace and Security,
Since the adoption of the landmark Resolution 1325 in 2000, thanks to the efforts of the international community, including NGOs and
women’s organizations, there has been progress across a broad range of issues for the protection and promotion of women’s and girls’
rights in conflict-affected situations.
However, as today’s debate has shown us, many obstacles still remain. We agree with the recommendations in the report of the
Secretary-General, which guide us towards particular areas where we can do more and better.
In this context, I would like to highlight three aspects in my intervention today.
First is the valuable role that women can play in mediation. As co-chairs of the Group of Friends of Mediation, Turkey, together with
Finland, endeavoured to make sure that the first-ever UN resolution on mediation last year reflected the main elements of Resolution
1325 and subsequent resolutions on Women, Peace and Security.
Second is conflict-related violence against women. As a way of tackling this problem, we believe the Security Council should ensure, as
appropriate, that ceasefire agreements include sexual violence in their definitions. On this occasion, we would like to welcome the
publication of the Guidance for Mediators on Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements, and
encourage its increased utilization.
Third is the interface between security and development and the role women can play in this respect. As we embark upon a process to
develop a set of sustainable development goals for post-2015, we believe that gender equality and empowerment of women should be at
the center of all our solutions and commitments. This will also help further our agenda on women, peace and security.
Before concluding, I would like underline the valuable contribution of UN Women in pursuing UN’s gender-related efforts in a more
systematic and coordinated manner. This is evident also in the women, peace and security agenda. In this respect, we welcome the joint
strategy on gender and mediation launched by UN-Women and the Department of Political Affairs. We also commend the 7-point Action
Plan on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding spearheaded by UN WOMEN and the UN Peacebuilding Support Office.
I wish to conclude by underlining my country’s commitment to the full implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1325 and the
four subsequent Resolutions on women, peace and security.
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TRANSLATED FROM TURKISH BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
We support a democratic solution to the Kurdish Question Dialogue and Negotiation Process
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 00:00
KURDISH STATE POLICY CHANGE you should go.
Human Rights Association of Turkey since its establishment in 1986 has identified that the issue of human rights and democracy, and
continues to work to remedy these problems. These problems are the most important link in the Kurdish issue. The Republic of Turkey
from 1924 until 2009, the Kurdish policy of denial and destruction of the last period of time, since 2009 in recognition of the Kurds and
the Kurdish political movement of the liquidation (alienation) continues. Involved in the political struggle within the limits of policies
aimed at eliminating legal, the criminalization of Kurds in jail, throwing the fight against illegal armed with the tools to fight the Kurds is
manifest in the form. In 2009, the Kurdish policy, and this policy has failed to solve the Kurdish problem not be solved through the
problems with the hope that finally understood.
Since 2009, a variety of new Kurdish policy in accordance with the political power to take some steps, some of the initiatives the point
of recognition of Kurdish identity. Most recent Kurdish as an elective course, such as education curricula to include. Deal with the
Kurdish political movement, however, not taken in the process of origin, unilateral steps to be taken were not solve. As can be seen from
the examples in the world solution to the Kurdish problem, but the problem can be solved by negotiation established a dialogue with their
counterparts. Perspective of human rights on the basis of the process of solution to reveal everyone living in Turkey may be a solution
that will meet the bottom line.
Political power in 2009 will be determined by the Kurdish policy is seen as inadequate to solve the problems, found some new initiatives.
Terminated in July 2011 re-started in July 2009 Kurdish initiative unsustainable intensification of the armed conflict has a point.
Approximately 750 people lost their lives in this process. September 12, Abdullah Ocalan in 2012, initiated by prisoners in prisons and
call for an end on November 18, 2012 erdirdikleri indefinite hunger strikes and non-returnable once again demonstrated the role of
Abdullah Öcalan in solving the problem. With the approval of the political power is important that state officials began meeting with
Abdullah Öcalan in Imrali Island and is an attempt to continue. DTK and BDP Co-chairman Ahmet Turk, a member of the Constitutional
Reconciliation Commission görüştürülmesi Ayla Ata Akat'ın Abdullah Ocalan, has also been a major turning point in breaking the isolation
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01 January 2013
There has been a lot of discussion in Turkey about the recent election in Parliament of the controversial chief ombudsman, as well as
discussion about the idea of an ombudsman.
The average person is not really informed about the services offered by the Ombudsman’s Office, also known as the Public Monitoring
Institution (KDK). The average Turk knows that there is an ombudsman, but I don’t know that anyone even has an idea what the
ombudsman does for them. Neither do I know of anyone who has ever applied to the position. I don’t want to be sarcastic, and I am not
even touching the selection process of the current ombudsman but I am really wondering how an ombudsman will help Turkey.
The Ombudsman’s Office is a public institution that analyzes the conduct of administrative practice or operation (such as operations
conducted by local administrations, state economic enterprises, etc.) upon receipt of a complaint
The Ombudsman’s Office will investigate the grievance and make recommendations to the administration on the application of
appropriate law. The purpose of the ombudsman law is to establish an independent and efficient complaint mechanism regarding the
delivery of public services, and to research, analyze and evaluate the circumstances of a grievance and suggest a possible resolution to
the dispute. In addition, the Ombudsman’s Office is authorized to designate provisions regarding the establishment of the Office and its
duties and operation and the qualifications, selection, assignments and personal rights of the chief ombudsman and Ombudsman’s Office
The responsible for preparing annual reports and other reports on necessary points; making these reports public; designating a
representative to serve in the absence of the chief ombudsman; organizing the distribution of work among the Ombudsman’s Office
employees; appointing a general secretary and other staff; and executing other duties established under relevant laws.
The ombudsman law also specifies that that the chief ombudsman should make decisions in accordance with a sense of justice based on
human rights and in conformity with the laws and the constitution of Turkey.
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President since 28 August 2007
Deputy Prime Minister since 1 May 2009
Deputy Prime Minister since 1 May 2009
Deputy Prime Minister since 14 July 2011
Deputy Prime Minister since July 6, 2011