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“Turkey Behind Bars” The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue Report on Human Rights Violations in Turkey

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Press Release

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The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue issued a report today on the deteriorating human rights situation in Turkey under the title “Turkey Behind Bars”

The report deals with 6 aspects of the state of freedoms, the independence of the judiciary, the rights of women and children, the situation of refugees, the repression of Kurds and manifestations of corruption in the ruling regime.

The report drew attention to the fact that the presence of a person belonging to the political Movement of Islam such as Erdogan has opened the way for manipulation of the system of rights and freedoms. Turkey has witnessed widespread violations of human rights in his era.

According to Turkish official sources, 291,546 people were detained in Turkish prisons, increasing the number of detainees by 10.1% on December 31, 2019, compared to the same date in 2018. 84.1% of prisoners were sentenced to prison terms, while 15.9% of prisoners remained without a judicial decision. There are also 430 detained children, with an average age of 12 years, out of every 100,000 people languishing in Turkish prisons.

With regard to the state of freedoms in Turkey, the report stated that freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey suffers from the domination of the Turkish ruling regime, which is hostile to press freedom, in addition to the abuse of journalists until Turkey became the first journalist prison in the world.

The report noted that violations of freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey during 2020 have increased in addition to the escalation in the detention, arrest and sentencing of journalists, in addition to withholding and deleting thousands of news and reports dealing with the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the violations of its members against the Turkish people.

Additionally, Turkey ranked 154th out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

As or the judicial independence, the report stated that the judiciary in Turkey is suffering from a violent crisis following the interventions of the Turkish regime in the consideration of cases and the review of judicial rulings, which threatens the independence of the Turkish judiciary as the involvement of the judiciary in politics has made the judiciary not independent and stable in the country.

The report drew attention to the fact that President Erdogan’s campaigns against the Turkish judiciary have led to the suspension and dismissal of more than 4,000 judges and prosecutors following the failed coup in 2016.

As for the rights of women and children, the Turkish Interior Ministry said incidents of violence against women had increased by 50% from 145,000 in 2015 to about 220,000 in 2018.

The report stated that according to the results of the Ministry of Manpower survey, in the first five months of 2019, at least 29 working children died, and from the end of 2018 to March this year, the employment rate for children aged 15-17 was 30% for boys and 11.8% for girls.

Concerning the refugee situation, it is reported that refugees in Turkey are subjected to many violations, towards cross-border arrivals and as a result of internally displaced persons in Turkey.

As for the repression of the Kurds, the report indicated that they are being subjected to ongoing repression, as Turkish authorities have arrested 19 Kurdish people, including two deputy mayors in Kars province, in the northeast of the country.

In October 2020, the government’s Anatolia news agency reported that the arrests were part of an operation linked to the “fight against terrorism,” a charge that authorities always charge Kurdish activists when they are arrested.

Finally, with regard to the corruption of the ruling regime, the report stated that Turkey had fallen to 91st place in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2019, in which 180 countries were assessed to the extent to which corruption was observed in officials and politicians.

A statement issued by the Istanbul branch of Transparency International stated that Turkey fell 13 places in one year after obtaining 39 points in 2019, down from 41 points in 2018, according to the website of the opposition Turkish newspaper “Bergun”. In March 2020, a supervisory report was issued by the Turkish Audit Bureau, which revealed widespread corruption in all institutions and municipal administrations of Erdogan’s party, including bribery, nepotism and illegal gain, the report said

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