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Visit Memorandum

Counter-terrorism operations in the South East of Turkey caused widespread human rights violations

02/12/2016 Strasbourg
“Numerous human rights of a very large civilian population in South-Eastern Turkey have been violated as a result of curfews imposed and anti-terrorism operations conducted there since August 2015. I call on Turkey  to stop using curfews in such a manner, investigate all allegations of human rights violations by state agents in an effective manner and put in place comprehensive schemes for...
Visit memorandum

The Commissioner publishes a memorandum on the human rights implications of the emergency measures in Turkey

07/10/2016 Strasbourg
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, published today a memorandum on the human rights implications of the measures taken under the state of emergency by the Turkish authorities. This memorandum follows up on a visit to Ankara between 27 and 29 September 2016, during which the Commissioner reiterated his firmest condemnation of the coup attempt of 15 July, paid...
Human Rights Comment

Human rights defenders’ work is vital for redress to victims of enforced disappearance

29/08/2016 Strasbourg
Last March I published an Issue Paper on Missing persons and victims of enforced disappearance in Europe, aiming to help Council of Europe member states improve their law and practice. Much remains to be done, considering that thousands of cases of missing persons and enforced disappearance remain unresolved in Europe, perpetuating the suffering of their loved ones, which is passed on from one...

Measures taken under the state of emergency in Turkey

26/07/2016 Strasbourg
It is with profound concern that I examined the first decree with the force of law (“Kanun Hükmünde Kararname”, KHK/667) adopted within the framework of the state of emergency declared in Turkey last week. I note that Turkey has submitted a formal notice of derogation to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as foreseen under Article 15 of the Convention. As I expressed in a statement...

Situation in Turkey

20/07/2016 Strasbourg
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the contemptible attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government in Turkey. I rejoice in the fact that the Turkish people unambiguously foiled this attempt, and that all democratic political currents and leaders stood united against it. There is no doubt that the perpetrators of this attempted coup, who have caused the loss of many lives and...
Country visit

Turkey: security trumping human rights, free expression under threat

14/04/2016 Ankara
“Respect for human rights has deteriorated at an alarming speed in recent months in the context of Turkey’s fight against terrorism” said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of a nine- day visit to Istanbul, Diyarbakir and Ankara. The topics of the visit were balancing security and human rights in the South East, freedom of expression and the...

Commissioner Muižnieks deplores new case of judicial harassment against media in Turkey

04/03/2016 Strasbourg
“I deplore the information reported by Turkish media and the Anadolu Agency that an Istanbul court took the decision to entrust to court-appointed trustees the control of the media group to which the newspapers Zaman and Today’s Zaman belong. Considering what happened after a similar appointment of trustees to the Koza Ipek media group, I see this as an extremely serious interference with media...

Turkey should ensure the protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism

18/11/2015 Strasbourg
I have been informed that the round-the-clock curfew declared in three neighbourhoods of Silvan on 2 November in the framework of anti-terror operations was lifted on 14 November, after 12 days. According to information provided by the Turkish authorities on my request, four curfews had already been declared in Silvan prior to this since August 2015, the longest of which had lasted 3 days.   I...

Turkey should ensure immediate access to Cizre by independent observers

11/09/2015 Strasbourg
“I have been following with increasing alarm the escalation of violence in Turkey in recent weeks. I am particularly concerned about very distressing information I have received on developments in Cizre, a city of around 100 000 inhabitants in the Şırnak Province in South-Eastern Turkey” said today the Commissioner in a statement. In the framework of anti-terror operations, a curfew was...
Human Rights Comment

Armenian-Turkish Reconnections and Human Rights

17/04/2015 Strasbourg
History continues to divide Armenian and Turkish officialdom, but there are many civil society, cultural and academic initiatives aiming to reconnect the two societies.  April 24 marks the centennial of the beginning of the mass killings, deportations and dispossession of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, which resulted in the near-total elimination of Armenians from Anatolia. These...
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