Governmental Entities

Immigration and Refugees Board of Canada | Report on the Hizmet Movement
January, 2020
Turkey: The Hizmet movement, also known as the Gülen movement, including situation and treatment of followers or perceived followers; how members of the Hizmet movement are identified, including how persons or organizations might be perceived as belonging to the movement (July 2018-December 2019) Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. 
In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the President of the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF), a New York-based international civil society organization “dedicated to globally advancing the culture of peace, human rights and sustainable development” [and whose honorary president is Fethullah Gülen (JWF n.d.)], indicated that “[t]he Hizmet movement has undergone several transformations from a small religious community to a larger conservative community to an inclusive society with the principles of service, altruism, and dedication to society” (JWF 25 Nov. 2019).

US Department of State | Country Reports on Terrorism 2019: Turkey
June, 2020

Turkey continued its efforts to defeat terrorist organizations both inside and outside its borders, including the PKK and ISIS.  Turkey remained an active contributor in international CT fora, including the GCTF.

Turkey is a source and transit country for FTFs seeking to join ISIS and other terrorist groups fighting in Syria and Iraq.  Turkey is an active member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, co-chairs the Defeat-ISIS Coalition FTF Working Group, and continued to provide access to its airspace and facilities for Coalition CT operations in Iraq and Syria.  According to public data, as of November, Turkey’s “Banned From Entry List” included about 76,000 individuals.  Since 2011, Turkey has repatriated more than 7,800 FTFs from more than 100 countries.  As part of a new push to return suspected ISIS members and family members to their home countries, between mid-November and early-December 2019, the Turkish government deported or denied entry for more than 70 individuals for alleged terrorism. The Ministry of Interior reported that, as of December 9, there were 1,174 ISIS members and 115 al-Qa’ida members in Turkish custody.

US Department of State | Turkey 2019 Human Rights Report
March, 2020

Turkey is a constitutional republic with an executive presidential system and a 600- seat parliament. The unicameral parliament (the Grand National Assembly) exercises legislative authority. In presidential and parliamentary elections in 2018, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers expressed concern regarding restrictions on media reporting and the campaign environment that restricted the ability of opposition candidates, including the jailing of a presidential candidate at the time, to compete on an equal basis and campaign freely. In March municipal elections, Council of Europe observers expressed similar concerns about limitations on freedom of expression, particularly for the media, and about a legal framework that contributed to an unequal campaign environment. The observers also criticized the Supreme Electoral Council’s decision to rerun the Istanbul mayoral race in June and several decisions replacing winning opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) candidates with secondplace governing-party candidates.

Under broad antiterror legislation the government restricted fundamental freedoms and compromised the rule of law. Since the 2016 coup attempt, authorities have dismissed or suspended more than 45,000 police and military personnel and more than 130,000 civil servants, dismissed one-third of the judiciary, arrested or imprisoned more than 80,000 citizens, and closed more than 1,500 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on terrorism-related grounds, primarily for alleged ties to the movement of cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government accuses of masterminding the coup attempt, and designated by the government as the leader of the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization” (“FETO”).

US Department of State | Turkey 2018 Human Rights Report
April, 2019

The country experienced significant political changes during the year. The two-year-long state of emergency–imposed following the 2016 coup attempt–ended July 19, but had far-reaching effects on the country’s society and institutions, restricting the exercise of many fundamental freedoms.

Human rights issues included reports of arbitrary killing, suspicious deaths of persons in custody; forced disappearances; torture; arbitrary arrest and detention of tens of thousands of persons, including opposition members of parliament, lawyers, journalists, foreign citizens, and three Turkish-national employees of the U.S. Mission to Turkey for purported ties to “terrorist” groups or peaceful legitimate speech; political prisoners, including numerous elected officials and academics; closure of media outlets and criminal prosecution of individuals for criticizing government policies or officials; blocking websites and content; severe  restriction of freedoms of assembly and association; restrictions on freedom of movement; and violence against women, and members of other minorities.

US Department of State | Turkey 2017 International Religious Freedom Report
May, 2018

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.

US Department of State | Turkey 2017 Human Rights Report
March, 2017

The continuing state of emergency–imposed following the July 2016 coup attempt, renewed once in 2016 and an additional four times during the year had far reaching effects on the country’s society and institutions, restricting the exercise of many fundamental freedoms. By year’s end authorities had dismissed or suspended more than 100,000 civil servants from their jobs, arrested or imprisoned more than 50,000 citizens, and closed more than 1,500 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on terrorism-related grounds since the coup attempt.

US Department of State | Turkey 2016 Human Rights Report
March, 2016

The state of emergency declared in the wake of the attempted coup of 15 July 2016 remains in force, aiming at dismantling the Gülen movement, designated by the Turkish authorities as a terror organization responsible of the coup attempt, as well as at supporting the fight against terrorism, against the background of repeated attacks in Turkey.

US Department of State | Turkey 2015 Human Rights Report
April, 2015

The most significant human rights abuses include governmental interference with freedom of expression, impunity and weak administration of justice and inadequate protection of civilians. Multiple provisions in the law created the opportunity for the government to restrict freedom of expression, the press, and the Internet.