Reports

Death in Custody- Right to Life in Turkish Prisons –  Policy Paper
August
 2018

The Journalists and Writers Foundation has constantly noted with great concern, the increasing number of suspicious deaths in custody since the attempted coup of July 15, 2016, in Turkey, taking place in suspicious circumstances and in a pattern of systematic recurrence. The sheer number of deaths amongst individuals deprived of their liberty comes amid severe persecution in the country and a steady deteriorating human rights situation, exacerbated by the erosion of the rule of law.

Over the last two years, the Journalists and Writers Foundation has documented the death, under very suspicious circumstances, of at least sixty-one (61) individuals deprived of their liberty in the context of “measures undertaken against the coup plotters”. The profile of individuals who have lost their lives under custody in the aftermath of the attempted coup casts shadow over the official narrative pointing out in many cases to suicide. Ever since family members of other “high-profile” prisoners have launched desperate appeals calling on the international community to save their loved ones from extrajudicial execution in Turkish prisons. This policy brief provides a closer look at this increasingly troubling situation and its international law implications.

Shrinking Civil Society Space –  Submission to the OHCHR
October
 2017

In the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 attempted coup, the decision of the Parliament of July 20, 2016 approving the declaration of the state of emergency, enabled the government to enact emergency decree laws.

Civil society in Turkey has been long affected by a number of destabilizing pressures, including renewed tensions over the Kurdish conflict, instability spilling over from neighboring Syria, a series of terrorist attacks by ISIL, the increasing flow of refugees, political deadlocks, an economic decline and most devastating, a coup attempt aftermath. The political instability has paved way for a state of constant readiness to curb basic freedoms, including the freedoms of association, assembly and expression, allegedly for the sake of the preserving “national security” or “public order”.

In recent years, the authorities in Turkey have established a disturbing track-record of suppressing dissent and gradually restricting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including obstructing by various means the work of human rights defenders, restricting the environment in which they operate and often targeting them directly.

Escaping The Witch Hunt From Turkey & Around The World
April
 2018

The right to leave a country of residence or nationality is embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is also a prerequisite for the enjoyment of other human rights such as right to international protection from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Since the attempted coup in Turkey, 146,713 individuals have been dismissed from their functions, 127,794 have been taken into custody and 60,002 arrested; among them more than 9,700 women and around 700 children below the age of six. In addition, unlawful restrictions are imposed on hundreds of thousands of individuals, including the cancellation of more than two hundred thousand passports belonging to the purge victims, in violation of fundamental rules of both, domestic and international law.

The report asserts that continuing violations of basic human rights in Turkey must not be overlooked, in particular: extrajudicial killings, incitement to commit murder and impunity for acts of violence; imprisonment or other severe deprivations of physical liberty; torture and inhuman treatment; persecution of identifiable groups based on political, ethnic, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law; enforced disappearance of persons; and other inhumane acts of a similar character which are intentionally causing great suffering, or serious physical or mental injury.

The State of Turkey`s Children & Victims of Unlawfulness
October
, 2017

The findings of the report reveal a disturbing pattern of human rights abuses against innocent children in Turkey and abroad. By the end of August 2017, six hundred sixty-eight (668) children under the age of six are in jails across Turkey with their mothers; hundreds of children living abroad are born stateless because the Turkish consulates do not provide them with passports or national IDs. The authorities in Turkey have also begun to remove children from their relatives if the parents are of being the supporters of the attempted coup.

The report aims to highlight and raise awareness about the plight of thousands of children in Turkey and abroad subject to discrimination on several grounds prohibited by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It also briefly discusses the current situation, intentional violations of the rights of the children in Turkey and offers recommendations to the government of Turkey.

The Journalists and Writers Foundation calls on local and international media to continue raising awareness on the State of Turkey’s Children who have become the victims of unlawfulness, and support our social media campaign on Twitter. We finally call on civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders to address the human rights violations against children and mothers in Turkey.

Women`s Rights Under Attack In Turkey
May, 2017

In recent years, under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule Turkey has experienced a sharp declining trend in almost all democratic indicators, including the rights of women, civil, economic and social rights, freedom of expression and media, free and fair elections, government accountability and corruption.

Since the breakdown of the Kurdish peace process in July 2015 and the July 2016 attempted coup, Kurdish and other minority women, as well as women allegedly linked to the Hizmet movement suffer disproportionate multi-faceted discrimination, in particular as regards equal access to political participation, health, education, employment and justice, both in law and practice.

Women belonging to the above marginalized groups face economic hardship, exclusion and violence, humiliating and degrading treatment in places where persons are deprived of their liberty, including in health-care facilities, especially during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.

Assault On Education In Turkey And Abroad (Long Version)
Marc, 2017

The present report examines the systematic legislative, administrative, and other efforts by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) since the beginning of its rule, in particular since 2011 and the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt – to permanently Islamize Turkey’s education system.

İmam-Hatip schools, crucial in their role to further the AKP’s political Islam agenda as a breeding ground foar radical elements, continue to receive extensive political and material support, including through unlawful seizure (theft) of thousands of closed private educational institutions and land. Despite this aid, these schools still perform extremely poorly in all state tests.

The mushrooming of İmam-Hatip schools, the current rise in homegrown radicalization along with the surge in the number of terrorist attacks and victims caused by terrorism show that Turkey’s social fabric is undergoing a very harmful change.

Assault On Education In Turkey And Abroad (Short Version)
Marc, 2017

Ever since the beginning of its rule, in particular since 2011, the AK Party embarked on a systematic effort to permanently Islamize Turkey’s education system. During his final term as prime minister lasting from 2011 to 2015, President Erdoğan resolutely pursued his vision to materializing his so-called “pious generation” project, or the devoutly religious generation.

The reforms the AK Party embarked on since the beginning of its rule resulted in 932,000 students attending İmam Hatip schools in 2014–2015 school year – from 65,000 at the beginning of the AKP rule in 2002, roughly a 93.5 percent increase.

İmam-Hatip schools, crucial in their role to further political Islam agenda as a breeding ground for radical elements continue to receive extensive political and material support, including through unlawful seizure (theft) of thousands of closed private educational institutions and land – to only perform extremely poor in all state tests.

Post Coup Turkey: State Of Emergency, Torture and Impunity
October, 2016

The failed coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey was followed by an unprecedented purge targeting citizens from all walks of life, in particular in the education, media, business, military and justice sectors. The ongoing purge and measures introduced under the umbrella of the state of emergency have severely limited individual rights and liberties.g

The state of emergency imposed in the aftermath of the attempted coup granted the Prime Minister and his cabinet the power to rule by decree and bypass Parliament.

The first decree under the state of emergency increased the pre-charge detention limit from four to thirty days, raising legitimate concerns that such an extension will further undermine protections against acts of torture and ill-treatment as well as the right to a fair .