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Urgent Call from Turkish Human Rights Orgs to the Int’l Community

human rights abuses against kurds in turkey

The article below originally appeared on Hafiza Merkezi on January 8th, 2016.

With the interruption of the peace talks, the government of Turkey started, in mid-August, to implement a security policy that unlawfully restricts fundamental rights and freedoms in those cities and towns largely populated by Kurds.

Long Term Curfews

Since August 2015, long-term and consecutive curfews have been declared in the provinces of, and the towns attached to Şırnak, MardinDiyarbakır, Hakkari and Muş, and are still underway in certain cities and towns.

During these prohibitions, national and international media, human rights or professional organizations as well as representatives of the parliament who wanted to identify violations of rights have been denied access to these cities and towns.

According to the findings in reports drawn up by the very small number of civil society organizations which could make their way into the region in the face of huge obstacles, it has been determined that the civilian population has become the target of both snipers and heavy weaponry, which has been used in an arbitrary fashion.

1.3 Million Affected

According to reports prepared by rights based organizations, 1,3 million people have been impacted by the curfews; more than 150 civilians –including children and the elderly– have lost their lives.

Many people have been injured, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Arbitrary detentions and arrests have occurred; and civilians are being subjected to torture and maltreatment in detention centres and in the open.

Intrusion in telecommunication networks restricts the right to information and freedom of communication.

Teachers Sent Away

By an official decision to send away teachers from the region, education has been disrupted without a deadline, and health services have also been suspended.

Due diligence in protecting civilians is not being demonstrated in any sense and they  are not even provided the opportunity to meet minimum daily needs such as the right to food and water.

After the curfews, no immediate and explicitly effective investigations have been conducted. Trial and punishment of those security forces that violate rights are being rendered impossible. The policy of impunity expands and continues, getting more severe.

[To download the full statement in English, click here.]

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