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The Freedom House concludes Turkey is no more a free country. What is next?

The Freedom House concludes Turkey is no more a free country. What is next?

A new report released by the independent, non-profit and non-partisan watchdog organization Freedom House concluded that democratic principles such as election integrity and freedom of the press, political and civil rights have severely downgraded in Turkey that is no longer ‘a free country.’ The study added that Turkey’s status declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to a deeply flawed constitutional referendum that centralized power in the presidency, the mass replacement of elected mayors with government appointees, arbitrary prosecutions of rights activists and other perceived enemies of the state, and continued purges of state employees, all of which have left citizens hesitant to express their views on sensitive topics.

The Freedom House has been publishing annual reports since 1973 for assessing the condition of political rights and civil liberties around the world.

It has been a great source for scholars and academics since then. Their methodology is very strong and reliable. Their ranking provides a snapshot of the world and political circumstances in each state. It has always been interpreted seriously by international organizations and financial institutions as well.

The report noted that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan broadened and intensified the crackdown on his perceived opponents that began after a failed 2016 coup attempt. In addition to its dire consequences for detained Turkish citizens, shuttered media outlets, and seized businesses, the chaotic purge has become intertwined with an offensive against the Kurdish minority, which in turn has fueled Turkey’s diplomatic and military interventions in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

According to Freedom House, which analyzed data from 195 countries over the 2017 calendar year, Turkey’s passage over the threshold from Partly Free to Not Free is the culmination of a long and accelerating slide in Freedom in the World.

‘The country’s score has been in free fall since 2014 due to an escalating series of assaults on the press, social media users, protesters, political parties, the judiciary, and the electoral system, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fights to impose personalized control over the state and society in a deteriorating domestic and regional security environment. Erdoğan has pushed out his rivals and former allies within the ruling party, reshaped media ownership to fit his needs, and rammed through an unpopular constitutional referendum to create a “super-presidential” system without meaningful checks and balances.’

The study also noted that President Erdogan’s response to the July 2016 coup attempt has become a sprawling witch hunt, resulting in the arrest of some 60,000 people, the closure of over 160 media outlets, and the imprisonment of over 150 journalists. The leaders of the third-largest party in the parliament are in prison, and nearly 100 mayors across the country have been replaced through emergency measures or political pressure from the president. The government has even pressed its crackdown beyond. Turkey’s borders, triggering a flood of Interpol “red notice” requests to detain critics abroad, among other effects.

How will the report affect the Asylum seekers?

Since the controversial coup attempt, thousands of military officials, government officials, academics, and civilians have been detained, arrested or fired from their positions. The purge has led to a large number of these individuals to flee Turkey and seek asylum elsewhere.

It is safe to analyze that The Freedom House report will have major consequences on several issues especially asylum applications of thousands of people since the report extensively provided all the necessary data about the failure of democracy in Turkey. The report which confirmed Turkey’s passage over the threshold from ‘Partly Free to Not Free’ is considered both essential and useful for the court processes of the Asylum applications.

How should NATO respond?

A core principle of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is that member states adhere to democratic values. Here is how NATO defines its core principle and the purpose of its very existence:

‘NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. POLITICAL – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defense and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.’

As a democratic security organization, NATO should clarify its stance and policies towards Turkey, which is openly defined as a non-democracy and not-free? Can NATO promote democratic values while one of its biggest members is already defined a dictatorship by non-partisan international organizations?

The recent study by the Freedom House which reports the decline in Turkey’s human rights record may cause some U.S. lawmakers and decision makers to question the country’s NATO membership.

ECtHR appears as a new venue

The shocking lower court rulings of the last several days rejecting the authority of Turkey’s Constitutional Court to hear individual applications has also been considered as the end of the rule of law in Turkey. This new episode in Turkish judiciary will lead the Turkish citizens who seek legal recourse to violations of their rights at European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which still remains a proper venue that they should pursue. The recent study by The Freedom House can definitely be used as a source by the Turkish citizens to strengthen their cases at the ECtHR despite the fact that the ruling processes of the Court may take so long.


Download as a PDF File: AST_Turkey_is_no_longer_free_country_what_is_next

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Erdogan’s Government Established Political Control over Turkish Judiciary and Selective Application of Law

ERDOGAN’S GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED POLITICAL CONTROL OVER TURKISH JUDICIARY AND SELECTIVE APPLICATION OF LAW

Following the attempted coup, very extensive suspensions, dismissals and arrests took place in Turkey. There are numerus reports of extremely serious human rights violations, including alleged widespread ill-treatment and torture of detainees.


Download PDF File: Political Control over Turkish Judiciary and Selective Application

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AST Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly Nov. 6

Download as pdf: AST_Turkey’s Human Rights Violations Weekly_Nov6

Human Rights Violations committed by Turkey | 10/30/2017-11/06/2017

1-“1,025 in poor health in Turkish prisons, 357 seriously ill: rights group”
https://turkeypurge.com/1025-turkish-prisons-poor-health-357-seriously-ill-rights-group

2-“Tearful Balıkesir Mayor Uğur resigns in the face of threats to his family”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/tearful-balikesir-mayor-ugur-resigns-in-the-face-of-threats-to-his-family/

3-“759 detained in operations targeting Gülen movement in past week”
https://turkeypurge.com/759-detained-operations-targeting-gulen-movement-past-week

4-“İzmir police detain 6 lawyers on terror charges: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/izmir-police-detain-6-lawyers-on-terror-charges-report

5-“12 journalists detained, 4 arrested, 11 imprisoned in Turkey in October”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/12-journalists-detained-4-arrested-11-imprisoned-in-turkey-in-october/

6-“31 more sought for detention over alleged Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/31-more-sought-for-detention-over-alleged-gulen-links/

7-“3,158 detained in October over Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/3158-detained-in-october-over-gulen-links/

8-“EP’s Harms calls on EULEX to look into Turkish teacher case”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/eps-harms-calls-on-eulex-to-look-into-turkish-teacher-case/

9-“Local businessman gets 42.5-year jail time plus $35,000 fine”
https://turkeypurge.com/local-businessman-gets-42-5-year-jail-time-plus-tl-130000-fine

10-“Academics Flee Turkey for Germany as Erdogan targets teachers”
http://www.dw.com/en/academics-flee-turkey-for-germany-as-erdogan-targets-teachers/a-41181311

11-“Letter reveals visually impaired journalist can barely survive in prison”
https://turkeypurge.com/letter-reveals-visually-impaired-journalist-can-barely-survive-prison

12-“Turkey detains four more journalists over coup charges: report”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-detains-four-journalists-coup-charges-report

13-“Turkish court orders 81-year-old man to stay behind bars on coup charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-court-rules-81-year-old-man-stays-behind-bars-coup-charges

14-” Detention warrants issued for 112 over links to gov’t-closed writers foundation”
https://turkeypurge.com/detention-warrants-issued-112-links-govt-closed-writers-foundation

15-” Cumhuriyet daily journalists to remain in jail following Tuesday hearing”
https://turkeypurge.com/cumhuriyet-daily-journalists-remain-jail-following-tuesday-hearing

16-” Turkish activist charged with trying to overthrow government: media ”
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-arrest/turkish-activist-charged-with-trying-to-overthrow-government-media-idUSKBN1D13NV

17-“3,158 detained in October over Gülen links”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/30/3158-detained-in-october-over-gulen-links/

18-“Historian Armağan sentenced to 15 months for insulting Atatürk”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/10/31/historian-armagan-sentenced-to-15-months-for-insulting-ataturk/

19-” Turkish Government Imprisons One More Mother With Her Baby Over Links To Gülen Movement”
https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-government-imprisons-one-more-mother-with-her-baby-over-links-to-gulen-movement/

20-“Opposition deputy being investigated for calling Erdoğan ‘a fascist dictator’”
https://turkeypurge.com/opposition-deputy-investigated-calling-erdogan-fascist-dictator

21-” Municipal worker commits suicide following investigation over Gülen links”
https://turkeypurge.com/municipal-worker-commits-suicide-following-investigation-gulen-links

22-“All demonstrations, public gatherings banned for 3 months in capital Ankara”
https://turkeypurge.com/demonstrations-public-gatherings-banned-capital-ankara

23-” Anonymous witnesses fail to identify suspects they earlier tipped off as Gulenist”
https://turkeypurge.com/anonymous-witnesses-fail-identify-145-suspects-earlier-tipped-off-gulenist

24-” Court rules to keep award-winning human rights lawyer in jail”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/03/court-rules-to-keep-award-winning-human-rights-lawyer-in-jail/

25-” Man with speech, hearing impairment gets 3-year jail time for ‘chanting terror slogans’”
https://turkeypurge.com/man-speech-hearing-impairment-gets-3-year-jail-time-chanting-terror-slogans

26-” Famous baklava maker says under arrest for 15 months over a book seized at workplace”
https://turkeypurge.com/famous-baklava-maker-says-arrest-15-months-book-seized-workplace

27-“Journalist Hidayet Karaca gets 31-year jail time over 2013 TV series”
https://turkeypurge.com/journalist-hidayet-karaca-gets-31-year-jail-time-2013-tv-series

28-“EU calls on Turkey to respect standards of European Convention on Human Rights
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/03/eu-calls-on-turkey-to-respect-standards-of-european-convention-on-human-rights/

29-“Detention warrants issued for 41 including comedian Demirci”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/03/detention-warrants-issued-for-41-including-comedian-demirci/

30-“Yet another child put behind bars along with jailed mother”
https://turkeypurge.com/yet-another-child-put-behind-bars-along-jailed-mother

31-“Turkey seizes another company on coup charges”
https://turkeypurge.com/turkey-seizes-another-company-coup-charges

32-“Dozens take to Parliament Hill to protest Turkish human rights violations”
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/parliament-hill-protest-turkey-human-rights-violations-1.4388041

33-“Purge In Turkey Worries KC Emigres”
http://www.flatlandkc.org/commentary/kc-turkish-community-fears-repression-home/

34-“Report: Torture inflicted by founding member of new Turkish party exposed”
https://www.turkishminute.com/2017/11/05/report-torture-inflicted-by-founding-member-of-new-turkish-party-exposed/

Türkiye tarafından işlenenen İnsan Hakları İhlalleri | 10/30/2017-11/06/2017

1-“Hapisteki 668 bebek için dünya nasıl ses verdi?”
http://aktifhaber.com/gundem/hapisteki-668-bebek-icin-dunya-nasil-ses-verdi-h106594.html

2-“Gizli tanık, “sanıkları” tanımadı””
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/gizli-tanik-saniklari-tanimadi-h106579.html

3-“Tahliye edildiği cezaevinde gözaltına alınan öğretmen Nazife Onay tutuklandı”
http://www.diken.com.tr/tahliye-edildigi-cezaevinde-gozaltina-alinan-ogretmen-nazife-onay-tutuklandi/

4-“100 barış akademisyenine terör davası!”
http://aktifhaber.com/egitim/100-baris-akademisyenine-teror-davasi-h106593.html

5-“‘Muayeneye giden tutuklulara kamerayı kapatttığı gerekçesiyle dayak'”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/muayeneye-giden-tutuklulara-kamerayi-kapatttigi-gerekcesiyle-dayak-h106652.html

6-“70 bin öğrenci hapiste”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/70-bin-ogrenci-hapiste-h106618.html

7-” 3 gazeteci daha gözaltına alındı!”
http://aktifhaber.com/medya/3-gazeteci-daha-gozaltina-alindi-h106723.html

8-” Gazeteci Çetinkaya işkence nedeniyle böbreklerini kullanamaz halde”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gazeteci-cetinkaya-iskence-nedeniyle-bobreklerini-kullanamaz-halde-h106692.html

9-” Tekirdağ Cezaevi’nde tutuklulara sistematik işkence!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/tekirdag-cezaevinde-tutuklulara-sistematik-iskence-h106669.html

10-“Gazeteci Arat cezaevinde yaşadığı mağduriyetleri mektupla paylaştı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/gazeteci-arat-cezaevinde-yasadigi-magduriyetleri-mektupla-paylasti-h106686.html

11-“Kazakistan’ta kaçırılan öğretmenlerin eşlerinden yeni açıklama”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/kazakistanta-kacirilan-ogretmenlerin-eslerinden-yeni-aciklama-h106776.html

12-“Tahşiye davasında karar açıklandı”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/tahsiye-davasinda-karar-aciklandi-h106826.html

14-“Bir anne daha bebeğiyle tutuklandı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/bir-anne-daha-bebegiyle-tutuklandi-h106835.html

15-“Atalay Demirci yeniden gözaltına alındı”
http://aktifhaber.com/genel/atalay-demirci-yeniden-gozaltina-alindi-h106828.html

16-“Terör gazisi Belediye işçisi intihar etti!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/teror-gazisi-belediye-iscisi-intihar-etti-h106786.html

17-“Şahitler gelmedi diye serbest bırakılmadı!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/sahitler-gelmedi-diye-serbest-birakilmadi-h106790.html

18-“Ölseniz de hastaneye götürmeyeceğiz”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/olseniz-de-hastaneye-goturmeyecegiz-h106807.html

19-“Ali Türkşen’in ifadelerdeki işkencelerini yazdı”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/ali-turksenin-ifadelerdeki-iskencelerini-yazdi-h106890.html

20-“Bursa’da işkence Adli Tıp raporuna girdi!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/bursada-iskence-adli-tip-raporuna-girdi-h106877.html

21-“Konya Emniyeti’nde işkence yapılıyor!”
http://aktifhaber.com/iskence/konya-emniyetinde-iskence-yapiliyor-h106873.html

22-“Cezaevleri ölüm evi oldu; her yıl 215 kişi hayatını kaybediyor”
http://aktifhaber.com/politika/cezaevleri-olum-evi-oldu-her-yil-215-kisi-hayatini-kaybediyor-h106909.html

23-“Cezaevinde cinayet gibi ihmal: Hamile kadın ve karnındaki bebeği hayatını kaybetti”
http://www.tr724.com/ohalde-cezaevinde-cinayet-gibi-ihmal-hamile-kadin-karnindaki-bebegi-hayatini-kaybetti/

24-“Tutuklu Tuğgeneral Ankara’da hayatını kaybetti”
http://aktifhaber.com/15-temmuz/tutuklu-tuggeneral-ankarada-hayatini-kaybetti-h106968.html

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Turkish police arrest 8 human rights activists

Turkish police arrested local director of Amnesty International along with seven other human rights activists for “blatantly without cause”. Their whereabouts were unknown and had not been granted access to lawyers or family.

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This is how many people Turkey has arrested since the failed coup

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/29/europe/turkey-post-coup-arrest-numbers/index.html

Many low-ranked soldiers found themselves on the street while media outlets were announcing that the military was attempting a coup. Although most of these soldiers were told that they were out for a drill, a very large portion of them got beaten and imprisoned. Moreover, many allegations of torture and rape of have emerged.

 

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