UN to Turkey: End rights violations

States speaking in the UN Human Rights Sessions criticized Turkey harshly and urged the country to end rights violations at once.

United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s 36th Human Rights Sessions continued on the second day with discussions on the annual human rights report presented by the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein yesterday. State and international NGO representatives spoke in the sessions and pointed out the scope of human rights violations in various parts of the world and stressed the need to prevent violations through international solidarity.

Throughout the day, several states and NGOs speaking to assess High Commissioner Al Hussein’s report included Turkey’s human rights violations on their agenda.


The speaker for the United Kingdom said they agree with the criticisms against the Turkish state regarding the rights violations in High Commissioner Al Hussein’s report and demanded the Turkish government respect international law.

The speech pointed out that the government oppression in the country has been on the rise particularly in the areas of freedoms of thought and expression, and stated that the government should urgently end the State of Emergency.


The speaker for Iceland stressed the lack of an independent media in Turkey due to pressures and stated that the judiciary has lost its neutrality due to the government.

The Icelandic committee called on the Turkish state to start upholding the rule of law immediately and demanded the compensation of damages suffered by individuals under the guise of anti-terror efforts.


The speaker for Australia also criticized the AKP government for the anti-democratic practices of the Turkish state.

“We are faced with an oppressive regime in Turkey,” said the speaker and pointed out the scope of rights violations in the country. The speaker stressed that attacks against civil society and the press under the guise of anti-terror efforts are unacceptable and called on the Turkish state to comply with international law.


The speaker for Armenia said, “We are very concerned for the level the rights violations have reached in Turkey,” and stated that the attacks on civil society and journalists have reached unacceptable levels.

The speaker also said international powers should prevent large scale rights violations by certain countries in the region and criticized the silence in the face of rights violations due to inter-state interests.


Significantly increasing rights violations in Turkey was on the agenda for several international NGOs that took the stand after the state representatives.

NGO representatives stated that a significant portion of the population and journalists and human rights defenders in particular are facing immense pressure in Turkey and added that the government should end the anti-democratic practices they have implemented for a long time. NGO representatives said security laws can’t be grounds to deny fundamental human rights and called on Turkey to respect international law.


The speech given in the name of the Turkish state was in response to the criticism they received throughout the day. The speech mentioned the coup attempt yet again, and claimed that despite the criticisms through the day, the government does uphold the rule of law. Other claims were that allegations of rights violations due to the State of Emergency laws are untrue, which caused some laughter in the hall, and that the “security” precautions are extremely transparent.

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