Human Rights



Recent Turkish history has been dominated by the Turkish state's failed experiment in maintaining security through repression. Successive governments have made some progress towards establishing parliamentary democracy and fundamental freedoms, but national security -- internal as well as external -- has consistently been left to the discretion of the security forces. They have treated international human rights standards and Turkish law with equal disdain.

As a result, the human rights picture in Turkey is bleak. Torture or ill-treatment have long been routinely inflicted on people detained for common criminal offences as well as on political charges. "Disappearance" and extrajudicial execution are new patterns of violation which appeared in the early 1990s and have since claimed hundreds of lives. Turkish citizens do not enjoy true freedom of expression. During the past six years scores of prisoners of conscience have served terms of imprisonment for expressing their non-violent opinions. Hundreds more, including writers and artists, are being tried in State Security Courts and threatened with imprisonment because they dared to express their political views.

From Amnesty International No Security Without Human Rights

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