2007, Turkey's worst year for human rights

Human rights organizations Amnesty International and İnsan Haklari Derneği agree that respect for human rights in Turkey declined considerably in 2007. Two reports have reached the same conclusion: that, compared to previous years, human rights abuses worsened last year.

On 14 January, Amnesty International (AI) published a report entitled “Turkey. Memorandum to the Turkish Government” in which it claims that during 2007 “violations of human rights increased and measures to combat them remained insufficient”. In a 14-page text, AI highlights Turkey's failures on issues such as torture, fair trials, human rights defenders, freedom of expression and refugees.


Amnesty International “believes that the current government must take action [...] in order to achieve lasting, substantive improvements”. “In addition to implementing current legal reforms, urgent legislative reform must be adopted and the opportunity of the drafting of a new constitution to advance the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms for all must not be missed”, AI concludes.

Moreover, İnsan Haklari Derneği, (IHD, Human Rights Association) has published a report detailing the number of human rights violations suffered by individuals in 2007. IHD puts the number killed in violent clashes with authorities at 393 and cites 262 cases of torture or ill-treatment and 2,177 deportations from Turkey.

IHD has always been the most respected pro-Kurdish NGO in Turkey. It is considered one of the few genuinely independent organizations and has one of its most powerful branches in the Northern Kurdistan city of Amed (Diyarbakir in Turkish).





Further information:

AI's report: Turkey. Memorandum to the Turkish Government [pdf] IHD Annual Report