Opposition slams gov’t on human rights record
Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Sezgin Tanrıkulu says violations of human rights in every field had increased compared to last year. AA photoTurkey’s main opposition slammed the government over the current state of human rights in Turkey on International Human Rights Day yesterday, while Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey had made notable progress in the field.
Stressing that the protection and promotion of universal values inherent to human rights continues to be one of the fundamental elements of Turkish foreign policy, Davutoğlu said Turkey was maintaining close and constructive cooperation with international organizations and mechanisms in that regard.
“Notable progress was made in 2012 in becoming party to international conventions on human rights. In this context, as of March 14, 2012, Turkey became party to the ‘Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence,’ opened for signature last year within the Council of Europe, of which our country is a founding member. Turkey is the first Council of Europe country to sign and ratify the convention,” Davutoğlu said.
But opposition disagreed with Davutoğlu’s portrayal of the situation, painting a gloomy picture of the current state of human rights in Turkey.
Presenting a report titled “Human Rights Report under the Dark Administration of the AKP [the ruling Justice and Development Party]” at a parliamentary press conference yesterday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Sezgin Tanrıkulu said violations of human rights in every field had increased compared to last year.
“The violation of the right to life, bans on torture, violence against women, violations regarding banned meetings and demonstrations, violations in prisons, violence against children – we have lived a magnificent year in regards to all of these rights’ violations. A picture you might call awful has emerged,” Tanrıkulu said.
In the last 11 months, 771 people – soldiers, civilians and members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – have been killed due to clashes between security forces and the PKK; contrastingly, almost no soldiers were killed in clashes between the two sides when the AKP first came to power, Tanrıkulu said. He also noted that during the same period of time, 35 people were killed in extrajudicial hits, 14 were killed by land mines, 19 died in unsolved murders, while 14 others lost their lives in bomb attacks.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu suggested on Dec. 10 that Turkey could not enter Human Rights Week with pride, with new blows being dealt to democracy and freedoms every day.