Human rights group denounces Gezi policies

Human rights group denounces Gezi policies

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Human rights group denounces Gezi policies

The İHD says the policies of the ruling AKP government during and after the recent Gezi Park unrest resemble a police state. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The Human Rights Association (İHD), the oldest and largest human rights organization in Turkey with the widest network of branches and members, has denounced the demeanor adopted by the government, the judiciary and the police in handling recent protests, calling the state of affairs in the country today that of a “police state.”

“Against protests in the Taksim Gezi Park resistance and afterwards, police violence has shown itself in the manner of torture and maltreatment, torture continued to be applied overtly in Turkey in an altered way. The government’s attitude in protecting the torturers has unfortunately manifested that the policy of impunity continues,” Öztürk Türkdoğan, the president of the İHD, said at a press conference held July 17 to mark the 27th anniversary of the foundation of the organization.

“After the Gezi Park resistance, the government started a witch hunt; hundreds of detainments and arrests have occurred and continue to take place. The government was not content with it and has started to punish the societal opposition by seizing the income of the TMMOB [the Union of Chambers of Architects and Engineers] with a midnight operation.”

He also criticized the increase in the number of specially authorized courts, from eight to 11. “The biggest and most important problem of this country is the judiciary.”

“One of Turkey’s most fundamental problems is the inability to maintain the judiciary’s impartiality and independence. Just like in the past, today too, the relationship between the judiciary and politics is defined by politics’ intervention and influence,” the İHD has said. The association called the Gezi protests a critical twist in the history of Turkey.