NGO report slams Turkish government

NGO report slams Turkish government

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
NGO report slams Turkish government

The report criticizes the officials’ slowness to aid victims of Van earthquake. DHA photo

Amnesty International slammed the Turkish government in its annual report on several counts ranging from the Kurdish issue to children’s rights.

The report, which was released yesterday, said promises made by the Turkish government were not upheld. Civilians were instead killed, the right to freedom of expression was threatened and protesters faced increased police violence, the report said.

“Thousands of prosecutions brought under flawed anti-terrorism laws routinely failed fair trial standards. Bomb attacks claimed the lives of civilians. No progress was made in recognizing the right to conscientious objection or in protecting the rights of children in the judicial system. The rights of refugees and asylum-seekers and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people remained unsecured in law. Preventive mechanisms to combat violence against women remained inadequate,” the report read.

The report also criticized a recent military air raid in which 34 civilians were killed.

In December a Turkish warplane bombed a group of civilians in the district of Uludere near the border with Iraq. In October earthquakes struck the eastern province of Van resulting in more than 600 deaths. The authorities were criticized for how slow they were in responding to the crisis which left thousands homeless in freezing conditions.

Amnesty Turkey’s director Murat Çekiç said a new constitution was a chance for Turkey to end discrimination and ensure social and cultural rights. “We do not see progress when we compare the situation in Turkey to previous years. Anti-terror law is blocking the freedom of expression but we are hopeful for the new constitution,” Çekiç told the Hürriyet Daily News.