Turkey’s Human Rights Institution to be revamped
Nuray Babacan ANKARAThe Human Rights Institution of Turkey (TİHK) is being revised by a draft that will be presented to the Cabinet on Dec. 15, after the EU pressured the group for amendments.
A draft bill of 19 articles on revising the authorities and responsibilities of the TİHK, which was established in 2012 in order to probe the country’s human rights violations, will be amended.
The “national watch mechanism” that was promised in 2012 to the EU will also be formed with the amendment, after a delay of roughly two years.
The TİHK’s yearly reports on torture, ill-treatment and all kinds of human rights breaches will be presented to the Office of the Parliamentary Speaker, thus allowing the legislative power to inspect the violations.
While five of the 11 members of the TİHK will be appointed by the Cabinet, compared with the current seven member appointments, more control will be given to NGOs, who will be represented by six members. The decision-making process will also be amended to favor the independent members of the institution.
The power given to the institution’s members in researching human rights breaches is also being enhanced by giving authorization to the body to hear witness testimonies.
In addition, apart from in exceptional circumstances, TİHK staff and their houses will not be able to be searched and they will not be able to be interrogated.