Turkish rights groups protest on global Human Rights Day

Turkish rights groups protest on global Human Rights Day

Turkish rights groups protest on global Human Rights Day

AA photo

Turkey marked global Human Rights Day with a series of rallies and demonstrations in several cities across the country on Dec. 10. 

The Human Rights Association (İHD) staged a rally in Istanbul’s iconic İstiklal Avenue on Dec. 10, holding posters of Diyarbakır Bar Association head Tahir Elçi, who was killed by unidentified gunmen in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Nov. 28.  

Speaking on behalf of the group, Hatice Kalpaklı said Dec. 10 should mark a “transition day” to a period when the human rights are not violated. 

“When peace is not secured, the right to life cannot be protected. All other rights cannot be secured when the right to life is not guaranteed,” Kalpaklı said. 

Several NGOs in violence-hit Diyarbakır also commemorated Elçi, who was shot dead in the street in the center of the city shortly after making a press statement calling for an end to violence in the southeast. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also issued a written statement on Dec. 10, saying terrorist organizations constitute one of the biggest obstacles to fundamental rights, citing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram. Erdoğan called on the world to cooperate more closely “in the fight against terrorism.”

Human Rights Day commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.