• In office for three terms since 2002, and enjoying a strong parliamentary majority, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has demonstrated a growing intolerance of political opposition, public protest, and critical media. Government legislative and other efforts to limit corruption investigations implicating ministers and the prime minister’s family have seriously undermined judicial independence and the rule of law. A continuing ceasefire between the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the context of an embryonic peace process to end a decades-long conflict with the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) continues to offer an opportunity to further human rights in Turkey.



  • Mar 31, 2015
  • Feb 16, 2015
  • Feb 16, 2015
  • Jan 29, 2015
    President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government are undermining the gains of the past decade, eroding human rights and the rule of law, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. Over the past year, the government has taken unprecedented steps to exert executive control over Turkey’s judiciary, to muzzle social media, increase media and Internet censorship, and prosecute journalists.
  • Dec 19, 2014
    The public detentions in Turkey of journalists that appear to be without sufficient evidence they committed a criminal offense will harm media freedom and chill free speech. On December 14, 2014, the editor of the daily Zaman newspaper was arrested, along with the head of Samanyolu broadcasting group and other media personnel
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Dec 16, 2014
    The prosecution of 35 football fans on coup-plot charges is a blatant misuse of the criminal justice system.
  • Dec 11, 2014
    The Turkish government’s proposed expansion of police powers to search and detain and for the use of firearms would undermine human rights protections. A number of the proposals in a draft security bill would circumvent the role of prosecutors and judiciary in ways that directly undercut safeguards against the arbitrary abuse of power.
  • Dec 2, 2014
    Landmines placed decades ago by the Turkish military have killed at least three civilians trying to flee Syria and injured at least nine others. The landmines, in a restricted zone along the border with Syria, threaten thousands more Syrian refugees.
  • Nov 4, 2014
    Kurdish children from the Syrian city of Kobani (or Ain al-`Arab in Arabic) were tortured and abused while detained by Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Four children gave detailed accounts of the suffering they endured while held for four months with about 100 other children.