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Students on Trial Despite Right to Free Speech

(Berlin) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has chosen to drop a complaint against four Ankara students he accused of “insulting the president” for holding up a satirical banner, Human Rights Watch said today. The students’ trial is due to…
The graduation ceremony at Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, July 6. 2018. The banner carried by students accused of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is among the hundreds laid out at the ceremony.
News

Detention, Prosecutions Over Criticisms of Turkish Army Actions in Syria

(Berlin) – Turkish authorities have detained and prosecuted large numbers of people in recent weeks over social media posts criticizing Turkey’s military operation in the northwest Syrian district of Afrin, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Nurcan Baysal, journalist; Ali Erol, LGBT activist; Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, medical doctor;  Kutay  Meriç, executive member of rights group "Halkevleri" (from upper left corner clockwise)
News

Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
News

Ruthless Assault on Press Freedom Shields State from Scrutiny

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s government has all but silenced independent media in an effort to prevent scrutiny or criticism of its ruthless crackdown on perceived enemies, Human Rights Watch said today. The assault on critical journalism sharpened in…
Journalists targeted in Turkey’s media crackdown. From top left: Aslı Erdoğan, Ahmet Altan, Kadri Gürsel, Necmiye Alpay; Erdem Gül, Ceyda Karan, Can Dündar, Hatice Kamer; Refik Tekin, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Nedim Oruç, Nazlı Ilıcak
Report
Summary On the night of July 15, 2016, elements of the Turkish military staged an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government. According to official figures, at least 241 citizens and security personnel were killed, and…
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Cumhuriyet Journalists Held; Kurdish Media Closed; Mayors Jailed

(Istanbul) – The detention of journalists from independent newspaper Cumhuriyet, the closure of the remaining Kurdish media, and the jailing of elected mayors in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir in the space of two days is evidence of the deepening…
2016-10-31-turkey-newspaper-protest
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Summary Because of the state of emergency, nobody will care if I kill you. I will just say I shot you while you tried to run away. -Police officer to a detainee, overheard by family members of another detainee…
Report
Turkey’s Human Rights Rollback Recommendations for Reform Introduction Human Rights and the Peace Process with the PKK The Rule of Law Impunity Restrictions on…
News

Protect Free Speech, Right to Protest, Rule of Law

(Istanbul) – Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is taking far-reaching steps to weaken the rule of law, control the media and Internet, and clamp down on critics and protestors, Human Rights Watch said…
News

Powers to Block Websites, Collect Online Data Violate Rights

(Istanbul) – New legal amendments giving the Turkish authorities broad powers to block websites and to amass users’ internet activity data should be overturned, Human Rights Watch said today. The new measures deepen existing internet censorship in Turkey…
News
The choice of Turkey as the location for the world’s annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) might have been the conference’s most fundamental problem. But it was not the only one. Thousands of stakeholders from around the globe gathered to discuss how to…
News

Roll Back Regressive Laws

(Istanbul) – Turkey, the host of a UN-sponsored Internet forum September 2-5, 2014 in Istanbul, has an abysmal record of protecting free expression online. In recent months, the Turkish government has expanded its powers to censor online content and to…
News
Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
News

Jail for Journalists Publishing Leaks, Immunity for Intelligence Personnel

(Istanbul) – A new law on Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency greatly increases its surveillance powers while threatening journalists who expose its abuses with prison terms, Human Rights Watch said today. The law would decrease state accountability,…
News

Twitter Remains Restricted Despite Court Ruling

(Istanbul) – The Turkish government’s decision to close down YouTube by administrative order is a disastrous move for freedom of expression and the right to access information in Turkey. The government similarly closed down Twitter on March 21. The…
News

Changes Raise Privacy, Free Expression Concerns

(London) - President Abdullah Gul should veto a swathe of new amendments to Turkey’s already restrictive Internet Law. The Turkish parliament on the evening of February 5, 2014, voted into law a series of measures that will tighten government control over…
News

European Court Rules Against Government in Google Sites Case

(Istanbul) – The Turkish government should promptly stop unlawfully blocking websites. On December 18, 2012, the European Court of Human Rights ruled, in the case of Ahmet Yıldırım v. Turkey, that blocking Google Sites in Turkey violated the right to…