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In June 2020, the Turkish government proposed a new draft law amending Turkey’s Law on Lawyers. The draft greatly reduces the representation of lawyers from Turkey’s main cities at the national Union of Turkish Bar Associations and proposes that in…
Chairs of Turkey’s provincial bar associations stage a sit-in demonstration after police blocked the group from marching to Ankara to protest a new draft law. The new law is set to divide the legal profession along political lines and has been strongly opposed by bar associations. June 22, 2020. © AP Photo
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Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16, 2017, on constitutional amendments that would change the structure of governance in the country from a parliamentary system to a presidential one in which the powers of the office of the…
Voters in Turkey will decide in an April 16 referendum whether to approve constitutional amendments that would change the structure of governance and greatly increase the powers of the presidency. Campaign posters read (left)  “Our decision is Yes” and (r
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Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
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  Q&A: Why the EU-Turkey Migration Deal is No Blueprint On March 18, 2016, the European Union signed an agreement with Turkey to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece. In 2015, over 850,000 people reached Greek islands by boat…
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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On March 7, 2016, European Union (EU) member states and Turkish leaders will meet in Brussels to discuss implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan on migration and refugees. The EU and Turkey agreed on the plan when they signed a controversial…
SEPTEMBER 2014. Syrian Kurdish refugees look out from the back of a truck as they enter Turkey from the town of Kobane  (Ayn al-Arab), Syria, and surrounding villages.   © 2014 Michael Christopher Brown/Magnum
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Questions and Answers

The European Union (EU) is facing unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants arriving by boat. In 2014, 220,000 people arrived, almost double the combined total of 121,000 from 2011 through 2013. During just the first six…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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1. What is Hong Kong’s Occupy Movement? Hong Kong’s Occupy Movement refers to a citizens’ blockade of major roads in Hong Kong’s Admiralty, Mongkok, and Causeway Bay districts since September 29, 2014. At the height of the protests, hundreds of…
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In several countries across Asia, torture is used on a regular basis. Bringing perpetrators to justice is notoriously hard, especially in nations where the practice is state-sanctioned, HRW's Phil Robertson tells DW. Inflicting pain by using physical…
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Who is Liu Xiaobo and why is he in jail? Why did he win the Nobel Peace Prize? How has the news been received in China? What has happened to Liu Xiaobo's family? How could this affect human rights in China? How is the Chinese government likely…
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1.     What is female genital mutilation (FGM)? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as "all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs for non-medical…
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  UPDATE:    Turkey's Ruling Party Escapes Court Ban   On July 30, 2008, Turkey's Constitutional Court announced its decision not to close down the ruling Justice and Development Party, nor to impose a five-year ban from political life on Prime Minister…
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1. What was the Anfal?    The Anfal (meaning the “the Spoils” in Arabic) was an eight-stage military campaign that resulted in the deliberate murder of at least 50,000 and possibly 100,000 Kurds. During the Anfal, Iraqi forces used chemical weapons on…
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Questions and Answers

  What are "diplomatic assurances" against torture? Why is the use of diplomatic assurances growing? Why do governments seek these assurances? Do diplomatic assurances work? Have people who were sent back with diplomatic assurances actually been…
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What is the M26 rocket and how does it function?     The M26 is a 227mm unguided artillery rocket delivered by the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) to a range of thirty-two to thirty-eight kilometers. Once it is over the target area, the rocket…
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1. Where do the proceedings in the Milosevic trial stand?   Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was indicted under three separate indictments for crimes committed in Kosovo, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trial started on…
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Turkey's human rights record is marred by its severe restrictions on the right to freedom of expression. Individuals in Turkey face prosecution and prison terms merely for using forbidden minority languages or expressing opinions on certain taboo subjects…