Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Turkey

    December 05, 2018
    Official figures reveal that at least 52 workers have died on site as mass trial gets underway

    Turkish authorities must immediately and unconditionally release 31 construction workers who have already spent two months in jail simply for protesting unsafe working conditions on the site of Istanbul’s third airport, said Amnesty International as a mass trial gets underway.

    Just days after the official figures revealed that there have been 52 fatal work accidents on the site between 2013 and 2018, 61 workers and trade unionists are in court today. They are facing numerous charges in the context of a protest on 14 September 2018. 31 of these workers have been remanded in prison pending trial.

    “By detaining and prosecuting these workers who were simply calling for dignified and safe working conditions, the Turkish authorities are sending out a message that anyone who attempts to stand up for their rights will be punished,” said Amnesty International’s Turkey Strategy and Research Manager, Andrew Gardner.

    November 20, 2018

    Responding to today’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that Turkey’s repeated extensions to the pre-trial detention of opposition leader Selahattin Demirtaş, were politically motivated and violated Articles 5(3) and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights and were “stifling pluralism and freedom of political debate”, Turkey Strategy and Research Manager, Andrew Gardner said: 

    “This ruling by Europe's top human rights court should have far-reaching implications within the country where civil society actors are routinely remanded in prolonged pre-trial detention under trumped up charges. It exposes the pernicious and undue influence of politics in Turkey’s broken judicial system, in which the peaceful expression of opinions and political dissent are punished through the courts.

    “As a member state of the Council of Europe, Turkey is bound by the Court’s rulings. The authorities must implement the Court’s decision and immediately release Selahattin Demirtaş from his prolonged and unlawful pre-trial detention.”  

    November 16, 2018

    Responding to today’s detention of 13 civil society figures in Turkey in connection with the investigation into jailed civil society leader Osman Kavala, Amnesty International’s Turkey Strategy and Research Manager, Andrew Gardner said:

    “This latest wave of detentions of academics and activists, on the basis of absurd allegations, shows that the authorities are intent on continuing their brutal crackdown of independent civil society, and shatters any illusion that Turkey is normalizing following the lifting of the state of emergency.

    “The fact that they have been detained in relation to innocuous activities alleged around the overwhelmingly peaceful ‘Gezi Park’ protests in 2013 shows how desperate Turkish authorities are to crack down on any form of dissent.

    November 07, 2018

    Responding to the decision by an Istanbul court to further postpone the trial of Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç, former Director, İdil Eser, and nine other human rights defenders, Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey Strategy and Research Manager said:

    “The farce continues for these human rights defenders who are facing absurd terrorism charges. The ridiculous allegations that the Istanbul 10 participated in a secret and subversive meeting has been proven to be entirely untrue in previous hearings. It boggles the mind that the authorities are yet to analyse the digital devices seized when they were first arrested almost a year-and-a-half ago.

    “The trial has now been heard in six separate hearings. Dragging out proceedings in politically motivated cases is nothing new. It is a deliberate tactic forcing innocent human rights defenders to suffer a tortuous wait with the threat of conviction under terrorism charges hanging over their heads.

    November 06, 2018
    High level delegation to attend trial of Amnesty’s Turkey chair, Taner Kılıç, and the Istanbul 10 

    Almost a year-and-a-half after they were first arrested, and still facing absurd charges, Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair, former Director and nine other human rights defenders must be acquitted, said Amnesty International as their trial resumes tomorrow in Istanbul. 

    Taner Kılıç, Amnesty Turkey’s Honorary Chair, and İdil Eser, the organisation’s former Turkey Director, are being tried alongside nine other human rights defenders on baseless allegations of ‘membership of a terrorist organisation’.  

    October 24, 2018

    More than two years after being arbitrarily dismissed, almost 130,000 Turkish public sector workers are still awaiting justice and facing an uncertain future, Amnesty International said in a report published today.  

    Purged beyond return? No remedy for Turkey’s dismissed public sector workers reveals that doctors, police officers, teachers, academics and tens of thousands of other public sector workers dismissed from their jobs for alleged “links to terror groups” are yet to be reinstated or compensated, while the Commission set up to review dismissal decisions is woefully unfit for purpose.  

    “Branded as ‘terrorists’ and stripped of their livelihoods, tens of thousands of people who have had their professional and family lives shattered are still awaiting justice,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey Strategy and Research Manager.  

    October 18, 2018

    Saudi, Turkish Cooperation Essential to Credibility

    (New York, October 18, 2018) – Turkey should urgently ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a United Nations investigation into the possible extrajudicial execution of the prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders said today.

    The investigation should determine the circumstances surrounding Saudi Arabia’s role in the enforced disappearance and possible killing of Khashoggi. It should aim to identify everyone responsible for ordering, planning, and executing any operations connected with the case.

    “Turkey should enlist the UN to initiate a timely, credible, and transparent investigation” said Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “UN involvement is the best guarantee against a Saudi whitewash or attempts by other governments to sweep the issue under the carpet to preserve lucrative business ties with Riyadh.”

    September 19, 2018

    The order by an Istanbul court to remand 24 construction workers and union leaders in prison pending trial is a blatant attempt by the authorities to silence legitimate protest, Amnesty International said today.

    The workers and union leaders were amongst the hundreds of others who had been detained in police custody since 15 September following protests in Istanbul about working conditions at the construction site of a new airport due to open in the city next month. Clashes ensued after the police intervened to end the protest.

    “Rather than stifle legitimate peaceful protest with water cannons, tear gas and detentions, the Turkish authorities must listen to the complaints of the workers and ensure they have a safe and dignified place of work,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey Expert.

    Workers complained of inhumane working and living conditions at the site and lack of workplace safety as well as delays or omissions in receiving their salaries and social security payments.

    August 15, 2018

    We are thrilled to announce that our colleague, Taner Kılıç, Honorary Chair of Amnesty Turkey, has been released from jail today after over 432 days in prison.

    “We are overjoyed at this news. It has taken us more than a year of campaigning and struggle to get here, but it appears that Taner will finally be freed." Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s new Secretary General.

    Millions of people worldwide have taken action on this case, which has no doubt pressured the authorities, helping to secure Taner’s release.

    Thank you to all of those who sent messages of solidarity for Taner as part of Write for Rights 2017!

    In Canada and thanks to the support of people like you, we have spoken up for Taner:

    February 2018. Solidarity action after Taner’s release and re-arrest.

    July 18, 2018

    Three months after the government of President Daniel Ortega first unleashed its lethal strategy of repression on student demonstrators on 18 April, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “Three months after the state repression began in Nicaragua, around 300 people have been killed – the vast majority of them by police or pro-government armed groups. President Ortega has shown time and again that he will stop at nothing to crush all those who dare to oppose his government and anyone unfortunate enough to get in the way, including children, students, victims’ mothers and members of the clergy.”

    “In recent days the widespread attacks against the civilian population have intensified and grown in terms of scale and coordination, with aggressors carrying lethal weapons deployed to cities like Masaya that have come to symbolize the resistance to President Ortega’s merciless regime. The Nicaraguan authorities must immediately restrain the state security forces and dismantle the armed groups that are clearly acting with their support.”

    July 18, 2018

    Responding to the fact that Turkey’s the state of emergency will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the day, Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director said:

    “Whilst the lifting of the two-year state of emergency is a step in the right direction, it needs to be accompanied by urgent measures if it is to be anything more than a cosmetic exercise.

    “Over the last two years, Turkey has been radically transformed with emergency measures used to consolidate draconian powers, silence critical voices and strip away basic rights. Many will remain in force following the lifting of the state of emergency.

    “Hundreds of journalists, human rights defenders and activists, including Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç, have been detained simply for doing their jobs.

    June 27, 2018

    Responding to the news that the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice has ruled for the release of imprisoned academic and writer Mehmet Altan, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Gauri van Gulik said:

    “The release of Mehmet Altan was long overdue. His imprisonment was a travesty of justice that was emblematic of the deep flaws within the Turkish justice system.

    “The country’s Constitutional Court twice ruled his imprisonment to be in violation of his right to freedom and security, yet unbelievably the trial court defied the ruling of Turkey’s highest court and condemned Mehmet to another six months of incarceration.

    “Today’s welcome regional court ruling confirms the Constitutional Court’s decision as ‘final and binding’. The courts must now turn their attention to the thousands of others who remain unfairly detained in Turkey, including Amnesty international’s own Taner Kılıç.”

    Background

    Mehmet Altan has been held in Silivri prison, Istanbul since 22 September 2016.

    June 21, 2018

    In response to the continued detention of human rights defender, Taner Kılıç, after the latest hearing against him, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General said:

    “Today’s heart-breaking decision to keep our colleague in jail is yet another travesty of justice.

    “After more than a year away from his family, and without a a shred of credible evidence presented to substantiate the absurd charges made against him, his cruel and protracted incarceration defies all logic.

    “Earlier this month, any fig-leaf of legitimacy for the prosecutor’s case was stripped away with the submission of the long-delayed police report. By failing to find any evidence that Taner ever had the ByLock messaging app on his phone, the report removed the central accusation against him. A second police report submitted to the court this morning, confirmed that there was no trace of Bylock on Taner’s phone.

    June 20, 2018
    Amnesty Secretary General meets Taner Kılıç in jail for first time Trial resumes in Istanbul on 21 June Amnesty Secretary General and directors from four countries to attend hearing

    On the eve of the resumption of his trial, jailed Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç, has made an impassioned plea for people not to stay silent on the issue of human rights abuses in Turkey and vowed to carry on his work when he is released.

    “When I am released I want to carry on. I know now more than ever how important human rights are,” Taner told Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, who visited him in Şakran high security prison today.

    “Others in are in a worse situation than me,” Taner continued, stressing the need for solidarity with everyone who has been unjustly jailed in Turkey.

    June 18, 2018

    •         Police report finds nothing to suggest Taner Kılıç ever had the controversial ByLock app on his phone

    •         Trial resumes in Istanbul on 21 June

    •         Amnesty Secretary General and directors from four countries to attend trial

    More than a year after his arrest, a 15-page police report finally submitted by the prosecution, fails to find any evidence that Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç, ever had ByLock on his phone. The alleged presence of the secure messaging application was central to the case against the rights defender, who is still languishing in prison.

    The findings of the police report do not substantiate the central accusation against Taner and Amnesty International is therefore renewing its call for his immediate release and acquittal.

    Pages

    Subscribe to Turkey
    rights