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Human Rights Concerns: Ill-Treatment of Refugees

Each year, thousands of people seeking refugee status from more than 30 countries arrive in Turkey. The national authorities are taking ever greater responsibility for refugee status determination in Turkey but have yet to develop a fair procedure that meets international standards. A fundamental weakness in providing legal protection to asylum-seekers and refugees in Turkey lies in the fact that at the current time there is no comprehensive refugee law, with the conduct of state officials governed by secondary legislation that can be changed without notification.

Difficulties in gaining access to asylum procedures at Turkey’s borders, airports, and in detention mean that many people are expelled without having their asylum claims assessed, leaving them at risk of serious human rights abuses upon return to their countries. Registered asylum-seekers and recognized refugees are also increasingly forcibly returned from Turkey. Asylum-seekers’ access to adequate housing, health services, and work is very limited. Bureaucratic problems also prevent refugee children from accessing secondary education.

Turkey Newsroom



November 27, 2019 • Press Release

Turkey’s Prosecution Call for Jail Term of Up to 15 Years for Six Human Rights Defenders, Including Amnesty’s Honorary Chair and Former Director, Defies Logic

“Today’s vindictive request by the State Prosecutor for jail terms of up to 15 years ignores the evidence and defies all logic."

November 25, 2019 • Press Release

Amnesty’s Ex-Director and Honorary Chair in Turkey Must be Acquitted in Absurd “Terror” Trial

More than two years after they were first detained, the honorary chair, the former director of Amnesty International and nine other human rights defenders must be acquitted of the absurd charges they still face, said Amnesty International ahead of their next trial hearing which resumes tomorrow in Istanbul.

November 12, 2019 • Press Release

Decision to Re-Arrest Writer Ahmet Altan in Turkey a Scandalous Injustice

Following a court decision to re-arrest writer Ahmet Altan just a week after he was released from jail following more than three years in pre-trial detention, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Marie Struthers said:

November 4, 2019 • Press Release

A Dark Day for Press Freedom in Turkey After Politically Motivated Trial Injustice

Following trial court’s decision to sentence Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan to 10-and-a-half, and 8 years and 9 months in prison, on ludicrous charges of “knowingly and willingly assisting a terrorist organization,” Sara Hall, Deputy Regional Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International, said:

October 24, 2019 • Press Release

Turkey Illegally Deported Syrians Into War Ahead of Anticipated ‘Safe Zone’

Turkey spent the months leading up to its military incursion into northeast Syria forcibly deporting refugees to the war-torn country, in advance of attempting to create a so-called “safe zone” on the Syrian side of the border, new Amnesty International research has revealed.

October 11, 2019 • Press Release

Turkish Military Offensive Risks a Humanitarian Catastrophe in Syria

The military offensive by Turkey in northeast Syria risks devastating humanitarian consequences and a further destabilization of the region, warned Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Marie Struthers, reiterating the call on Turkey to respect international law.

October 9, 2019 • Press Release

Civilians at risk in Syria as Turkish military offensive looms

Responding to the Turkish government’s statements that its forces are set to cross into northeast Syria “shortly” as part of an offensive to move US-backed Kurdish forces away from its border, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said: “As the Turkish military gears up to attack Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, it is …

October 8, 2019 • Press Release

Turkish Judicial Farce Must End With Acquittal Of Human Rights Defenders

More than two years after they were first detained, the honorary chair and the former Director of Amnesty International Turkey and nine other human rights defenders must be acquitted of the absurd charges they still face, said Amnesty International ahead of their trial which resumes tomorrow in Istanbul.

May 10, 2019 • Press Release

‘Appalling’ violence used against students holding Pride march in Turkey

Reacting to the news that a Pride march organized by students at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara has been violently broken up by police and 25 students arrested, Fotis Filippou, Campaigns Director for Europe at Amnesty International, said: “It is heartbreaking to hear that today’s Pride march, which should have been a celebration of …

February 19, 2019 • Press Release

Courts in Turkey being used to strangle media freedom

Responding to the decision of a Turkish first instance appeals court to uphold the conviction of journalists and executives from the Cumhuriyet newspaper, Amnesty International’s Turkey Strategy and Research Manager, Andrew Gardner said: “Today’s ruling to send the former Cumhuriyet staff back to prison exposes yet again the way in which politically motivated trials and unsound court decisions are simply rubber …

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