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