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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



July 18, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: Lifting of state of emergency must pave road back to justice

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 …

July 16, 2018 • Press Release

Afghanistan: Record high civilian casualties make returns unjustifiable

The international community cannot abandon the Afghan people who have fled conflict and violence at a time when civilian casualties continue at record highs, Amnesty International said today, calling on governments to halt forced returns to Afghanistan. According to UN figures just released, 1,692 people were killed in the first six months of 2018 – …

July 6, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: Conviction of six Zaman journalists “sends further shock through an already devastated media landscape”

Following the sentencing of six former columnists and editors of the shuttered Zaman newspaper to jail terms of between eight-and-a-half and ten-and-a-half years, and the acquittal of five others, Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Campaign Director for Europe said:

June 21, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: Court defies logic as Amnesty Turkey Chair kept in jail

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 …

June 20, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: “When I am released I want to carry on” says jailed Amnesty Chair

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 …

June 6, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: One year since the imprisonment of Taner Kılıç, demands for his release will not be silenced

Despite the government’s cynical crackdown on human rights, activists for justice and freedom will not be silenced, Amnesty International said on the first anniversary of the detention of Taner Kılıç. The Honorary Chair of Amnesty International Turkey was arrested on 6 June 2017 on a baseless charge of belonging to a terrorist organization. More than a …

April 24, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: Thousands of Afghans swept up in ruthless deportation drive

At least 2,000 Afghans who fled to Turkey to escape conflict and the worst excesses of the Taliban are in detention and at imminent risk of being forced back to danger, Amnesty International said today. The Turkish authorities appear to be ramping up a deportation spree that has seen 7,100 Afghans rounded up and returned to …

April 4, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: Global stunts and vigils mark 300 days behind bars for Amnesty chair

Ahead of today’s international day of action, marking his 300th day behind bars, the imprisoned honorary chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kılıç, has expressed his heartfelt thanks to all those who have stood in solidarity with him.

February 16, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: A dark day for press freedom and for justice as journalists sentenced to life

Following the aggravated life sentences handed down to six defendants, including Nazlı Ilıcak, Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan, for “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”, Gauri van Gulik, Europe Director for Amnesty International, said.

February 1, 2018 • Press Release

Re-arrest and detention of Amnesty chair hours after release ordered devastates family, disgraces justice

The decision to renew the detention of Amnesty International’s Turkey Chair mere hours after a court ordered his release must be immediately reversed and Taner Kılıç set free, said Amnesty International. “Over the last 24 hours we have borne witness to a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions. To have been granted release only to …