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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



December 16, 2020 • Press Release

Governments and Police Must Stop Using COVID-19 Pandemic as Pretext for Abuse

Abusive policing and excessive reliance on law enforcement to implement COVID-19 response measures have violated human rights and in some instances made the health crisis worse, Amnesty International said today.

October 20, 2020 • Press Release

Hope for justice in Turkey as police officers face trial for assassinated human rights lawyer

The trial of three police officers accused of killing prominent human rights lawyer Tahir Elçi presents a long overdue chance for justice, Amnesty International said today. On November 28,2015, Tahir …

July 3, 2020 • Press Release

Court in Turkey deals crushing blow as four human rights activists are convicted

Following a majority court ruling to convict Taner Kılıç for ‘membership of the Fethullah Gülen terrorist organization’ and to convict Özlem Dalkıran, İdil Eser and Günal Kurşun for ‘assisting the Fethullah Gülenterrorist organization’, Andrew Gardner, …

May 13, 2020 • Press Release

GOVERNMENT MUST TAKE STEPS IN TURKEY TO COMBAT RISING HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA

Ahead of the May 17 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) Amnesty International calls on the government of Turkey to take urgent action to counter the increasing number …

April 16, 2020 • Report

Mass protests in Europe provide hope as rights and judicial independence eroded

People’s rights are being violated by governments in Europe and Central Asia, who are cracking down on protests and seeking to erode the independence of the judiciary to avoid accountability, …

March 30, 2020 • Press Release

Imprisoned Journalists, Human Rights Defenders and Others in Turkey at Risk of COVID-19 Must be Urgently Released

Amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, the Turkish government is accelerating the preparation of a draft law that will reportedly release up to 100,000 prisoners. This is a welcome step.

March 4, 2020 • Press Release

Moscow Summit Must Prioritize Ending Renewed Attacks on Civilians in Idlib

Ahead of a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Moscow tomorrow (Thursday, March 5) to discuss the escalating military conflict in Idlib in Syria, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said: “The Moscow summit represents an opportunity for Russia and Turkey to prioritize the safety of civilians."

February 19, 2020 • Press Release

Re-Arrest of Osman Kavala in Turkey Smacks of Calculated Cruelty

The decision to detain Osman Kavala on new charges merely hours after a court-ordered his release must be immediately reversed and he must immediately set free, said Amnesty International.

February 14, 2020 • Press Release

Osman Kavala and two others face aggravated life sentences in Turkey as landmark verdict expected in Gezi trial

Ahead of tomorrow’s expected verdict in the so-called ‘Gezi trial’ where civil society leader Osman Kavala and 15 others are on trial on trumped-up charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the government’, Amnesty …

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."