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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



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."

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.

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