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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



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 …

February 5, 2019 • Press Release

Yemen: UAE recklessly supplying militias with windfall of Western arms

An open source investigation published by Amnesty International today highlights a growing danger in Yemen’s conflict as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recklessly arms militias with a range of advanced weaponry. The investigation, “When arms go astray: Yemen’s deadly new threat of arms diversion to militias,” shows how the UAE has become a major conduit …

October 29, 2018 • Press Release

Leading journalists demand justice for Jamal Khashoggi

Leading journalists from around the world pay tribute to Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian journalist who was murdered by Saudi state agents at the country’s consulate in Istanbul this month, by reading portions of his final Washington Post column in a video released today by Amnesty International. Jake Tapper of CNN, Nick Kristof of the New York …

October 24, 2018 • Report

Purged beyond return? No remedy for Turkey’s dismissed public sector workers

More than two years after being arbitrarily dismissed, almost 130,000 Turkish public sector workers are still awaiting justice and facing an uncertain future, Amnesty International said in a report published today. 

October 18, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: Seek UN Inquiry on Khashoggi

Turkey should urgently ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a United Nations investigation into the possible extrajudicial execution of the prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders said today. The investigation should determine the circumstances surrounding Saudi Arabia’s role in the enforced …

October 7, 2018 • Press Release

Alleged assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Consulate in Istanbul would set abysmal new low

Responding to reports alleging that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf said:

August 27, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: “We will not rest until they are all free”, Amnesty chief vows

Leading human rights champions – including Amnesty International’s newly appointed Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, and Amnesty Turkey Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç, appearing publicly for the first time since his release from prison – will today pledge to intensify the struggle to ensure the release of all those unjustly jailed in Turkey. The gathering, attended by civil …

August 16, 2018 • Press Release

Turkey: Released Amnesty Chair hopes justice will prevail for all victims of politically motivated prosecutions

Taner Kılıç, the Honorary Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, who was released yesterday after more than fourteen months behind bars, has thanked his supporters and said he hopes the campaign for his release helps to highlight the situation facing other victims of politically motivated prosecutions in Turkey. Taner, whose trial will resume on November 7, …

August 15, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty Turkey’s Chair released after more than a year behind bars

Following the release the Honorary Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kilic, after more than fourteen months behind bars, Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s new Secretary General said: “We are overjoyed at this news. It has taken us more than a year of campaigning and struggle to get here. Taner has finally been freed and is …

August 15, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty Turkey’s Chair to be released after more than a year behind bars

Following a decision by a court in Istanbul to release the Honorary Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kilic after more than fourteen months behind bars, Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s new Secretary General said: “We are overjoyed at this news. It has taken us more than a year of campaigning and struggle to get here, …