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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



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, …

August 1, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Turkey must stop serious violations by allied groups and its own forces in Afrin

Turkish forces are giving Syrian armed groups free rein to commit serious human rights abuses against civilians in the northern city of Afrin, Amnesty International said today, following an in-depth investigation into life under the Turkish military occupation. Research released today reveals that residents in Afrin are enduring a wide range of violations, mostly at …

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 …