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HomeHeadlineMirror of Truth: Unveiling the Deep-Rooted Issues in Turkey's Human Rights Landscape

Mirror of Truth: Unveiling the Deep-Rooted Issues in Turkey’s Human Rights Landscape

While examining the U.S. Department of State’s annual Human Rights Report, I can say I relived the last year in slow motion. Indeed, the report systematically records the human rights violations of the Erdoğan regime. It brings to light all the ‘crookedness’ that the government hides, censors, and does not allow to be discussed.

And it doesn’t stop there; it also takes it to the world stage.

This work is essentially an X-ray of the country, and the reflection in the mirror is not at all rosy. Arbitrary actions, lawlessness, and despotism have spread like cancerous cells. Turkey is like a patient in a coma for whom medication no longer works.

If anyone thinks I’m exaggerating, here’s the report; click here to read…

Before going into details, it’s also worth noting that these reports are reference works. They determine your place on the international stage. Many countries, including their economic investments, use these reports to plan their projects. Therefore, every sensible country cares about the image reflected in these reports. No one wants a report card filled with failures.

Turkey has even surpassed China!

Let’s see what the report says?

The 86-page report includes everything from unfair elections to the situation of refugees, widespread lawlessness suffered by members of the Gülen Community, abductions in black transporters, and non-implementation of European Court of Human Rights and Constitutional Court decisions—all part of the Erdoğan regime’s actions.

The U.S. government values this report, and the Secretary of State personally announces it every year. It addresses issues in about 200 countries individually.

Let me note another detail that caught my attention. The Turkey section of the report is 86 pages. I wondered how the situation is in countries with civil wars like Syria or strict dictatorships like North Korea. The situation is truly dire. Even countries like Iraq or China have fewer violations than in Turkey.

Reports of one or two countries, like Iran, are less comprehensive than Turkey’s. The Erdoğan regime can hardly boast enough!

While preparing these reports, the U.S. Department of State utilizes the work of local human rights organizations, bar associations, and NGOs. In other words, whatever happens in the country is reflected in the report.

Both the AKP regime and bureaucracy treat the EU and U.S. reports as non-existent. However, when they say “We do not recognize!” these reports do not disappear. They do not lose their reference characteristics.

What part of the report are you objecting to? If it were possible and we could ask AKP officials; what part of this report do you object to? For instance, is there no abduction of people from abroad and cross-border pressure? Aren’t there photos of teachers, doctors, or businessmen who have been abducted and tortured personally served by MİT? Is it a lie that media institutions that do not pledge allegiance to the regime are being taken over, and independent journalists have to go to jail or into exile? Isn’t it true that the streets have been handed over to the mafia?

Are restrictions on internet freedom exaggerated?

Didn’t the whole world see after the February 6 earthquake, which claimed the lives of tens of thousands, that the internet was cut off and people were left to die? Is it contrary to reality that corruption is widespread, the bureaucracy is under government control, and public officials involved in human rights violations are not punished?

As is well known, the U.S. does not recognize the Gülen Movement as a terrorist organization. This aspect has not changed in this year’s version of the report. Many parts of the report describe human rights violations, mistreatment, and tortures directed at members of the Gülen Community.

To the cronies who sneer at the report, must we ask; does arresting tens of thousands of people for opening a pastry at a fair or depositing money at Bank Asya seem exaggerated to you?

Are there no unlawful practices against Can Atalay, Osman Kavala, and Ekrem İmamoğlu? Weren’t these cases opened under the orders of the Palace and for political purposes? Isn’t Selahattin Demirtaş a political hostage? Isn’t it a lie that the decisions of the ECHR and the Constitutional Court are not implemented as stated in the report?

In short; whatever happens in Turkey is also reflected in international reports. If there is such a thing as ‘state intelligence,’ it should take off its hat and think; how can this collapsing country in every sense and in every area recover?

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Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Aslan is a leading Turkish investigative journalist in exile based in Washington, D.C.

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