Mazlumder unveils report on human rights violations in Turkey

One of the Turkey's main human rights organisation announced its assessment on human rights violations in 2008 across the country.

Mazlumder unveils report on human rights violations in Turkey
World Bulletin / News Desk

The Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People (MAZLUMDER), announced its assessment on human rights violations in 2008 across the country.

Mazlumder, one of the Turkey's main human rights organisation, said that they saw the opening of Ergenekon case as the most important event of 2008 and they thought that the case which would possibly bring many dark relationships, unidentified events and murders of our recent history into open, would come up with significant results for the future of Turkey's democracy.

As for the most negative event of 2008, Mazlumder sees the cancelment of the changes in the 10th and 42nd articles of the constitution that provided the university students with the freedom in their way of clothing and was accepted by the votes of 411 delegates by the Supreme Court. According to the NGO, civil constitution efforts have also been suspended in Turkey with the decision that made the parliament's authority of changing the constitution discussable. "The right violation that the students wearing scarves cannot benefit from their education rights has also been deadlocked in this way."

Violations of right to live

In the report of Mazlumder, 2008 has generally come to be a year that violations of right to live have increased when compared to previous years. Conflicts and bombing actions take place at the top of the right to live violations. Whereas the right to live violations caused by conflicts and bombing actions were ascertained as 615, the right to live violation caused by both of these two reasons were 1103 in 2008, says the assessment.

The right to live violations took place generally in East and Southeast Anatolia regions which is the conflict place and most of the Kurdish people live in.

The right to live violations caused by conflicts and bombing actions arise generally from the mutual violence enforcements between the army and the armed dissenting power PKK in accordance with the process following the 1980s, said the NGO.

While the right to live violations appearing in the unidentified and suspicious murders way was ascertained as 376 for the year 2007, it was 343 within the year, 2008.

Execution and torture

The right to live violations, within the scope of in-place execution and torture in 2008, that came into life in the events, of which the unidentified or active actors were the soldiers or densely policemen, have been estimated as 29, said Mazlumder.

"While the torture, torture claims and ill treatment events were 163 in 2007, they were 207 in 2008. This increase in 2008 also attracts attention. While the torture, torture claims and ill treatment events were 9 in January, 2008, they were 25 in December."

Human rights activists sais the written assessment that the torture and extrajudicial execution enforcements resulting in the increasing right to live violations in parallel with the enlargement of the authorities of the policemen arouse anxiety among the public opinion whit the question that ''are we going back to Turkey of 1990s?'' in minds.

Freedom of thought and faith

The violations on the freedom of thought and faith, the basic problem in Turkey, keeps going.

According to Mazlumder, the Muslim Sunnis, Alevis, and the non-Muslim communities still live difficulties in some fields. While there were 68 incidents on the freedom of faith in 2007, there has been observed an increase up to 112 incidents in terms of violations in 2008.

In addition to the violations basically resulting from the ideological state structure in Turkey and the harsh secularism understanding, violation of public officers and some citizens' rights are also in question, said Mazlumder.

"The constitutional amendment made in TBMM with a great support about the solution of the university students' problem whose educational rights are obstructed was unfairly cancelled by the Supreme Court. The request of the public about wearing scarf hasn't been met."

The violations directed to Alewis keeps constituting of unfair treatment. The fact that the State doesn't recognize the Alewis legally, interfere with the beliefs of Alewis and the obligation of some Alewi groups' participating in the religious culture and moral knowledge course keeps going."

They also said that Turkish state was also not recognizing Imami Shī'ism legally, Sunni centered emphasis in religious culture and moral knowledge course, Imami Shī'ism members' not having legal right of representation in Department of Religious Affairs, not being permitted to open Divinity School and other problems continue.

"The communities that are less in number such as Assyrians, Turkish Protestants, Yezidi, Bahai, Jehovah's witness and other ones excluding the Greek, Armenian and Jews aren't legally recognized. "

Kurdish Language

Mazlumder hailed the eopening of Kurdish TV broadcasting under the name of TRT SES, saying that it was crucial. It is a breaking point in terms of recognition of Kurdish which has been denied since the foundation of the Turkish Republic, it said.

Activists also welcomed the studies on the opening of Kurdish Language and Literature Department at universities, underlying that they should go beyond rumours and be certainly actualized within 2009. Otherwise, it is difficult for TV broadcasting to result in expected consequences.

The fact that while on one side there is the Kurdish TV development, there is an investigation opened (January 2008 Adana-Ceyhan) about some managers for they spoke Kurdish in DTP congress on the other side presents a conflictual situation with this development, they also added. "The children member of a choir singing Kurdish songs were questioned. Kurdish plates can't be hung up while plates in many other languages can be and preaching in Kurdish is prohibited in mosques," Mazlumder added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Nisan 2009, 18:47