World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said on Thursday that Turkey has made significant improvements in human rights, especially in freedom of expression.
Speaking at the opening of the 38th Congress of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), Turkish Deputy PM Atalay recited the recent efforts of Turkish government to eradicate human rights violations.
Atalay addressed the Turkish government's successful policy of 'zero-tolerance for torture,' saying "We enhanced suspect and defendant rights and custody conditions. We based our solutions for all problems, including terror, on more democracy, freedom and pluralism. We have lifted the legal barriers on free expression of non-violent and non-threatening thoughts. We have made great efforts to normalize Turkey."
Pointing out the process of "silent revolution" in democratizing and human rights, Atalay highlighted that Turkey has taken important steps towards eradicating human rights violations.
"Turkey used to have problems in human rights as seen in several cases in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Turkish state is now facing itself and its past. Turkish state and society have changed a lot. You should handle the social and political change well with a good timing and strategy," he noted.
Atalay, stressing the ongoing gross violations of human rights across the world, stated that the most live example of such violations is in the neighboring Syria, for all the world to see.
Citing Mevlana, Yunus Emre and Sheikh Edebali, Anatolia's influential humanitarian figures, Atalay urged that human rights are not to be under the sole initiative of states.
"Individuals and non-governmental organizations should play a more active role in human rights. In this respect, this human rights forum is of special importance in gathering the human rights organizations across the world and enable them to exchange experience and cooperate," told Atalay.
Atalay noted that Turkey amended its laws and institutions in line with the international standards in human rights, saying "International conventions on human rights are above our domestic law."
"We established the Information and Asssesment Committee, the Ombudsmanship to protect individuals against the state, and Turkish Organization of Human Rights, and also we granted the right to personally appeal to the ECHR," said Atalay.Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2013, 09:43