Turkey’s Human Rights Record 2012 – Part I

10.12.2012 – On the occasion of World Human Rights Day, Turkey’s two main human rights organizations released their annual torture reports, complaining that impunity on several torture cases encouraged the ongoing human tragedy in Turkey. Human Rights Organization and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey made a joint statement on the occasion of World Human Rights Week, saying that they have observed a stalemate on the dialogue process of Turkey’s Kurdish question.

“In the first ten months of 2012, 506 torture and ill treatment cases were reported to Human Rights Organization, while 397 others were submitted to  Human Rights Foundation of Turkey,” the statement said. The two human rights organizations complained that the world still suffered from human rights abuses on the 64th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

The statement listed tolls on various human rights issues in Turkey as follows:

Kurdish question

“The stalemate on the Kurdish question with increasing violence rose the number of human rights abuses in Turkey,” the report said. “The security policy that the Turkish state is employing on the Kurdish question,” the report continued, “deepened the irresolution. The police raids in the name of KCK operations oppressed Kurds, as well the opposition and pro-Kurdish party BDP. This policy fastened the dissolution of the two peoples.”

The report also warned that releasing parliamentarian immunities of Kurdish deputies would force Kurdish politicians to look for alternative ways to raise their voices.”

Clashes between PKK and Turkish Army

Between January 1 and September 30, clashes between Turkish Army forces and PKK left 185 Turkish security staff dead, 319 wounded, while leaving 224 PKK members dead and 12 wounded. The clashes caused 16 civilians dead and 124 wounded. Land mines took 16 lives during the period, wounding 37. Bombings in urban areas killed 14 people, wounding 15 Turkish security staff and 91 civilians. Between January 1 and November 30, 35 people lost their lives in Turkey by reasons associated with shooting sprees and, random killings, police chase. During the same period, 69 inmates died in prisons–13 at a fire in Urfa prison–while 9 people died suspiciously under police detention.


The statement claimed Turkish government’s “zero tolerance to torture” policy to be rhetorical, saying that 506 torture and ill-treatment complaints were submitted to Human Rights Foundation of Turkey.

At least 217 individuals reported that they became subject to torture in 2012.

397 torture cases were reported to Human Rights Organization. The report also underline the rise of torture and ill-treatments complaints taking place in other than officials security buildings such as in cars, conference rooms, etc. It also concluded that impunity with long prosecution periods and releases of suspects on several torture cases encouraged the ongoing human tragedy in Turkey. (AS)