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Turkey: Another Dismal Human Rights Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE

February 9, 1998 No. 09/98

TURKEY: ANOTHER DISMAL HUMAN RIGHTS YEAR

The section devoted to Turkey in the 1997 State Department Human Rights Report, issued January 30, makes dismal reading. The report stated that "despite the government's stated commitment to respect human rights, serious human rights abuses continued." The first paragraph highlighted the lead role played by the military. Subsequent sections listed a catalogue of violations of basic human rights, democracy, justice, minority persecution, civil and press liberties, religious freedom, and women's issues.

Some of the prominent examples under these headings were:

AHI General Counsel Eugene T. Rossides stated: "Regrettably, Turkey's human rights record has not improved. The fundamental reason for this sad state of affairs is that Turkey is not a normal western democracy. Instead military influence pervades all aspects of Turkish government. Until this underlying problem is addressed, there is little chance that Turkey can take its place among the ranks of the western democratic nations."