Freedom of expression nonexistent in Turkey: German Foreign Ministry report

Duvar English

Although the Turkish Constitution protects freedom of expression, citizens are not allowed to practice their right in reality, a report by the German Foreign Ministry said, Deutsche Welle reported on Sept. 30.

Noting that Ankara surveys anyone considered to be an opposition to the government, the report said that a simple criticism of Turkish military activity in the southeast of the country could be deemed “terrorist propaganda.”

“The Turkish Constitution protects freedom of expression and freedom of the press. In practice, these rights are mostly eliminated,” the report noted, adding that all media has become “practically one-sided.”

Citizens of Turkey are heavily prosecuted for things like being subscribed to a certain news outlet, or using a certain mobile application, the report noted, adding that small actions were deemed evidence of relations to the organization of Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based Islamic preacher widely believed to have been behind the failed July 2016 coup.

Additionally, “large portions of the judiciary are useless” in Turkey, the report said, as judges can be dismissed for controversial rulings and court decisions vary wildly between judges.

‘Turning asylum seekers over to Turkey is a scandal’

Detailing the migration in and out of Turkey in the month of June, the Aug. 24 report recorded some 10,800 refugees from Germany who sought asylum in Turkey, and half of them were granted entry.

The report painted an optimistic picture of registered migrant rights, saying that they were granted medical care and a right to work, but that they weren’t exercised effectively in reality.

While the report said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deemed Turkey’s migration policies positive, non-governmental organization Pro Asyl official Günter Burkhardt disagreed entirely.

“It is a scandal for Germany and the European Union to allow asylum seekers to enter such a regime of unlawfulness,” Burkhardt said.

The official said that Turkey didn’t allow asylum seekers legal status, which forced them to live in constant fear of deportation.

from Duvar English

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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