| Den norske Helsingforskomité

Statement on the case of Dr. Serdar Küni

Turkey:

Statement on the case of Dr. Serdar Küni

NHC has issued a statement protesting the conviction of Dr Serdar Küni, from Turkey, addressed to the Gaziantepe Regional High Court. The statement is supported by 28 other organisations from various countries. Küni's prosecution is part of a wave of arrests, dismissals and other legal actions taken against human rights defenders, medical professionals, lawyers, journalists, and academics since July 2015 in Southeast Turkey, and throughout Turkey after the failed military coup in July 2016. The statement underlines the principal importance of the case. Dr. Küni is a medical doctor, and is therefore under a professional duty to provide medical assistance to any person in need of such assistance. He is also a human rights defender.

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Report on the observation of the trial against Dr. Serdar Küni

Turkey:

Report on the observation of the trial against Dr. Serdar Küni

NHCs Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal was part of an international delegation of trial monitors to Şırnak, Turkey. This report sets out the joint findings of two observation missions in the trial of Dr. Serdar Küni. An international delegation of trial monitors, composed of legal and medical health experts, observed the first hearing against Dr. Küni before the 2nd Heavy Penal Court on 13 March 2017 and the second hearing before the same court on 24 April 2017. The report reflects the observations of the international delegation of trial monitors and identifies several issues of concern in relation to the prosecution and fairness of the trial of Dr. Küni.

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Statement of International Delegation of Trial Monitors

Turkey:

Statement of International Delegation of Trial Monitors

“The trial proceedings against Dr. Küni ignored the most basic of international fair trial standards, and failed to take into account the arbitrary nature of the charges against him”. Deputy Secretary General Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal is currently on mission to Turkey. He is part of an international trial monitoring group, monitoring the trial against Dr. Serdar Küni, a medical doctor who provided medical treatment during clashes in Cizre in 2015 and 2016.

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NHC makes a submission on human rights in Turkey to the European Commission

Turkey:

NHC makes a submission on human rights in Turkey to the European Commission

Upon invitation, NHC has made a submission to the European Commission Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. The submission points out that the situation of civil and political rights in Turkey has deteriorated in 2015-2016. Some of the actions and statements of senior politicians – including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – led to an erosion of the rule of law. In particular, the media and the judiciary were under pressure by the executive power. The submission also points to challenges related to refugees, freedom of religion and belief and LGBTI. It raises concerns that the end of the Kurdish peace process will lead to further detoriation of respect for human rights.

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Freedom of Expression & Freedom of Religion or Belief – The Case of Turkey

Conference:

Freedom of Expression & Freedom of Religion or Belief – The Case of Turkey

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative will organize a Conference on February 18, 2016, in cooperation with Ankara University Centre for Human Rights, entitled Freedom of Expression & Freedom of Religion or Belief – The Case of Turkey. The event takes place in Ankara.

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Human rights in Turkey

Seminar:

Human rights in Turkey

- Ceasefire in Turkey today, not tomorrow, that is our goal. This was the message from Metin Bakkalci, a leading human rights defender in Turkey, who was the main speaker at the seminar "Human rights in Turkey – moving in the wrong direction?". The Norwegian Helsinki Committee arranged the seminar at the House of litterature on 26 January together with the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) and the Norwegian Medical Association.

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New Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

Turkey:

New Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) Freedom of Belief Initiative outlines in this report, covering the period from July 2014 to June 2015, the need for Turkish legislation and practice to be brought into harmony with human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief.

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Authorities should re-start the peace process

Turkey:

Authorities should re-start the peace process

“The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is concerned over the escalation of fighting between Turkish security forces and the Kurdish Labour Party (PKK) as well as the ongoing polarization of society which could jeopardize years of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue,” said Gunnar M. Ekelove-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

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Election result strengthens democracy

Turkey:

Election result strengthens democracy

The outcome of the 7 June 2015 Parliamentary Elections in Turkey sends a strong signal that the people of the country do not favour strengthening the power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogen’s office at the expense of accountability and checks and balances, said Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

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Support the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey

Turkey:

Support the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey

On 24 March, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) sent a letter to the President and the Government of Turkey, calling for support to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT).

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Turkey needs a principled approach to freedom of religion

New report:

Turkey needs a principled approach to freedom of religion

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) Freedom of Belief Initiative outlines in this report, covering the period from July 2013 to June 2014, that Turkey needs to take comprehensive steps in order to bring legislation and practice in line with international human rights law.

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Annual roundtable on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Turkey:

Annual roundtable on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Annual roundtable event on the right to freedom of religion or belief was organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Istanbul. This year’s roundtable discussion focused on the general trends and issues related to religious freedom in Turkey, based on the Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief – July 2013-June 2014. The second part of the discussion centred on the intersection between the right to freedom of religion or belief and the right to education.

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Letter to the Prime Minister of Turkey

Turkey:

Letter to the Prime Minister of Turkey

In a letter to the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee argues that a recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights points to the importance of bringing the program, lesson books and activities associated with the mandatory Religious Culture and Knowledge of Ethics (Din Kültürü Ahlak Bilgisi- DKAB) courses in line with international human rights requirements, and that these are key issues for Turkey’s democratization and social harmony. Read the letter in full below.

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NHC attends the annual HDIM-meeting

OSCE meeting in Warzaw:

NHC attends the annual HDIM-meeting

NHC is active at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2014 which is currently taking place in Warsaw.

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Turkey struggling to protect freedom of religion or belief

Seminar:

Turkey struggling to protect freedom of religion or belief

- Turkey is not a theocratic or confessional state. It is a secular state with significant human rights commitments in the sphere of freedom of religion or belief. However, Turkey is struggling with protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief fully for all, to comply with the principle of state neutrality and to ensure pluralism, Mine Yildrim, Head of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Turkey, said at a seminar on religion and state in Turkey arranged by the Norwegian Helsinki arranged on 12 March 2014.

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Gruveulykken i Soma må føre til endringer

Turkey:

Gruveulykken i Soma må føre til endringer

- Gruveulykken i Soma 13. mai, som har tatt over 300 menneskeliv, må etterforskes. Det må være en genuin og åpen etterforskning som får tillit i befolkningen. Gruveeierne og de som hadde ansvar for gruvedriften kan ikke gå fri for sitt ansvar, sa Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, assisterende generalsekretær på en markering for ofrene for ulykken foran Stortinget 20. mai 2014 arrangert av den norske Occupy Gezi Plattformen. Photo: Emrah Gurel.

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Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

Policy Paper 3/2014:

Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

The NHC presents our third policy paper of 2014. The policy paper discusses religious minorities' rights in Turkey, and urges the Turkish government to recognize the Alevi cem houses as places of worship. The Alevi are Turkey's largest religious minority, and the cemevi are their houses of worship.

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The Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

New report:

The Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

The new NHC Freedom of Belief Initiative’s report “The Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey - Monitoring Report January- June 2013” provides a human rights based systematic review of the right to freedom of religion or belief for all in Turkey. The report was published in Turkish language in September 2013.

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Reform package fails to solve key freedom of religion issues

Turkey:

Reform package fails to solve key freedom of religion issues

On 30 September 2013, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented a democratization package to address some of the fundamental issues in the country, including freedom of religion or belief issues. “While the package includes positive elements, it falls short of introducing a principled approach to freedom of religion or belief”, said Mine Yildirim, head of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Turkey.

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Markering i solidaritet med demonstranter i Tyrkia

Tyrkia:

Markering i solidaritet med demonstranter i Tyrkia

Den norske Helsingforskomité har sluttet seg til en markering på Youngstorget på onsdag 19. juni kl. 18.00. Markeringen arrangeres av LIM - nettverket, norsk - tyrkiske fredsaktivister og Norges Fredsråd med støtte fra en rekke andre organisasjoner.

Budskapet er: Respekter ytringsfriheten, ta vare på miljøet og stopp politivolden mot demonstrantene. Nefise Özkal Lorentzen fra LIM og John Peder Egenæs fra Amnesty International Norge er blant appellantene. Sufimusikk og fotoutstilling med bilder fra demonstrasjonene i Tyrkia står også på programmet.

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Government should respect freedoms

Turkey:

Government should respect freedoms

The Turkish government should respect freedoms and establish independent investigation into police violence against demonstrators. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned about recent reports of police abuse against largely peaceful demonstrators in Istanbul, Ankara and many other Turkish cities.

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Freedom of Religion or Belief Project in Turkey

Religion in Turkey:

Freedom of Religion or Belief Project in Turkey

The Freedom of Belief Project was launched in March 2013. The project builds on and incorporates an already existing initiative in Turkey, The Freedom of Belief Initiative (İÖG), led by Mine Yildirim, a Turkish expert in the field soon to defend her doctoral thesis at the Åbo Academy, Finland. The three years project, 2013-2015, is aimed at laying the foundation for a permanent Turkish human rights organization specializing on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB).

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Concerned about death threats against lawyer

Turkey:

Concerned about death threats against lawyer

In a letter sent yesterday to the Turkish Minister of Interior Muammar Güler, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee expresses our concern about the death treats against the Turkish lawyer Erdal Doğan, who is a legal counsel for the victims in the Zirve/Malatya trial concerning the killing of three Christians on 18 April 2007 in Malatya, South Eastern Turkey. The letter is a part of NHC's new initiative in Turkey, the Freedom of Belief Initiative, a human rights project founded to improve the protection of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief in Turkey. The project is headed by our co-ordinator in Istanbul, Mine Yildirim. A letter has also been sent to Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders and Nils Muižnieks,
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

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New report:

Turkey: Need for firm leadership on human rights

(29/01-2007) The Norwegian Helsinki Committee just released a new human rights report on Turkey.

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Conference on Turkish taboo:

Conscientious objection must be made legal

(01/02-2007) 600 experts discussed conscientious objection in Istanbul 28-29 January, and concluded that Turkey needs a change of legislation.

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