TR Governments Decision Regarding the Dismissal of Elected Mayors

Press Release – August 22, 2019

We express our grave concern about the decision of the Turkish Government to suspend the elected mayors of three cities in the south-east of the country, namely Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van, and to replace them with governors.

These mayors were elected as a result of the free and fair expression of the will of the Turkish people during the local elections held on 31 March 2019, which were observed by relevant international organizations. 

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Joint submission to the UN Human Rights Council’s universal periodic review of the Republic of Turkey

As Human Rights Defenders we have submitted to the UPR-Turkey a report concerning Labour Rights. In our Report we summarized the situation of the Private Sector workers, whose rights have been systematically violated after the 15/7/2016.

The Turkish Government committed the most serious human rights violations especially in the last three years with the help of “trustees” and “decree-laws” (KHK). The Republic of Turkey dismissed 140.000 public servants with decree laws and more than 100.000 workers by assigning trustees or closing down their workplaces by violating all the responsibilities it has which were guaranteed by the international agreements it signed.

These are all done by associating the victims with the coup and terrorism, without any investigations, without considering “the presumption of innocence” and by “violating the ILO (International Labor Organization) conventions”. The people who were dismissed from their duties within this process could not express their situation and victimhood in front of any authority as they were limited by the State of Emergency and decree-laws and as they were accused of the coup attempt.

Turkish State is seriously violating the “Termination of Employment Convention no. 158” of ILO which it signed and made an important part of its national legislation.

The OHAL (State of Emergency) Commission which is made up later because of the international pressure does not change this fact. This situation is described in detail in the report of Amnesty International named “Purged Beyond Return? No Remedy For Turkey’s Dismissed Public Sector Workers”.

The Government prevents the worker who are unemployed because of the trustees or closed institutions to find other jobs. The state makes sure that those persons are fired from their jobs again by threatening, harassing and sending inspectors to the workplaces of the employers. This is done by the Social Security Institution. SSI added 36th reason of dismissal (dismissal because of the connection to Gülen) to the list of 35 reasons to quit from job. The “code 036” is written to the social security registries of the people who worked in the workplaces closed by decree-laws, who were dismissed directly by decree-laws or who were fired by the employers with their opinion of being connected to the Gülen Movement.

We urge the Turkish Government to return all the assets which were stolen by confiscation. To pay back all the losses with adding positive and negative interests. Pay the rents with interest to the owners of all the assets which were confiscated. Return the people who were dismissed from their jobs by decree-laws. Pay all the salaries and compensations with interest to the people who were dismissed by trustees or by closing their workplaces for the period when they couldn’t work. Returning all the personal rights which were stolen. Apologize by the state because of all the pain they have been through during the time they were victimized and to pay compensations to them to compensate all the harm done to them.

Restore the honor of the people and institutions, declare their innocence by the Official Gazette and making sure they are returned to their jobs. Removing all the legislations in Turkey which does not fit to international law and signed international conventions.

For the report please follow these links.