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REPORT: Human Rights Violations Suffered by the Teachers in Turkey

On the occasion of the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of Turkey – 2020 (35th Session) we, Human Rights Defenders and Victim Educators submitted a joint report on “Human Rights Violations Suffered By The Teachers In Turkey”

In our report we bring into the light how the Turkish government, with state of emergency decrees, dismissed 34000 teachers in violation of both the international legislation and Turkish Constitution. Despite the provisions of the Constitution the Turkish Government, has violated its obligations under international law, teachers were purged without any investigation, the thoughts and opinions of these teachers were considered as “crime”, teachers were tortured to explain their thoughts, the principle of non-retroactivity of crimes and punishments is infringed (e.g. being a member of legally functioning trade union or having an account in a legally functioning bank are declared as crime some years after the action occurred), 34000 teachers were considered guilty without any trial and court decision.

Furthermore, we have summarized that the purge of teachers is also in contradiction with international conventions to which Turkey is a party e.g. the Termination of Employment Convention of ILO (C158).

In our report we also deliberated how the “presumption of innocence” of Teachers were neglected, how the right to defense was not provided before the dismissal of the teachers, how the teacher were not only purged but also were deprived of their employee personal benefits but also denied to work in diverse private institutions.

The purged teachers are seeking their rights. Nevertheless, it is not possible for them to get back their rights in Turkey where became an empire of fear and the principle of rule of law is annihilated. In our report, we have made following recommendations to end ongoing violations with regard to the right to association:

  1. Turkey should immediately get back purged teachers to their work
  2. Judicial proceedings should be conducted in compliance with universal legal rules and principles including but not limited to the presumption of innocence, individuality of offences and right to defence.
  3. Purged teachers’ financial, social and personal rights should be compensated.
  4. Turkey should apologize from these purged teachers due to her injustice and unlawfulness treatment.
  5. Turkey should rehabilitate the purged teachers by declaring their names in the Official Gazette as innocent.

For the report please follow this link.