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REPORT: Right of Association has been breached by Turkey

Regarding the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review – Turkey (35th Session – 2020), Human Rights Defenders e.V., Victim Laborers Platform and the Victim Educator Platform submitted a report entitled “Right of Association in Turkey- in the aftermath of July 2016”

As the co-authors of the mentioned Report, we explained the legal framework concerning the right of Association in Turkey and its obligations derived from international agreements Turkey is signatory.

During the emergency rule, the Turkish Government enacted thirty-two Emergency Decrees. With these decrees, 125.678 individuals were dismissed from public service, more than 4,000 legal persons, consisting of foundations, associations, foundation-owned universities, trade unions, private health institutions, private education companies, and 174 media outlets, were closed down. Assets of all those legal persons were transferred to the Treasury without cost, compensation. Besides the measures targeted real and legal persons, Emergency Decrees, which were comprised of some 1200 Articles, led to over 1,000 permanent amendments to national laws.

Under Art 2§1(d) of Emergency Decree 667, 19 trade unions were closed and all of their assets were confiscated without compensation on grounds of their (alleged) attachment, affiliation or connection with the pro-Fetullah [Gulenist] Terrorist Organization (FTÖ/PDY). As of the date of closure, the closed unions had a total of 29.589 members. All of these members have lost their jobs, what is worse is they have been subjected to the prosecution under Article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code which stipulates the membership to a terrorist organization.

In our joint submission we evaluated how Turkey has fallen short of its obligation under the ICCPR and the ICECSR and urged the government of Turkey to Repeal legislation and decrees implemented under the state of emergency, take immediate steps to ensure that all legislation is compliant with its obligations under international human rights law, Reinstate dismissed public servants, amend its anti-terrorism legislation in order to have a legislation compliant with the ECHR case law, lift the closure of trade unions and other legal persons, ensure that labour law complies with the ILO conventions.

For our the report please follow this link.