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Türkiye

Monthly Event Reports

November 2023 | Judicial crisis looms over release order for jailed MP

The Supreme Court of Cassation filed a criminal complaint against the Constitutional Court, claiming it “exceeded its authority” over a ruling ordering the immediate exoneration of a jailed opposition MP. In response, opposition parties and legal experts, including the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, have accused the Supreme Court of Cassation of staging a judicial “coup” after failing to comply with the ruling and ensuring the MP’s release. In April 2022, Worker’s Party MP and human rights lawyer, Can Atalay, was one of seven civil society leaders sentenced to 18 years in prison on charges of “assisting the overthrow of the government” for his role in the Gezi Park protests in 2013, in which Atalay served as lawyer for activist association Taksim Solidarity. Atalay applied for legislative immunity after he was elected to Parliament in May 2023. On 25 October, the Constitutional Court found that Atalay's right to “personal liberty and security” and right to engage in political activities had been violated. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the Constitutional Court’s decision and called for a new constitution.

September 2023 | Appeals court upholds life sentence for Osman Kavala

On 28 September the court of cassation, the Supreme Court of Appeals, upheld human rights defender Osman Kavala’s life sentence in prison. He was originally sentenced in April 2022 after being held in detention since 2017 for alleged involvement in anti-government protests in 2013. The 2022 ruling also included 18-year sentences for seven others, three of which were overturned. The appeals court decision has been widely condemned by human rights organisations, which coordinated by Human Rights Watch, have issued a statement describing it as a “political show trial” and a punishment “for the legitimate exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly”. In 2019 the European Court of Human Rights ruled the detentions to be unlawful and requested that the seven detainees be freed, launching infringement proceedings against the country in 2022 after it failed to abide by the judgement. Türkiye may now face suspension from the Council of Europe.

July 2023 | Residents protest logging of Akbelen forest

Locals are protesting the clearing of 740,000 square meters of forest in Akbelen for a coal mine owned by YK Energy, a company with ties to the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) party. The protests are led mostly by women, who have defended the forest from logging for years, arguing for its importance in sustaining their community. Security forces have responded violently with tear gas and water cannons, making at least 40 arrests. Journalists and local politicians trying to enter the forest have been fined or arrested. Two delegations of MPs, one from the leading opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the other from the Green Left Party (YSP) were barred from visiting the site. Over 300 civil society organizations have expressed their support for the protests, and human rights groups have labelled the logging as an infringement of the right to live in a “safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.” Nonetheless, after a week, the area was cleared. 

June 2023 | Police detain protesters at banned Pride Marches

At least 113 protesters who assembled in an effort to hold a banned Pride March were detained and later released by the Istanbul police. Pride marches and events were banned for a ninth consecutive year in Istanbul, with the governor of Istanbul declaring that no activities that “weaken the institution of the family” would be allowed to take place and asking citizens not to join but to criticize such actions. LGBTQIA+ parades and events were banned across the country during the Pride month, with at least 52 protesters detained in Izmir. Despite court decisions in the last three years having found that these bans were unlawful and violate the Turkish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, this year’s bans have again breached the protesters’ right of peaceful assembly. In June, an official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said they have brought up a constitutional amendment proposal that aims at shutting down all LGBTQIA+ associations in Türkiye.

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GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
85 042 736
System of government
Presidential system
Head of government
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (since 2014)
Head of government party
Justice and Development Party (AKP)
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
List Proportional Representation
Women in lower or single chamber
19.9%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2023
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
2.4
Head of state
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Selection process for head of state
Direct election (two-round majority)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
28/01/2020
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
67.29%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
State Party
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
No Action
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 4 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Signatory
Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Signatory
Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
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Mar 2024

Global State of Democracy Indices

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Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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