The Author

Mehmet Onur Cevik

Mehmet Onur Cevik holds a Bachelor degree in Law, a Master degree in Sociology and currently he is a PhD student at the research group for Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies (mict) at Ghent University, Belgium. In addition to being registered as lawyer at Ankara Bar Association, Cevik has also worked for two years as research assistant for a think-tank based in Ankara. His interests are : legal philosophy, comparative media research and political communication with a specific focus on Turkey.


As it is known by most, Turkey has been in an extraordinary atmosphere since the 15 July 2016 attempted coup. Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director, describes this atmosphere where draconian powers are consolidated, critical voices are silenced and basic rights are stripped away[1]. Even though two-year-long state of emergency has been lifted shortly afterwards the 24 June snap election, Turkey’s parliament has ratified a tough anti-terrorism bill proposed by the ruling party, only six days after the state of emergency had ended.

Analysts argue that not much has changed in Turkey, as the new law, which will be valid for three years, enhances authorities’ powers in detaining the suspects and imposing public order, and also authorizes the government to dismiss public servants, members of Turkish Armed Forces, gendarmerie and police on the grounds of ties to a terror organization

What is going on in Turkey might not be very surprising for those who know the country’s ups and downs of its democratic journey. In the recent past, democracy and human rights had significantly been distorted during 1980’s military coup or 1990’s anti-terror operations due to Kurdish conflict. Even though any human suffering and distress is unique, the nowadays human rights violations in Turkey are seen more massive and disproportionate than ever.  Thousands of citizens, public officers, media outlets and educational institutions still seek justice before both national and international courts.

 

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[1] https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/07/turkey-lifting-of-state-of-emergency-must-pave-road-back-to-justice/

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