The Journalist and Writers Foundation (JWF), affiliated with the Gülen movement, that has been widely and systematically persecuted by Turkish government, has called inter-governmental organisations as well as non-governmental organisations on to observe, identify, investigate and report the massive human rights violations especially against women in Turkey.
Presenting a statement during “A Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM)” on the topic of “Access to Justice as a Key Element of the Rule of Law” which has been organised by The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and held in Vienna on November 16-17, 2017, the JWF reiterated its demands for the establishment of an independent, credible international investigation Committee into the coup attempt of July 15, 2016 to remove any kind of vagueness and lack of clarity.
As a Gülen-inspired Civil Society Organization the JWF, has also called OSCE, and especially the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to lead and support the procedure of establishing such a committee during the meeting which was co-organized by the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM).
Reminding that Turkish courts and tribunals which may fall into the category of domestic remedies in Turkey have lost their competence to make independent and fair decision, the JWF has also called on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), where a majority of the appeals have been directed, and other relevant international monitoring bodies to not delay or deny applications from Turkey’s purge victims and others based on the unrealistic premise that domestic legal processes must first be exhausted.
The JWF has urged the Turkish government to restore an independent judicial system in accordance with the rule of law and to guarantee all its citizens the fundamental right of access to justice and to release all judges, prosecutors and lawyers, who have unduly been detained for carrying out their professional activities.
Reminding that one of the core principles of the OSCE underlines that human rights and democracy related developments are not confined to internal affairs of the concerned state but are issues of direct and legitimate concern to all participating States, the JWF has stated that “The state of emergency declared by the Turkish government led to incitement, to hatred, atrocity crimes, massive human rights violations and the collective punishment and arbitrary persecution of people on the basis of their so called ties to the Gülen movement.”
“The extreme demolition of the rule of law through the widespread persecution of lawyers, judges and prosecutors is a clear evidence for Turkish government’s abuse of the state of emergency to establish an atmosphere of fear and silence each and every opponent,” read the statement and continued as follow:
“Currently more than 2,000 (out of 4,424 dismissed) judges and prosecutors, 555 lawyers are under arrest, with a further 1,433 lawyers being prosecuted. Most of them are detained without being taken to a court, on the basis of poorly grounded accusations of supporting so called terrorist organizations.
“Turkish courts ordered the freezing of assets when they issue detention warrants, which puts the detained into a position of not being able to support their families.
“Furthermore, the right of the defense is undermined by the adopted decree-laws. The detainees have no access to a lawyer for the first five days of police custody, and this right can be suspended for up to six months.
“Even in the cases when access to a lawyer is possible, the confidentiality between the lawyer and the client is violated: the conversation between the lawyer and the client are often taking place in the presence of a police officer and the conversation in the prisons are recorded. In addition to this, documents are confiscated and checked by the police officers.”
It was stated in OSCE website that the meeting has been organised to provide a forum to identify the main current legal and practical challenges in the area of access to justice in the OSCE region, to exchange relevant information and identify good practices in addressing these challenges and, finally, to articulate recommendations for OSCE participating States on improving access to justice as a key element of the rule of law.
The SDHM was participated by the representatives of the OSCE’s 57 participating States, OSCE institutions and executive structures, representatives of inter-governmental organizations, civil society and academics form the member States that have relevant experience in the topic.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.