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On the 15th of July 2016, there was an attempt to stage a coup d’état in Turkey. There is still the danger of a coup d’état. Many civilians, soldiers and police officers have either lost their lives or have been injured as a result of violence and clashes during this attempt. The use of military vehicles and fighter jets in city centres, particularly in civilian areas and neighbourhoods, and clashes taking place in these areas, has led to serious concerns and fear among citizens. On the other hand, we have also observed cases in which citizens have shown reactions beyond democratic principles and attempted lynchings. In short, Turkey is heading fast towards a deep chaos, the extent of which is unknown.
We, as the Human Rights Association (İHD) and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), would like to underline that we defend the principles of democracy and human rights at all costs and at any time. This is our fundamental position and we have been defending this position since we established our organisations. We condemn any kind of coup d’état or attempted coup d’état, which would mean the complete denial of democracy and fundamental rights, freedom, and violence, and lynchings reminiscent of civil war scenes. We offer our condolences to the victims’ families and wish a speedy recovery for those injured.
This chaos is directly related to the fact that Turkey has not been able to solve its democracy and human rights problems. The Government has not implemented democratic principles such as plurality, transparency and participation, but instead it has harmed fundamental rights and freedoms as well as the rule of law; passed anti-democratic laws such as impunity for soldiers – which reinforces military tutelage –, adopted policies based on violence rather than solving the Kurdish question through democratic and peaceful means; and conducted war at home as well as in other countries. All these problems have led to a deep political and state crisis in Turkey.
Unfortunately, there are statements proposing to bring back the death penalty to Turkey, leading to serious concerns about our future. The only way to leave behind this chaos is to obey and respect the rule of law, democracy and human rights, and to adopt peaceful policies at home as well as in other countries.
Democratic forces in Turkey will continue to struggle for genuine democracy and against military or coup d’état regimes, anti-democratic practices, and increasingly authoritarian civilian administrations. IHD and HRFT would like to repeat that we will maintain our human rights activities to determine and document human rights violations and to actively provide legal and medical assistance.
No to coup d’états and anti-democratic administrations!
Democracy and human rights are the most important issues!
Human Rights Association (İHD)
Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT)