Reports 2016

What’s happening in Turkey? - Challenges to fundamental rights and freedoms

17 March 2016


Turkey is currently facing multiple challenges both domestically and in its foreign policy. Apart from the impact of the ongoing crisis in Syria and the subsequent refugee crisis, the country’s security is threatened by war in the Southeast of the country. Since a two-year ceasefire between the state and the terrorist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) collapsed in July 2015, intense urban fighting and round-the-clock curfews have left entire neigbourhoods empty and in ruins. While Turkey has the right to protect its security and territorial integrity against terrorism, concerns are being raised by a number of human rights watchdogs regarding the deteriorating humanitarian situation. Objections have also been raised at the increasing crackdown on civil liberties and freedoms, including the recent seizure of the Feza media group which included the dailies Zaman and Today’s Zaman, newspapers and ongoing arrests of numerous journalists, academics and others. This dialogue brought together a panel of experts to analyse the situation on the ground in Turkey, the prospects for the future and possible responses from the international community, in particular the EU.