Council on Europe cites rights abuses in Turkey

ISTANBUL (AP) - The Council of Europe's human rights commissioner has blasted Turkish authorities for widespread human rights abuses in a stark review of the anti-government protests in Turkey earlier this year.

The report by Nils Muiznieks published Tuesday also says that many allegations of abuse by Turkish police are not being investigated.

"The Commissioner considers that impunity of law-enforcement officials committing human rights violations is an entrenched problem in Turkey," the report said.

The Turkish Justice Ministry had no immediate comment on the report, which comes just weeks after the European Union resumed membership talks with Turkey that had been stalled for more than three years.

Thousands of demonstrators were injured and five were killed during nationwide protests in May and June that were sparked when police cracked down on protesters objecting to the razing of the Gezi park in central Istanbul.

"There are serious, consistent and credible allegations of excessive use of force, in particular excessive and improper use of tear gas and ill-treatment during and after apprehensions," Muiznieks said in a statement. "These raise very serious concerns, requiring a determined response from the Turkish authorities."

Muiznieks' report warns that a failure to conduct independent investigations will result in numerous cases being referred to the European Court for Human Rights. The court oversees the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights, which all 47 members of the Council of Europe, including Turkey, have signed.

The Council's report also raises concern about moves by the Turkish government to investigate groups that aided demonstrators, including doctors and lawyers.

"The Commissioner also expresses deep concern about a climate of fear of reprisals by administrative and judicial authorities for non-violent involvement in the Gezi events," the report says.

The report also cites numerous incidents of mistreatment of journalists trying to cover the protests.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Delay Grows
    The latest estimate says the Seattle tunnel project won't be done until August 2017

  • Hazardous Lots?
    Shoppers say Northgate Mall parking dividers have caused unnecessary injury
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.