This research began by questioning the root causes of impunity for torture and other forms of ill treatment1 in Turkey and Israel. Our main focus was the means by which states construct the regime of impunity. Yet in examining this question, we have been motivated not only by an academic curiosity regarding the nature of impunity, but also by the hope of finding common tools in the fight against torture.

by the rulesThere are several glaring differences between Israel and Turkey, in terms of their respective size, history, and ethnic and religious make up. Yet the two countries do share significant similarities, not only by virtue of their relative geo-political closeness, but also — and mostly — in terms of the challenges encountered by the state’s sovereignty. These include significant ethnic tensions, increasing protests by citizens over economic and political issues, political factions debating the state’s democratic character, and continuous violence and unrest in neighboring countries.

The two countries also share a harrowing history of widespread and systematic torture in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then, the frequency and nature of torture have changed in different ways, which will be examined in the research.

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