War Kills! No to War! We Want Peace!

21 Jan 2018

The statements of the Turkish political authority regarding military intervention into Afrin in Syrian lands turned into a hot war on 20 January 2018. The air operation to Afrin was launched subsequent to the statements of the President of the Republic and then of General Staff. Additionally, it is understood from the images of the press that the ground assault was also launched together with the participation of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) consisted of nondescript paramilitary groups which were transported into Syrian lands through Turkey.

In our previous statements we warned the political authority and announced our attitude towards not entering into such a hot war.

Although there is an attempt to gloss over some clear facts of war, we would like to share the basic, ordinary truth once again:

War kills, mutilates, causes immigration, affects especially children, women, LGBTI+s, is the source of grave human rights violations, particularly torture; leads to deep traumas in societies’ emotional worlds to be handed over new generations; war is ecological destruction, war wipes out economic sources.

Specifically we would like to share with the public that there are issues in the statement made by the General Staff on 20 January 2018, which do not satisfy the democratic public opinion and are contrary to the law and legitimacy.

First of all, in order for Turkey to carry out military intervention in Syrian and Iraqi lands, the need for an UNSC decision is known by anyone. The Article 91 of the Constitution requires this. The authorisation for use of force issued by the Government is not sufficient for this action. In the statement of the General Staff, they addressed to the UNSC decisions with regard to counter terrorism. However, these decisions are not regarded with the organisations declared by the UNSC as terrorist organisations. As known by the General Staff, the so-called Daesh is included in the justification for the operation. The whole world knows that there is no Daesh in Afrin. Under this circumstances, performance of military aggression into lands of another country by justifying the organisations which are not addressed in the UNSC decisions is not valid before the public opinion and UN. Moreover, the threats and attacks from Syria’s Afrin to Turkey must be concretely put forward. Such an attack (other than harassment fires at the border) has not been declared to the public. Therefore, the basis for the Article 51 of the UN Charter is not formed.

It is also remarkable that the justification for an aggression meaning declaration of war was announced by the General Staff. The Parliament and Government are actually deactivated.

It is indicated in the statement by the General Staff that maximum care will be given for preventing civilian casualties. However, as a result of the aggression performed, the news and images indicating tens of civilian injuries and deaths in the several media outlets raises deep concerns. Turkey is a party to the Geneva Conventions and should be aware of its responsibility of actions. We would like to share once again our concern that the possibilities in Afrin where hundreds of thousands of people live may give rise to humanitarian catastrophe.

As indicated above, we would like to state that the threat required for Turkey to attack Afrin region is not concretely available. The impression is taken that Turkey started a warmongering action which can lead to grave sufferings as such in order for the political authority in Turkey to continue its oppressive and authoritarian character and State of Emergency. Assessing as a threat the government established by the communities being relatives and cognates of the Kurdish and Alewite people living in Turkey together with other peoples is contrary to democracy and human rights. This situation may give rise to profound polarisation between the peoples who want to live together with peace in Turkey, and endanger Turkey’s domestic peace. We invite the political authority to back down from this lunatic warmongering actions. We call on the political authority once again:

Back down from the policies based on war, conflicts inside and outside country. There is an opportunity to live together with all the peoples and belief groups within the scope of the democratic rules as long as the will for solution of these problems is demonstrated in peaceful and democratic ways. Just like numerous examples in the world, Turkey needs genuine conflict resolution for the solution to the Kurdish Question.

Turning the process of 15 July 2016 coup attempt, which was successfully suppressed, into a counter-coup and ruling the country through State of Emergency as of 20 July 2016, the political authority confronted the country with a fait accompli and dragged the country into a hot war now by justifying their actions considering the government of Syrian Cantons. Unless the political authority backs down from these policies, it is apparent that Turkey will be governed in accordance with state of war. Under circumstances as such, there will be nothing to say regarding human rights and democracy.

We call on the public opinion, especially human rights movements and institutions in Turkey and World to end this war before it spreads and to take initiative and take the action regarding solution to the problems via dialogue and negotiation.

We Defend Peace Against War!
We Purposely Say Peace!




Curfews in Turkey within the Last 2 Years Since 16 August 2015

August 17, 2017


In 2015, the conflicts in Turkey have begun right after the General Elections on June 7, 2015 also due to the effect of the developments in Middle East, along with the reason that a democratic and peaceful solution on Kurdish issue was not able to be implemented as a holistic programme. Within this period, the first one of the round-the-clock and open-ended curfews was declared on August 16, 2015, which are violating the Constitution, European Convention on Human Rights and all the other international obligations of Turkey within the field of basic rights and liberties. According to the information gathered by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Documentation Center, between August 16, 2015 and August 16, 2017, there has been at least 252 officially confirmed round-the-clock [all daylong] and open-ended curfews in 11 cities and at least 45 districts of Turkey within the last 2 years[1]. This data reveals the fact that the practice of violation is ongoing since the last fact sheet of HRFT on June 1, 2017 by showing that more and more curfews are declared since then.

According to the HRFT Documentation Center curfews implemented in relevant cities and districts are as seen in the map below:

16 august

It is estimated that, according to the 2014 population census, at least 1 million 809 thousand residents have been affected by these curfews and fundemental rights of these people such as  right to liberty and security of person; right to privacy, family, home or correspondence; freedom of assembly and association; freedom of religion; freedom of receive and impart information; right to reserve of property; right to education and especially right to life; right to health and prohibition of torture are explicitly violated. Yet, this data is not possible to be updated since the regions of curfews slid to the villages and flatlands in 2016, by the reason that their population census is whether not taken or not released to the public.

Click to download the detailed table of the curfews and click here to download this fact sheet as pdf.


[1] The last two curfews that are declared by Bitlis Governorship on August 11,2017 and Hakkâri Governorship on August 13, 2017 are not included in this data due to the fact that they define limits in scope of their declarations, on the contrary to the “round-the-clock and open-ended” curfews which we monitor. However, it will also be monitored by our Documentation Center to see whether it will turn into a new and perpetual practice.


Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), established in 1990, is a non-governmental and non-profit human rights organisation providing treatment and rehabilitation services for torture survivors and documenting human rights violations in Turkey.

Curfews in Turkey Between the Dates 16 August 2015 – 1 June 2017

1 June 2017

According to the information gathered by the HRFT Documentation Centre, between 16 August 2015 and 1 June 2017, there has been at least 218 officially confirmed round-the-clock [all daylong] and open-ended curfews in 10 cities and at least 43 districts of Turkey. These cities are as follows: DİYARBAKIR (127 times), MARDİN (32 times), HAKKÂRİ (20 times), ŞIRNAK (13 times), BİTLİS (8 times), BATMAN (3 times), MUŞ (4 times), BİNGÖL (5 times), TUNCELİ (5 times) and ELAZIĞ (1 time). In terms of right to life, right to health and other fundamental human rights, these curfews affected at least 1 million 809 thousand people.

You can click here to download a detailed table of the curfews.

ing 1 haziran

Tortured Children and Children of Torture Survivors (Publication Nr.114)

In Turkey, the use of torture against children are most commonly reported for children living on the street and children living in war and armed conflicts.

Torture can affect a child directly or indirectly. Directly; children were tortured by stripped naked, beating with solid objects such as kicks, slaps, punches, shields, truncheons, batons, sticks, etc., subjected to Riot Control Agents (commonly have been used a tear gas chemicals), and other methods of demonstration control such as handcuffs, truncheons, plastic/rubber bullets, electric teasers, water cannons (pressurized cold water), or gunshot etc. during arrest or detention. Torture also can affect a child indirectly; because torture affects the entire family and community of torture survivors. Indirect impact can be due to the torture of his/her parents, close family member or the witnessing of torture and violence.

Although children all over the world are being subjected to torture and ill-treatment there are no official or reliable independent statistics to measure the magnitude of the problem. It is hidden from the eyes of the general public. Inadequate documentation, and consequent failure to put in place protective mechanisms at the national and international levels, has contributed towards making the torture of children almost invisible in the world, as well as Turkey.

This study aims at analysing the data of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey on child survivors of torture, children who have witnessed torture or grown up with traumatic experience as a relative of a torture survivor starting from 1991, when the HRFT first started providing service to survivors of torture; identifying different types of torture inflicted on children and physical and psychological effects of torture; and making recommendations for future protection / rehabilitation programmes.

You can click here to download the publication.

112 – Alternative Report to the United Nations Committee against Torture for its Consideration of the 4th Periodic Report of Turkey

Alternative Report to the United Nations Committee against Torture for its Consideration of the 4th Periodic Report of Turkey is alternative to the Replies of the Government of Turkey to the list of issues prior to the submission of the fourth periodic report (LoIPR), distributed on 26 January 2014. On the other hand this report aims to bring the concerning issues to the Committee’s attention within the period of review.
Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) has been providing treatment and rehabilitation services to torture survivors and their relatives since 1990. HRFT submitted its report focussing on a wide range of topics in regards to Turkey’s 3rd Periodic Report to the Committee which was well reflected in its Concluding Observations (CAT/C/TUR/3).
This submission for the fourth period shall be considered as an output of not only HRFT but the relevant human rights organisations1 and numbers of human rights defenders.

You can also reach to the United Nations Committee against Torture Concluding Observations on the Fourth Periodic Reports of Turkey (02 June 2016-CAT/C/TUR/CO/4) in this book.

Click here to download the book.

105 – By the Rules: Comparative Study on the Legal Framework of Torture in Turkey and Israel

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.

Click here to download the Study.