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WHO WE ARE

The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), established in 1990, is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation providing treatment and rehabilitation services for torture survivors and documenting human rights violations in Turkey. The HRFT grew out of the necessity to further promote the prevention of torture in Turkey where grave human rights violations left thousands of people tortured and traumatised. The establishment process of the HRFT was launched by the Human Rights Association together with the Turkish Medical Association and founded in accordance with the Turkish Civil Code.
The military coup in 1980 alone claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands of torture victims. Under these conditions, where universal human rights principles are suspended and violated, the HRFT was established with the aim of putting the human rights guaranteed by international conventions into practice at home and contributing to the struggle against torture and other human rights violations. During the 1990 it was particularly the Kurdish question which led to massive human rights violations and although there have been some positive changes in recent years, backlashes such as the new Anti-Terror Law undermine the struggle for the prevention of torture.

Since 1980 there have been approximately 1 million torture survivors. That is to say 1 out of every 70 persons living in Turkey has been tortured. Although torture reached its peak during the 1980s and by now has lost its severity to some extend, torture still persists in many fields of social life. Under these conditions and growing necessity to care for torture survivors, the HRFT began to provide medical, social and psychological assistance to torture survivors and document human rights violations in Turkey in 1990. The HRFT today occupies a crucial field at both national and international level and is also one of the leading organisations established completely by civil society initiative in Turkey.