Human Rights Watch condemns Turkey’s ‘authoritarian drift’

A member of the Turkish government is seen assaulting an arrested protester earlier this year.

A member of the Turkish government is seen assaulting an arrested protester earlier this year.

The international human rights group Human Rights Watch has today condemned what it calls an ‘authoritarian drift’ in the Turkish government that threatens the freedom and human rights of its citizens.

In a 38-page report entitled ‘Turkey’s Human Rights Rollback: Recommendations for Reform’ the group raised concerns over issues such as the treatment of activists and human rights defenders, control of the media and changes in law and put forward a number of recommendations for Turkey to consider to protect the human rights of its citizens.

Emma Sinclair-Webb, a senior Turkish researcher at the group, stated that “over the past year, Erdoğan’s AKP has responded to political opposition by tearing up the rule book, silencing critical voices, and wielding a stick”.

President Erdoğan’s rule has proved increasingly controversial after a number of scandals, including the draconian treatment of protestors in 2013 and plans to control social media sites, caused outrage in the international community.

During his rule several organisations have spoken out against his government’s treatment of various situations, including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and groups representing LGBT, Jewish, Kurdish, Armenian and other minority groups.

Erdoğan however has many supporters who has praised him for his time in office. However, growing dissent has been seen across the country, with several protests against the government and a drop in votes seen in the last elections which may indicate the Turkish people’s move towards another form of leadership.

Currently the office of President Erdoğan has made no comment on the report.

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