The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Turkey

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#afghanistan #equality #freedom #human_rights #iraq #politics #syria #tolerance #turkey

Turkey
Republic of Turkey

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalAnkara
Land Area 769 630km21
LocationAsia, Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East
Population74.5m (2011)2
Life Expectancy75.53yrs (2017)3
GNI$18 705 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesTR, TUR, 7925
Internet Domain.tr6
CurrencyLira (TRY)7
Telephone+908

Turkey is generally poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world. Turkey does better than average in commentary from Human Rights Watch9, fighting corruption10, LGBT equality11, opposing gender inequality12, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms13 and in its nominal commitment to Human Rights14. Turkey does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in eliminating modern slavery15, its Global Peace Index rating16 and in supporting press freedom17. And finally, it falls into the bottom 20 in fighting anti-semitic opinions18. A new era of censorship has begun, with websites, media outlets and journalists being blocked and persecuted; Human Rights Watch states that "Turkey is the world leader in jailing journalists and media workers as they face criminal investigations and trials"19. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan espouses misogynistic and backwards opinions on women, actively holding back any chance of progress on women's rights and retarding family life and family planning services20. Turkey has also gone backwards on its stance against torture, with a raft of reports from 2017 emanating from those in police custody describing torture and ill-treatment19.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery #Turkey

Turkey has accepted huge numbers of refugees and asylum seekers - 3.4 million of them - mostly from Syria but also from Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere19.

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)18
Pos.Lower is better
%18
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
82Iran56
83Armenia58
84Malaysia61
85Turkey69
86Greece69
87Saudi Arabia74
88Egypt75
89Oman76
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)10
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score10
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
61Cuba46.8
62Oman45.8
63Ghana45.8
64Turkey45.4
65Lesotho45.2
66Romania44.8
67Kuwait44.2
68Italy43.8
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)16
Pos.Lower is better16
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
126S. Africa2.32
127Iran2.32
128Honduras2.34
129Turkey2.34
130Kyrgyzstan2.36
131Azerbaijan2.36
132Philippines2.42
133Ivory Coast2.42
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)9
Pos.Higher is better
Score9
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
50Brazil-2
51Argentina-2
52Georgia-2
53Turkey-2
54Tunisia-2
55Mexico-2
56Sri Lanka-2
57S. Africa-2
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)14
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties14
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
76Timor-Leste (E. Timor)17
77Estonia17
78Turkmenistan17
79Turkey17
80Morocco17
81Guinea17
82Russia17
83Armenia17
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)13
Pos.Lower is better
Rank13
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
70Namibia69
71Bolivia71
72Indonesia72
73Turkey73
74S. Africa74
75Papua New Guinea74
76Nicaragua76
77Paraguay77
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)17
Pos.Lower is better17
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
150Myanmar (Burma)4471
151Gambia4509
152Mexico4530
153Turkey4656
154Swaziland4676
155Azerbaijan4773
156Belarus4835
157Egypt4866
World Avg3249
q=178.

The recent political changes, consolidating the power of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has taken place amidst the forced closure of hundreds of media outlets, associations and foundations, all shut down by decree19.

The prosecution and jailing of journalists for doing their work continued after the closing of media outlets since the coup attempt. Turkey is the world leader in jailing journalists and media workers as they face criminal investigations and trials, with around 150 behind bars at time of writing. Most newspapers and television channels lack independence and promote the government´s political line.

Several major, politically motivated trials of journalists on terrorism-related charges began in 2017. The evidence consisted of writing and reporting, which did not advocate violence, alongside unsupported allegations of connections with terrorist organizations or involvement in the coup attempt. That trials continued despite the lack of credible evidence to substantiate the charges demonstrated lack of judicial independence.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

Slavery (2018)15
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims15
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
117Tanzania0.62
118Equatorial Guinea0.64
119Ukraine0.64
120Turkey0.65
121Niger0.67
122Zimbabwe0.67
123Togo0.68
124Cameroon0.69
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory21. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends22. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life23. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves24.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery25. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity26. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.27. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi15, Eritrea15, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #Turkey #women

Gender Inequality (2015)12
Pos.Lower is better12
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
66Tajikistan0.32
67Trinidad & Tobago0.32
68Azerbaijan0.33
69Turkey0.33
70Kuwait0.33
71Vietnam0.34
72Romania0.34
73Mexico0.35
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote30
Pos.Lower is better
Year30
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
37Maldives1932
38Uruguay1932
39Thailand1932
40Turkey1934
41Brazil1934
42Cuba1934
43Myanmar (Burma)1935
44Philippines1937
World Avg1930
q=189.

Turkey has made some steps towards ending gender inequality but much more needs to be done.

In 2016 Mar, Turkish president Recep Tayyip epitomized the traditional and established opinion of "woman's place" in Turkey, repeating several slurs against modern gender equality. He managed to include a criticism of contraception in general, saying that it is used to 'dry up our nation'. Contraception and modern life 'paves the way for abuses against women in all fields' and in particular, capitalism 'enslaves' women for profits. What he's talking about is (1) women making choices as to when they want children, and (2) women being able to work. Tayyip doesn't support either right and he has repeatedly called on Turkish women to have at least 3 children, even in a country that is suffering from overpopulation and serious issues with quality of life. He has described abortion as 'murder' and Caesarean sections as unnatural. His embarrassing and backwards opinions are holding back the entire country.20

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance #Turkey

LGBT Equality (2017)11
Pos.Higher is better
Score11
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
71Macedonia25
72Cape Verde25
73Moldova25
74Turkey25
75Latvia25
76Dominican Rep.25
77Seychelles25
78Panama25
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence31. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws32. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries31. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Turkey Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Turkey

Social & Moral
Development Index
33
Pos.Higher is better
Points33
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
58UAE57.3
59Jamaica57.2
60Fiji57.2
61Turkey57.1
62Macedonia57.0
63Moldova57.0
64Brunei56.9
65Mongolia56.9
66Mexico56.9
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#atheism #islam #turkey

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012)34, in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Turkey states:

The Constitution protects freedom of religion or belief, guaranteeing equal protection before the law, irrespective of 'philosophical belief, religion and sect'. It also lists secularism as one of the fundamental characteristics of the republic. However, there are a few constitutional provisions which infringe on freedom of religion or belief and go against the principle of secularism.

Religion classes at primary and secondary schools are compulsory. Article 42 requires this education to be conducted under the 'supervision and control of the state'. While these classes cover basic information about other religions, they are predominantly about the theory and practice of Sunni Hanefi Islam. The state allocates substantial funds to provide religious services for Sunni Muslims: to pay the salaries of imams, construct mosques and oversee pilgrimage.

Cases of Discrimination

On June 1, 2012, Turkish authorities charged Fazil Say, an atheist and world-renowned classical and jazz pianist, with insulting Islamic values in Twitter messages, the latest in a series of legal actions against Turkish artists, writers and intellectuals for statements they have made about religion and Turkish national identity. Say has denied the charges, but a court in Istanbul has scheduled the case to begin on February 18, 2013. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison.

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)34

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/turkey_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Turkey (Republic of Turkey)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#afghanistan #antisemitism #atheism #burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #iraq #islam #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #syria #tolerance #Turkey #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

i Newspaper. UK newspaper. See Which are the Best and Worst Newspapers in the UK?. Published by Independent Print Limited, London, UK. Respectable daily news paper.

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  10. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  11. Sources:^^
  12. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  13. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  14. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  15. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  16. ^^
  17. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  18. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  19. Human Rights Watch (2018). p560-567.^^
  20. i Newspaper (2016 Mar 09). Article "Turkey: 'A woman is above all else a mother'".^^
  21. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  22. McCall (1979). p180.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  24. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  27. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  28. Klein (2004) .^
  29. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  30. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  32. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  33. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  34. IHEU (2012) .^

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