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Turkey: PEN Joint Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

Wednesday 3 December 2014 - 12:00am

PEN International, English PEN, ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House, and P24 welcome the opportunity to contribute to the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of Turkey. This submission focuses on Turkey’s compliance with its international human rights obligations with respect to freedom of expression.

Executive Summary

 2. In 2010, the Turkish government accepted eight recommendations on the steps necessary to bring its national legislation and practice in line with international freedom of expression obligations. Regrettably the government has made inadequate efforts to implement these recommendations, and the situation for freedom of expression has worsened in Turkey.

3. During the period under review, Turkey adopted a series of judicial reform packages that aimed to harmonise domestic laws with EU norms. However, the reforms fell short of fully implementing the recommendations Turkey accepted in the first cycle of the UPR.

4. This submission examines the following five key freedom of expression issues:

  • Legislative restrictions to freedom of expression;
  • The misuse of the Anti-Terror Law (TMK) and organised crime provisions within the Turkish Penal Code (TCK);
  • Attacks on freedom of expression and freedom of press, including political interference in media;
  • New restrictions on freedom of expression, including the National Intelligence Agency Law (No. 6532)
  • Increasing restrictions on freedom of expression online.

To read the full submission, please click here.