There are 55 pages dedicated to Syria in the US State Department report on human rights in the world, and 73 to Turkey.
Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront
The latest report of the US State Department for Turkey threw those governing the country into a shock. The report criticized both the strikes against free speech and the illegal actions against media, as well as the arbitrary practices and arrests.
The parliamentary elections in Turkey last November, were not qualified as free and fair. It is further stated, that the elections were held in harsh conditions connected with the preservation of security, and noted that “at moments during the election campaign, candidates were obstructed, and because of the limited media media access of voters to different platforms, the points of view were minimized.”
The country’s laws, allow the government to restrict freedom of speech, media freedom and freedom of the Internet. The government’s pressure on the media continues. Last November, authorities arrested about thirty journalists, and most of them were accused in those articles of the law that concern the fight against terrorism and links with illegal organizations. The government exerted pressure and nationalized some media on the pretext that they published risky materials, and journalists were arrested for insulting the president or high-ranking officials, the business interests of some holding companies have been prevented, had there have been sanctions and pressure on online media by disabling the network. Media favorable to the Movement “Hizmet” were expelled from digital platforms and at five of their media organizations was appointed a state syndicate, thereby establishing full control over them. Access of the representatives of liberal media and those of “Hizmet” to official meetings of the authority was revoked.
The report exposes the arbitrary arrests, detentions, litigation matters and the disregard for the fair opinions of the courts. It emphasizes that the criminal justice system in Turkey resembles an inquisition and that it has a persecuting nature. A noted problem is the fact that prosecutors and judges are trained together and work in the same offices, and even come into the courthouse through the same door.
Although three years have passed since the Gezi park protest, they are mentioned in the 2015 report of the US State Department. The report cites that there are still citizens whose lawsuits for participating in protests continue. Another major topic widely advocated in the report refers to refugees from Syria and other countries and the number of problems that they face. It also covers the issues of the PKK, and the occurrences of suicides among military and police.
This year, the US State Department report on Turkey has 73 pages, which is an “improvement” from the previous historic high of 63 pages. The US State Department reports concerning Turkey in recent years have been as follows: 2011 – 44 pages ; 2012 – 48 pages; 2013 – 51 pages. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that the report on Syria is 55 pages.
The Report states that there is a worldwide global governmental crisis. It is stressed that both public and non-governmental factors limit the space of civil society and that the attempts to suppress freedom in the media and on the Internet are increasing.