33rd Session of the Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Mehmet Ferden ÇARIKÇI 14.09.2016

33rd Session of the Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue

with the High Commissioner for Human Rights

14 September 2016

Statement by Turkey

Mr President,

We note Mr High Commissioner’s update. We do not agree, however, with his assessment of the situation in Turkey, which draws an utterly inaccurate picture, leading to unfair stigmatization.

Building the oral update around the single issue of access compromises the usually comprehensive nature of this important exercise, further strengthening its selective approach.

Turkey is firmly attached to the universal values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. For a founding member of the Council of Europe, having extended a standing invitation to the Special Procedures of the HRC, there should be no doubt as to where it belongs. In line with this perspective, Turkey has been hosting since last year a series of human rights mechanisms, from UN Treaty Bodies to Special Procedures, to various organs of the Council of Europe. One of these visits, held by the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances last March, included Diyarbakır, a prominent city in southeastern Turkey.

We regret that, Mr High Commissioner’s depiction clearly omits one crucial factor, without even somehow naming it: the terrorist organization PKK. Horrendous attacks by PKK have killed hundreds of civilians throughout Turkey for the last 14 months, coupled by unprecedented destruction of homes, schools, hospitals and holy sites alike.

As a response to increasing terrorist activity, Turkey’s counter-terrorism operations are conducted in strict compliance with international obligations and international human rights law, in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of its population. Utmost vigilance is displayed by the security forces to protect the civilians. Meanwhile, all emergency needs of the population are met throughout the operations.

Finally, Turkey will continue its fight against terrorism with full resolve, be it PKK, DAESH, or others, as we have every right to under international law.

Thank you Mr President.


Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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