31st Session of the Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Mehmet Ferden ÇARIKÇI 10.03.2016

Mr. President,

We note Mr. High Commissioner’s update and reiterate our support for his efforts to protect and promote human rights.

We listened to his statement carefully.At a time when various grave human rights violations across the globe are requiring urgent action, we regret to see that he chose to make a reference to Turkey.

In this regard, we would like to stress that democracy, the rule of law and human rights are fundamental pillars of Turkey and the main principles of our Constitution. As a founding member of the Council of Europe, Turkey applies the highest standards when it comes to human rights. Therefore, freedom of expression and media freedom are safeguarded by the Constitution and other relevant legislation. In Turkey, no journalist has been detained or convicted on the grounds of his or her writings, publications, expressions or thoughts.

Most importantly, all ongoing investigations are carried out according to the principle of independence of the judiciary,
respecting due process.
In case there are allegations of violation, a wide range of remedies in line with European standards are available. In addition to the judicial ones, there are governmental/administrative and parliamentary remedies.

On the other hand, Turkey’s counter-terrorism efforts are conducted in compliance with legal obligations. Contrary to the baseless propaganda relayed by the terrorist organization PKK, utmost vigilance is displayed by the security forces to protect the civilians. Furthermore, as a Co-Chair of the Global Counterterrorism Forum since its inception in 2011, Turkey will pursue its constant struggle with the global scourge of terrorism with full resolve. As such, this is an issue about protecting the rights and freedoms of Turkish citizens. All terrorist organizations targeting Turkey will be responded to with equal determination, as we have every right to under international law.

On migrant/refugee crises, it is obvious that taking solely “security measures” is not the right approach to address the challenge. A far more comprehensive and human rights-based approach would ensure that migrants are human beings with rights. Let me emphasize that on this issue, Turkey has always acted in conformity with its international obligations from the outset of the crisis.

Thank you Mr. President.


Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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