Turkey reviewed under the UPR: praise for the abolition of the death penalty
Monday, 14 June 2010 13:12

On the afternoon of 10 May 2010, the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review examined the human rights situation in Turkey. The Turkish delegation, lead by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Cemil Çiçek, was a large, high-level delegation including 23 members. In his opening statements, Mr. Çiçek emphasised the transformation that human rights in Turkey have undergone over the past ten years, including extensive legislative reform, ratification of international treaties, an action plan on violence against women, the creation of a National Human Rights Institution and anti-corruption measures.


Interventions made in the Working Group included many positive comments from States, who commended Turkey’s achievements and encouraged the delegation to continue efforts in education, gender equality, anti-trafficking and the creation of a National Human Rights Institution. Some States, while also raising critical issues, commended Turkey on abolishing the death penalty and on its involvement of civil society in the formation of its report. Critical comments and recommendations were raised on the following issues:


  • Violence and discrimination against women, including ‘honour killings.’
  • Freedom of expression and assembly. States recommended that Turkey revise its criminal codes, particularly articles 301 and 308, to ensure freedom of expression and called upon Turkey to ensure protection of human rights defenders.
  • Discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, particularly non-Muslims. States recommended that Turkey adopt a specific law on discrimination, combat religious discrimination, remove reservations to CERD and reply favourably to a visit from the Independent Expert on minority issues.
  • Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Recommendations included developing legislation against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Ratification of additional instruments. States called on Turkey to ratify the Rome Statute, additional protocols I and II to the Geneva Conventions, and the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
  • Reports of torture and prison conditions, particularly for juveniles. Recommendations included implementing legal safeguards against torture, ratifying the Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture, investigating allegations of torture and prosecuting perpetrators
  • Treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. States expressed concern about lack of freedom of movement for refugees and called upon Turkey to ensure just and timely settlement of displaced persons in conformity with UN standards, and to develop a comprehensive asylum procedure.


The Turkish delegation responded three times during the session. In conclusion, Mr. Ciçek expressed the delegation’s commitment to follow up on all questions and recommendations with great care. At the time of adoptions, Turkey said that 95 recommendations were accepted or already applied. 39 will be considered until the adoption of the outcome by the Council plenary.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 07:49
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