The rights institution of Turkey you’ve called cannot be reached at the moment!
18.07.2017 12:28 BİRGÜN DAİLY


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Turkey’s Institution of Human Rights and Equality (TİHEK), which was created as a state institution with the purpose of working for protection and improvements of human rights and for prevention of discrimination and violations, has not been doing its work. While one of its other objectives is preparing reports on rights violations and having related institutions act accordingly, no significant activity has been done by it at all.

The institution which was established in 2012 under the office of the prime ministry had its name changed in April of 2016. Currently, however, during a time period where claims about violations of human rights have peaked, TİHEK is not accepting any applications. The institution which is supposed to be an official point of contact for victims to apply especially with regards to the increase in cases of torture and maltreatment brought about with the enforcement of state of emergency since the foiled coup of 2016 is kept open just on paper but left unfunctional just like the parliamentary commission on state of emergency.
People who want to apply to the institution with their claims and complaints are unable to reach it.

The institution consists of 11 members: a president, a vice president, and nine others. While 3 of these members were appointed by the president, 8 were appointed by the Council of Ministers. Selection of the institution’s members and staff by the government had also been something strictly criticized by the human rights defenders in the country.

Lawyer Sinem Hun notes that this institution is left out of work at a time when its work is needed the most and calls on the authorities to ‘fulfill the duties assigned to the institution’. Mentioning that TİHEK has been inactive for the past year and a half, lawyer Huns says: “The fact that this institution has not been accepting applications and making decisions for a long time shows how little the state officials care about discrimination and rights violations”.

Though TİHEK stands as the first state institution in Turkey with the purpose of fighting agianst ‘discrimination, inequality, and mobbing’, its objectives have not been realized, Huns states and adds: “I have at least three cases waiting to be submitted to the institution. There are also several individuals, lawyers, and institutions that have been waiting. It is indispensible for institutions like TİHEK to function effectively in democratic countries. Institutions working on human rights and equality are state institutions that are pledged to be established under the framework of UN’s Paris Principals of 1992”.

Front-page article of BirGün published on 18 July 2017, Tuesday with the headline of 'It was established to investigate cases of rights violations but it is not accepting applications'