EuroMed Rights’ work on Turkey dates back from the foundation of the Network in 1997. The current programme’s objectives are twofold: monitoring human rights national policies with a focus on trial monitoring and the rule of law, and supporting members in their networking and advocacy activities in the country, as well as at European and international levels.
EuroMed Rights’ most recent publications and the list of members related to this programme are available on the right hand-side of this page.
EuroMed Rights finalised its two-year project “Protecting HRDs and Fair Trial Principles in Turkey” in January 2020 with a workshop gathering 46 civil society organisations. Given the repressive environment for civil society in Turkey, the high number of participants confirms EuroMed Rights’ capacity to connect members to exchange in a safe space. The participants recognised the importance for an international network to bring their demands at EU and UN level and to coordinate activities on trial monitoring. These results led to the approval, by the EU, of a second phase of the project which started in January 2021.
During 2020, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme focused on monitoring and documentation activity as well as advocacy work. As such, EuroMed Rights monitored the constraints to the civic space in Turkey, following several cases of at-risk human rights defenders and analysing the restrictive legislation adopted in 2020 (including the freedom of association and online freedom of expression laws). This role, which required coordination efforts among civil society organisations as well as public communication work, yielded some important results. A statement co-signed by 15 national and international NGOs was disseminated ahead of the first hearing of the second politically motivated trial against Osman Kavala, a philanthropist and human rights defender jailed since October 2017.
EuroMed Rights also denounced the geopolitical game played by Turkey’s executive branch, notably regarding rapprochement with Algeria (e.g. association agreement between the two countries) and tensions increased with France. In both cases, EuroMed Rights featured prominently in the media.