Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, sent a letter to the old and new Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Monday (20 June). The international organization emphasized that the "government's third term creates an unprecedented opportunity to build on the legacy of those early reforms and demonstrate at home and abroad the central importance of human rights and the rule of law in Turkey".
Roth called on the government to improve the rights of the Kurdish people, strengthen women's rights and lift restrictive policies related to the internet including access bans to certain websites.
Regarding a new constitution, Roth suggested, "To achieve consensus, the government should consult fully with civil society and academics, as well as opposition parties".
The HRW appreciated Turkey's efforts to accommodate thousands of refugees from Syria. However, Roth urged Erdoğan and his government "to publicly support efforts in favour of a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate end to the Syrian government's brutal crackdown".
Furthermore, the letter touched upon the right to education in the mother tongue that also includes Kurdish children and called on the government to lift related restrictions.
"In the framework of reviving the "democratic opening," and to ensure respect for human rights, your government should take steps to end the arbitrary use of terrorism laws against those who express critical opinions, join protests or engage in non-violent political activities", Roth wrote.
Furthermore, the letter made demands on the lifting of restrictions of freedom of expression, ending unfair trials and combating police violence and impunity. (ÖD/ŞA/VK)
Click here to read the full letter.
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