The Turkish Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Justice said a recent report from the Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Turkey was seemingly one-sided and raises allegations that do not reflect the truth.
The joint statement issued on Nov. 1 was made in response to an HRW report published on Oct. 24 titled, "A Blank Check: Turkey's Post-Coup Suspension of Safeguards against Torture."
The Turkish ministries indicated in the statement that the report is seemingly one-sided and includes only the biased viewpoints of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and its affiliates with no mention of the opinions of government officials nor was any documented information included in the report. Moreover, highlighting FETÖ's designation as a terrorist organization by both domestic and international institutions, the ministries' statement asserted that references made in the report to the head of FETÖ, Fetullah Gülen, who attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government in Turkey, as a "cleric" and further reference to FETÖ as the "Gülen movement" are concerning.
Regarding the measures taken after the July 15 coup attempt, the ministries said every measure taken thereafter was in accordance with the principles of the rule of law, the Turkish Constitution and obligations as a NATO country. Furthermore, the measures taken by the government which essentially included the dismissal of civil servants with FETÖ ties, did not negatively affect the daily lives of the Turkish people.Contrary to the HRW report, the ministries' statement indicates that the Turkish state upholds the rule of law regarding the mistreatment of prisoners and torture, as is written in the Constitution, regardless of the country's state of emergency declaration. The joint statement indicates that Turkey is one of the few countries to remove its statute of limitations on charges of torture, explaining that all allegations of mistreatment and torture are under active investigation in independent Turkish courts. Allegations that the Turkish state denied the requests of the Council of Europe (CoE) regarding the monitoring of Turkish prisons and penal institutions are also refuted in the ministries' statement asserting that the members of these monitoring councils were dismissed under a statutory decree and were replaced with new members in accordance with counterterrorism measures; thus saying the said councils are actively functioning. Moreover, the statement assures that all penal facilities and prisons in Turkey are open to inspection by international bodies.
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