86-page US report on Turkey: Kurds are exposed to threats and violence

The US State Department published its 86-page report on Turkey emphasizing that Kurds, refugees and faith groups were exposed to threats and violence, and journalists were arbitrarily arrested.

The US State Department published its annual report evaluating countries' human rights practices. 86 pages of the report were dedicated to Turkey.

The report underlined in the summary that "restrictions on freedoms of assembly, association, and expression prior to the May presidential and parliamentary elections were a significant development during the year that negatively affected the state of human rights in Turkey. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observers reported citizens were able to express their right to vote freely among genuine political alternatives but expressed concerns regarding media bias and restrictions on freedoms of assembly, association, and expression, which created an uneven playing field and contributed to an unfair advantage for the incumbent."

Significant human rights issues included credible reports of:

"enforced disappearance; torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government or on behalf of the government;

arbitrary arrest or detention; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; political prisoners or detainees;

transnational repression against individuals in another country;

serious restrictions on freedom of expression and media freedom, including violence and threats of violence against journalists, unjustified arrests or prosecution of journalists, censorship, or enforcement or of threat to enforce criminal libel laws to limit expression; serious restrictions on internet freedom;

substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive laws on the organization, funding, or operation of nongovernmental and civil society organizations;

restrictions on freedom of movement and residence within the territory of a state and on the right to leave the country;

refoulement of refugees to a country where they would face torture or persecution, including serious harms such as a threat to life or freedom or other mistreatment that would constitute a separate human rights abuse;

serious government restrictions on or harassment of domestic and international human rights organizations;

extensive gender-based violence, including domestic or intimate partner violence, sexual violence, workplace violence, child, early, and forced marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, femicide, and other forms of such violence;

crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting members of national/racial/ethnic groups such as refugees and Kurdish minorities;

and crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex persons."