Beyond the State of Emergency in North Kurdistan

The State of Emergency has been lifted in Turkey, but continues and gets more severe in North Kurdistan.

IHD Van Chapter Chairperson Murat Melet stated that in the recent detentions and arrests in Van, torture and rights violations have gotten more severe.

The State of Emergency (OHAL) has been lifted in Turkey, but in Kurdish cities the OHAL practices continue non-stop. Recently, dozens of people have been detained and arrested in the Erciş district and others. The detainees are battered, mistreated and tortured.

The AKP claims to have lifted the State of Emergency, but are implementing practices that surpass the OHAL conditions in Van and other provinces in the region. After the lifting of the OHAL, hundreds of highlands, villages and rural areas have been declared restricted zones.

Speaking to ANF, Human Rights Association (IHD) Van Chapter Chairperson Murat Melet said rights violations and torture in particular during detentions and arrests have increased significantly.


Melet said the State of Emergency has been lifted in Turkey, but the OHAL practices continue in Kurdistan: “The government said the State of Emergency wouldn’t be prolonged and that it is over in Turkey. But the reality is not so. We can say that the State of Emergency continues in Kurdistan, and has even intensified.”


Melet said the arbitrary practices that started with the State of Emergency continue: “We know for a fact that people who were detained in recent house raids were tortured. This issue has been made public, but no precautions were taken and the pressure has clearly intensified. Virtually all living areas have been restricted. There is zero tolerance for people utilizing their democratic rights through demonstrations or events.”

Melet said that even though the State of Emergency is based on rules and laws, the responsibility is solely with governors now: “There is no legal explanation for what is happening. The pressure and violence that surpasses the State of Emergency continues.”