Turkey: A policy of denial

Civilians in southeast Turkey are suffering gross human rights violations in the intensifying conflict between government forces and the guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). Respect for human rights is deteriorating throughout the rest of the country, too. This document presents compelling evidence of the security forces’ involvement in some of the violations reported, including abduction, torture, forcible evacuation and destruction of villages and political killings. It also highlights abuses by the PKK, who continue to “execute” village guards and kill their wives and children. The PKK has declared a policy of “executing” teachers and other civilian officials: the execution of teacher Ersoy Yorulmaz is described here. AI calls on inter-governmental organizations and governments with long-standing relations with Turkey to translate their expressions of growing concern into action, such as the sending of a CSCE expert mission to Turkey to investigate human rights abuse. Nine individual cases illustrating the nature of the violations dealt with here are appended to the report.

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