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Turkish (Turkiye)

CPT President calls for an end to impunity for perpetrators of torture

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Strasbourg, 06.11.2009 - The President of the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), Mauro Palma, today called on countries to take effective measures to end the practice of impunity in Europe for State officials suspected of perpetrating acts of torture and ill-treatment, a problem encountered by the CPT in many countries.

The credibility of the prevention of torture is undermined each time officials responsible for such offences are not held to account for their actions”, he said. "It's time to move firmly on this issue and it’s time to end it," he said in a press briefing held in Strasbourg on the margins of the conference marking the CPT’s 20th anniversary.

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Turkey: Bar Entry or Arrest Sudan President

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Al-Bashir Should Not be Welcome at Istanbul Conference

(New York) – Turkey should not allow President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, an accused war criminal, to attend a conference in Istanbul, and should arrest him if he sets foot in Turkey, Human Rights Watch said today.

Recent news reports indicate that al-Bashir has been invited to a meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which starts in Istanbul on November 9, 2009, and that he plans to attend. Turkish officials have indicated that they do not intend to arrest al-Bashir should he visit Turkey.

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Press Release

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Turkey should not permit Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to participate in the meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Turkey, but hand him over to the International Criminal Court if he should enter Turkey!

Through the media we have learned that Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir, against whom the International Criminal Court (the Court) has issued an arrest warrant, is planning to participate in the meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Istanbul on 9 November 2009.

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Why is Orhan Pamuk hated so much in Turkey?

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 Orhan Kemal CENGİZ

Just go to Google and write in Orhan Pamuk and “hain” (the Turkish equivalent of traitor) and you will get almost 40,000 hits. There are many Turks who hate Pamuk, but why? He is the only Turkish writer/artist ever to have received the Nobel Prize. Of course, there are also many people in Turkey who greatly admire Pamuk, including myself, but then again there are many others who really hate him, and this is worth thinking on.

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Time to save ourselves from our guardians

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Orhan Kemal CENGİZ

I watched the film “The Guardian” (1984, directed by David Greene) many years ago, but I still remember the feeling it left. I found the story familiar, but I could not tell why.

Anyway, “The Guardian” was an interesting film. The events evolved around an upper-class New York apartment. The tenants of the apartment suddenly found themselves in the middle of a series of traumatizing events.

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Turkey’s ‘Midnight Express’ about Israel

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Have you seen the film “Midnight Express”? It’s about an American who was caught in possession of drugs and sent to prison in Turkey. When I watched it, I was a little disappointed. I like Alan Parker’s work, but I found “Midnight Express” below his usual artistic standard.

Parker portrayed Turkish prisons as a man-made hell. This is not the part I found problematic. In the ‘70s, Turkish prisons were indeed terrible. The problem was that in the film every single Turkish character was portrayed as evil. This obvious bias turned this film into anti-Turkish propaganda.

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Bloody Turk (2)

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Orhan Kemal CENGİZ

Part one of this article, which was published in this column on Sept. 18, has provoked quite a passionate and long discussion among readers, especially among Armenians.

Maybe I should have written this second piece much earlier, but I did not want to interfere in this long ongoing debate.

When I read all the endless discussions among Armenian readers, I became quite pessimistic about any chance of possible reconciliation. Some reactions made me think that it is almost impossible to say anything on this subject.

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Turkey: ARTICLE 19 Concerned about Continuous Threats to Freedom of Expression in Turkey

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Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code remains a dangerous tool to silence critical voices in Turkey, despite being amended in April 2008 and official reports that charges under this article have decreased this year.

ARTICLE 19 believes that the risk of prosecutions under Article 301 continues to pose a significant threat to freedom of expression in Turkey.

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20 years of combating torture in Europe

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Strasbourg, 20 October 2009. - During the 20 years of its existence, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has been at the forefront of efforts in Europe to stamp out ill-treatment by State officials. It has conducted some 270 visits in 47 European States, examining the situation in thousands of places of detention. In its 19th General Report, published today, the CPT takes stock of what has been achieved over the last two decades and reflects on the challenges that lie ahead.

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“Climate change is also a human rights concern” says Commissioner Hammarberg

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Strasbourg, 19.10.2009 – “The daily lives of millions of people are already being affected by the natural effects of global warming. Basic human rights - such as the right to life, health, food, water, shelter or property - are also threatened” said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in his latest Viewpoint published today.

Calling for a spirit of global solidarity and the recognition of interdependence among countries, the Commissioner stresses the need to develop a stronger focus on the relationship between climate change and human rights.

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Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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A year ago the global economy was on the verge of collapse. As the economic crisis swept from country to country, it pushed millions of people into poverty and entire families into unemployment. Although economists are now seeing signs of recovery, it is likely to have little if any impact on the daily lives of many millions of the world’s poorest people for a long time to come.

The prosperity of our society tomorrow depends to a considerable degree on the situation of our children today. Children of poor families are amongst the hardest hit in times of economic crisis, and the lack of social protection measures will have lifelong consequences for them, and for the societies in which they live.

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