Turkey accused the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights of bias after he published a report saying the government was using emergency powers to stifle any form of criticism and dissent.
Routine extensions of the state of emergency, in place since the July 15 coup attempt, have led to profound human rights violations affecting hundreds of thousands of people, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in the report .
Turkish police and prosecutors have locked up tens of thousands of people for involvement in the coup attempt, as well as Kurdish opposition leaders and leftist activists. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seeking to strengthen his executive powers ahead of presidential elections next year that will replace Turkey’s parliamentary system of government with one-man rule. The European Union has also called on Turkey to lift the state of emergency.
“The sheer number, frequency and lack of connection of several (emergency) decrees to any national threat seem to … point to the use of emergency powers to stifle any form of criticism or dissent vis-à-vis the government,” the United Nations said in the report.
Emergency rule in Turkey may have “long-lasting implications on the institutional and socio-economic fabric,” the UN warned.
The April 2017 referendum that extended the president’s executive powers into both the legislature and the judiciary was seriously problematic, resulting in interference with the work of the judiciary and curtailment of parliamentary oversight over the executive branch, the report said.
“Twenty-two emergency decrees were promulgated by the end of 2017, with many regulating matters unrelated to the state of emergency and used to limit various legitimate activities by civil society actors,” the UN said. “The decrees also foster impunity, affording immunity to administrative authorities acting within the framework of the decrees.”
Moody’s downgraded Turkey’s sovereign debt to two steps below investment grade earlier this month, warning that Erdoğan’s increased powers made policy decisions less predictable and threatened to undermine other institutions in the country.
Recall that by the Council of People’s Commissars of Soviet Union December 29, 1917 decree proclaimed the rights of Armenians of the occupied territories of “Turkish Armenia” (Western Armenia) and the freedom of self-determination up to full independence.
And on January 19, 1920 the Allied Supreme Council at Paris Conference de facto and on May 11, 1920 at San Remo Conference de jure recognized the Armenian state in Western Armenia as an independent and sovereign state which boundary with Turkey was the subject of an arbitral award by the United States President Woodrow Wilson on November 22, 1920
Note, that the State of Western Armenia is not recognized by UN authorities because it is occupied by Turkey.
As a reminder, in the occupied territories of Western Armenia from 1894 to 1923 the Armenian indigenous population was subjected to Genocide by three Turkish governments.