Human Rights

Chase: The Justice and Development Party and Kurds
The AKP is a moderate Islamist party that has ruled Turkey since 2002. Issues regarding minority rights, the religious right and economic/social rights in the AKP is seen as important while women’s rights and freedom of speech are subjects that are avoided, “AKP’s attitude towards human rights and democracy was motivated more by political interest rather than by a genuine commitment to human rights or democracy (Kayaoglu 105).” The AKP takes advantage of human rights when it needs to reach elites, minorities, and international actors to win elections and to strengthen its position, and reach powerful resources like the military. Before the AKP, Turkey participated in external and internal human rights, its constitution has 3 sections dedicated to fundamental rights and recognizes international human rights over domestic jurisdiction. Turkey has several Human rights organizations that focus on left/right-wing political prisoners and Kurdish rights and combating torture and helping torture victims. Turkey is a member of the European convention on human rights. Human rights and democracy play a huge role when it comes down to negotiations between the EU and Turkey, the EU sent Turkey “Copenhagen Criteria” with expectations regarding democracy and human rights when Turkey was named an EU candidate country. Turkey also became a NATO member, the Turkey and US alliance allows the US to have somewhat Turkey’s human rights and democracy.
The military liberty to pursue the Kurds as threats were possible due to having a weak government and cultural impunity. The Kurds have experienced military aggression specifically towards the Kurdistan Worker’s Party,  on page 107, Kayaoglu says “widespread human rights abuses, including the burning of villages, the torture of PKK militants and sympathizers, the disappearance of Kurdish activists, the jailing of Kurdish intellectuals, the suppression of Kurdish media, and extrajudicial killings attributed to the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Unit.” The Kurdish were not allowed to use the letters q, w, and x because they are not part of the Turkish alphabet, offering a democratic solution, the AKP implemented cultural rights and acknowledged the conflict the Kurdish were faced with political and cultural problems. In order to address Kurdish demands, the government sent PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to jail and revealed a “Democratic Initiative.” But the Kurds human rights situation remains unsolved, on page 112, Kayaogly says “The Kurdish minority wants constitutional recognition, public schools’ teaching in the Kurdish language in predominantly Kurdish regions, the acceptance of Kurdish as an official language, and the removal of the 10 percent nationwide electoral threshold that the parties need in order to gain a seat in parliament.”

Current Situations Connections.
Copts in Egypt
“As Egypt’s political and social crisis persists, violence against Coptic women and girls is escalating, including kidnappings, forced conversions, and other human rights abuses.  According to a new report released at the hearing by Michele Clark, at least 550 Coptic women and girls over the last five years have been kidnapped from their communities.  The few who have been found suffered human rights abuses including forced conversion, rape, forced marriage, beatings, and domestic servitude while being held by their captors, raising the question of whether developments in the new Egypt are leaving Coptic women and their families more vulnerable than ever” (U.S. Helsinki Commission 2012) For more information on Human Rights check on this:

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