Ian (lovingboth) wrote,
Ian
lovingboth

  • Mood:

Hell no, I won't go

The top google hit for 'turkey "amnesty international"' is their 2002 report on the country - "Thousands of prisoners were held in conditions of prolonged isolation which could amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment [..] The pressure on human rights defenders increased: they faced harassment, death threats, arrests and prosecution, and branches of human rights associations were closed. Many people were imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression, particularly when they expressed opinions on the Kurdish question, the ''F-type'' prisons or the role of Islam. Torture in police custody remained widespread and was practised systematically, while the perpetrators were rarely brought to justice. Two Kurdish politicians ''disappeared'' in gendarmerie custody. Dozens of political killings were reported, some of which may have been extrajudicial executions."

Because Turkey is desperate to join the EU, they are - after decades of these sort of human rights abuses - passing laws against torture. AI's 2004 report says they've got slightly better, but "Torture and ill-treatment in police detention remained a grave concern. [..] Disproportionate use of force by police during demonstrations was widespread.[..] Of particular concern were the many allegations of people being abducted by plainclothes police and then tortured or ill-treated. [..] A range of laws and regulations was used to restrict freedom of expression and obstruct the activities of human rights defenders. [..] Sexual assault and harassment of women in police custody continued to be a grave concern [..] A few dozen civilians were shot dead by the security forces and village guards, most of them in the southeastern and eastern provinces. Many may have been victims of extrajudicial executions or the use of excessive force."

If other people want to go to Turkey for a holiday, that's fine. Really, really. Lots of very interesting places there, particularly if you're interested in ancient history.

But no, Turkey does not get my tourist income, just as Franco's Spain wouldn't have done: 'Cheap holidays in other people's misery' as Johnny once sang.

After all, who now remembers the Armenians?
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