to President of the Republic
to President of the Council
to Pope Francis
We now have the opportunity to inform you of serious abuses committed in Turkey by the the failed coup of 15 July 2016, in particular the control of the justice (system) by the executive and the general degradation of the state of human rights in the country.
Under the banner of the state of emergency and the fight against terrorism, tens of thousands of people are victims of an arbitrary repression which continues to get worse and hit every category of the population: lawyers, journalists, teachers, academics, researchers. At least 150,000 public servants have been dismissed, almost 50,000 are in custody, more than 170 journalists are in detention, dozens of lawyers are imprisoned.
In the view of our colleagues, the top priority is given to this persecution and in place of a true and proper purge of the information which shows the subordination of the free press and
can act to suffocate any leanings towards dissent.
The same goes for judges and public ministers. There are around 4,500 who have been removed and 2,500 imprisoned.
The Council of Europe, awarding the fifth Vaclav Havel Prize for Human rights to the judge Murat Arslan president of the only independent judicial institution in Turkey, YARSAV and who was detained for 15 months wanted to show its extreme concern abour the situation in Turkey and the importance of the independence of the judiciary in a democracy.
In the face of this situation we hope that you will have the opportunity to discuss during your meeting with the President of a country which again requests to join the European Union and is a member of the Council of Europe, how prejudicial it is to the rule of law in Turkey and its incompatilibility with the democratic values of Europe.
We also hope that you will unite our voices with those of 25 thousand Italians who demand the release of the journalists Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay (knowing that the Constitutional Court has required their release but they remain in detention because of the failure of the criminal court to implement it) and their other colleagues as Ahmet Sik who are unjustly imprisoned in Turkey and pose the question of the respect for fundamental rights and human rights which is such a vital point.
We do not request an approach that runs counter to the diplomatic and institutional procedures but a position that indicates the hope that there will be an end to the violation of human rights of Turkish citizens.
We thank you, we entrust to you the appeal for which we are the spokespersons and which is supported by tens of thousands of Italians and institutions for the education of journalists and for the defence of press freedom.