Belgium-based Turkey tribunal against Erdoğan regime comes to an end

GENEVA – The Turkey Tribunal (September 20-24) today concludes its sessions against the authoritarian regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who heads a coalition between his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the ultra-nationalist National Action Party (MHP).

The Turkey Tribunal is a symbolic trial against Turkey on charges of (ongoing) human rights violations.

Tribunal coordinator Eric Sottas in the opening session stated that youth in Turkey is subjected to systematic torture in Turkey. Many torture victims never pressed charges because of fear that they will be tortured again.

A number of witnesses testified about torture in Turkey before the tribunal. One of the witnesses who was tortured and beaten on the accusation that he was a member of the Fethullah Gülen Organization and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partîya Karkerên Kurdistanê, PKK) stated:

“They took me to a place in Şanlıurfa. I was handcuffed, with a bag on my head and I was tortured. The police who tortured me threatened that if I told someone in court that I was tortured, my family and children will face the consequences.”

The tribunal will announce its findings and submit them to an official international court to try Turkey.

The Belgium-based Turkey Tribunal is a non-profit human rights organization registered in Belgium but is neither legally nor officially internationally recognized as a tribunal. It is a people’s court founded by eminent European judges, human rights advocates, and parliamentarians and deals with issues of human rights violations in Turkey.