Turkey Must Stop Judicial Harassment of Human Rights Defenders


On 1 February 2018, the Istanbul 35th Heavy Penal Court decided to re-detain Taner Kılıç only hours after he was released from jail. The decision came after the prosecutor filed an appeal against the court’s order to release him. Civil Rights Defenders condemns in the strongest terms the judicial harassment against Taner Kılıç, and urges the Turkish authorities to ensure his right to a fair trial.

Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2018 – Murat Çelikkan


Civil Rights Defenders is pleased to announce that the Turkish human rights defender Murat Çelikkan has been awarded the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2018. Murat Çelikkan is a journalist by profession, and one of the most tenacious voices for human rights in the country. Despite the increasingly difficult situation for the country’s civil society, he continues to fight for a more open Turkey.

Seminar: How has the Crackdown in Turkey Impacted the LGBT Community?

Cover photo

The ongoing crackdown on human rights and the increased homophobia affect both human rights organisations and the LGBT community in Turkey. On 4 August, Civil Rights Defenders organises a seminar during the Stockholm Pride Festival in order to discuss how the crackdown has impacted the LGBT community, and to draw attention to the lives and activism of LGBT persons in a country that has declared a State of Emergency. Welcome!

18 Months in Prison for Prominent Turkish Human Rights Defender Murat Çelikkan

Freedom of Expression

Prominent Turkish human rights defender and Co-Director of Hafiza Merkezi (Truth Justice Memory Centre), Murat Çelikkan was charged on 16 May under “terror organization propaganda” and sentenced by summary judgement to 18 months in prison. The hearing was held at the Istanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court under the Anti-Terror Law Article 7/2. The Courts did not reduce or defer his sentence as they ruled that “The defendant did not show sufficient remorse with his attitudes in the trial”.

Seminar: Turkey – A Landscape of Political Oppression, Persecution and Fear

Speak out!

Civil Rights Defenders invites you to a seminar on the human rights situation in Turkey. Over the past year the human rights situation has greatly deteriorated in Turkey. The Kurdish Peace Process has all but collapsed, media outlets have been shut down and Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has engaged in the purging of all opposition to his rule after a failed coup attempt back in July of 2016.