Minority Rights Group Europe Launches two new projects in Turkey

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The Minorities, Accountability, Rights, Collaboration (MARC) project aims to contribute to the full realization of the rights of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities in Turkey.

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The other new project promotes collaborating to counter hate speech in Turkey and new EU Member States. It aims to contribute to increased respect for human rights, while fighting discrimination against migrants and persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities.

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Latest updates regarding minorities in Turkey

Ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey continue to face violent targeting and discrimination, during the period under review. Ethnic and religious minorities are on edge after a series of threats and attacks, with both government officials and their critics warning that society’s most vulnerable are being targeted. Kurds, Christians, and other minorities are all confront intimidation or outright violence in Turkey. Kurds are still facing discrimination and marginalization by public authorities and have limited access to their civil and political rights for instance their freedom of association. There is a significant increase in hate speech against the Armenian minority after the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenians left Turkey because of the oppression and violence they face in the public sphere.

One damaging development happened regarding the rights of association at the end of 2020 in Turkey. A bill was approved by the Turkish Parliament which ostensibly aims to halt the financing of terrorism and weapons mass destruction. The new law would allow the Ministry of Interior and Provincial Governors to appoint trustees to NGO boards. Rights-based, grassroots and minority organizations expressed their deep concern that their legitimate and peaceful activities may be prevented due to the new legislation. Turkey is one of numerous countries which have used the pandemics as an excuse to strengthen autocratic rule; Covid-19 restrictions have been actively used to oppress minority and rights-based organizations.

What is next?

Minority Rights Group Europe is happy to announce that a series of training events on combatting discrimination through advocacy, and human rights monitoring, and reporting will be conducted for individual belonging to with minority communities by the beginning of July 2021.

This content represents the views of Minority Rights Group only and is its sole responsibility. The European Union does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains therein.

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