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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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KHRP Makes Submission on Turkish Compliance with CERD
KHRP with support from its local partners has made an extensive submission to the UN body responsible for overseeing State Parties’ compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), focusing on the situation in Turkey.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will be considering Turkey’s compliance with CERD at its 74th meeting, which runs for two weeks from 16 February. KHRP’s submission was prepared in response to Turkey’s own third periodic report to the Committee, which emphasised its supposed commitment to upholding CERD standards.

The KHRP report illustrates how Turkey’s practices frequently contradict its declared commitment to CERD. Although Turkey’s penal and constitutional frameworks contain provisions against discrimination on racial or ethnic grounds, KHRP’s work has highlighted that such legislative measures are implemented either haphazardly or not at all. The Turkish state remains grounded in ethnic nationalism and its definition of minorities is so narrow that it only includes religious minorities that existed when the Republic was founded in 1923. This definition thus excludes ethnic, cultural or linguistic groups such as the Kurds, effectively denying them legal recognition. Within this context, Kurds and other minority groups suffer patterns of abuse including economic marginalisation, violations of their linguistic and cultural rights, arbitrary detention and brutality at the hands of security forces, and restrictions on freedom of expression and association.

‘Discrimination impacts on almost every aspect of the lives of Kurds and other minorities living in Turkey, and is one of the basic root causes underlying widespread patterns of human rights violations documented by KHRP and our partner organisations,’ said KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yıldız. ‘In order to address this situation, the Turkish authorities must move beyond the kind of cosmetic measures reflected in their latest periodic report to the Committee and display a genuine, practical commitment to implementing the terms of CERD.’

KHRP’s submission to the Committee can be downloaded from our website here.