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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 Welcomes Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights about Turkey’s Country Report

On 20 May 2011, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted concluding observations following its review of Turkey's initial report on the implementation of the rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In advance of this review, KHRP had raised a number of concerns about Turkey’s compliance with its obligations under the Covenant by submitting a list of issues which can be found here. KHRP also attended the Committee’s review of Turkey’s report which took place in Geneva on 3 and 4 May 2011.

In the concluding observations, the Committee noted principal subjects of concern and provided recommendations for Turkey.  KHRP welcomes, in particular, the comment that in light of the fact that Turkey “recognizes only Greeks, Jews and Armenians as minorities, the Committee expresses concern about the absence of a broad legislative framework for the recognition of all minorities…including the Kurds, the Roma and the Arameans.”  KHRP joins the Committee in urging Turkey to recognise all the minorities in its territory and to provide them the full opportunities to enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights and to adopt the necessary plans of action for this purpose.

Further areas raised by KHRP that were addressed by the Committee include:

•    concerns about the construction of the Ilisu dam, as the predominantly Kurd-inhabited areas affected will suffer a shortage of housing, forced evictions, resettlements and replacements if the project goes ahead
•    the disparities that exist between rural and urban areas, with particular focus on the eastern regions of the country where the highest levels of poverty are reported
•    the discrimination and inequality experienced by women in Turkey, and the worsening of women’s working conditions, resulting in many of them being forced to seek employment in the informal economy

KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz said “We welcome the Committee’s recommendations for a stronger collaboration between State and civil society actors around human rights promotion and protection in Turkey. To this end, it is vital that Turkey take concrete steps to implement the Committee’s recommendations effectively and, among other things, ratify the Optional Protocol to the Covenant that provides for an individual complaints mechanism.”