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Human rights violations increased in Turkey’s earthquakes zone in 2023, says new IHD report


February 29, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

Human rights violations in southeastern Turkey increased last year after major earthquakes struck the region in February, according to a new report by the Human Rights Association (IHD).

The report, which documented human rights violations that occurred in Turkey’s eastern and southeastern provinces in 2023, said six civilians had died at the hands of security forces in the region as a result of disproportionate force and gross negligence.

Furthermore, six inmates died in prisons located in the region, while two people died by suicide while in detention. Nearly 190 people complained of being mistreated by the police in detention, and 77 inmates said they were mistreated in prison.

Seven journalists, one teacher, one lawyer and five doctors had died on the job, according to the IHD.

The report added that domestic and gender-based violence was worryingly common in the region. A total of 36 women had died as a result of domestic violence, while 10 others were killed in public areas. Minors were not spared by violence, either, as three children died in their homes and four were killed in public areas.

In a statement Rumeysa Deniz Kaya from the IHD called on Turkish authorities to pay special attention to the needs of those people currently living in the earthquake zone. She explained that many people did not have access to basic necessities such as healthcare, education, food and shelter, which added to the woes of locals.

The IHD called on the Turkish government to work closely with civil society organizations on the ground to remedy violations and prevent further incidents. Pointing out that the government has made it very difficult for civil society organizations to operate in the region, the IHD said it was impossible for the government to solve problems in the region alone.

“The government thinks they have the ability to operate alone in the region; however, we have seen over and over again that the problems are beyond their abilities,” said Mehmet Tahir Saçaklı from the IHD.

Two devastating earthquakes that hit Turkey on February 6, 2023 killed more than 53,000 people and left millions homeless in 11 provinces in the country’s south and southeast. The earthquakes caused $100 billion in damage, according to Turkish officials.


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