Fundamental Freedoms in Turkey
Freedom House works to assist civil society to defend and advance fundamental freedoms and rights enshrined in Turkey’s national and international obligations.
Advancing Fundamental Freedoms in Turkey
Turkey remains one of most challenging places in the European region to exercise fundamental freedoms. In this challenging environment, Freedom House seeks to empower civil society to contribute to the improvement of fundamental freedoms in Turkey and to advocate with national and international decision makers to uphold the country’s human rights commitments.
This project aims to create a common ground for different civil society actors to address human rights issues in the country. Freedom House and its partners intend to respond threats to fundamental freedoms by providing litigation support, research and analysis, support for grassroots initiatives, and advocacy.
- Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA)
- Freedom Research Association (FRA)
- Civic Space Studies Association (CSSA)
Freedom House invites applications for funding and support from local, registered non-governmental organizations based in Turkey that seek to expand civic engagement on a local level through building partnerships with local municipality offices in Turkey. Freedom House will select up to five (5) initiatives for up to $10,000 in funding each. Priority will be given to local grassroots organizations that have experience in building coalitions and working collaboratively with journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders and activists on local level. In addition, priority will be given to those initiatives addressing local- or regional-level issues related to fundamental freedoms.
Featured Program Publications
Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention:
War on Gender Equality in Turkey
The second policy brief of the “Advancing Fundamental Freedoms in Turkey” policy series, focuses on the reasons behind Turkey’s attempted withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention while also analyzing the withdrawal decision from a legal perspective. Experts Berfu Şeker and Ezel Buse Sönmezocak reveal the ruling AKP’s long-lasting anti-gender policies and examine potential impacts of the attempted withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on women’s rights and LGBT+ rights.
Stifling Lawyers and Bar Associations:
Restrictions undermining the right to legal defense in Turkey
Experts Benan Molu and İdil Özcan examine the increasing attacks on lawyers and their right to free association in Turkey since the state of emergency in 2016. This brief provides a comprehensive analysis of how the recent government policies and legislation create obstacles for lawyers to fully perform their fundamental duties of legal counsel and defense.
Past Programming in Turkey
Protection of Freedom of Expression in Turkey (2019-2020)
Featured Report: Perceptions towards Freedom of Expression in Turkey
In July 2020, Freedom House, together with RIWI Corp, released a new report on freedom of expression and the media in Turkey. The presence of a vibrant landscape for free expression may seem contradictory, given that Turkey regularly tops global charts for the number of journalists jailed, and is ranked as Not Free in Freedom in the World. This report reveals opportunities for free expression among Turkey's dynamic population, where preferences are shifting from traditional outlets to online platforms. From these contradictions rise not only a clearer picture of the contours of expression, but also hope that this fundamental right can still be exercised.
NEW REPORT: Global Battle over Internet Regulation Has Major Implications for Human Rights
September 21, 2021
Turkey: Call for Proposals for Policy Brief Series
July 7, 2021
Turkey: Authorities Violently Disperse Pride Event
June 28, 2021
Turkey: Ahmet Altan’s Release Sets Important Precedent for Political Prisoners
April 15, 2021
Turkey: Cease Legal Attacks on HDP and Its Representatives
March 17, 2021
Başvurular için Çağrı: Türkiye’de Sivil Alanı Güçlendirme
March 15, 2021