Taner Kiliç - Chair of Amnesty International Turkey
(9 June 2017) Police detained the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kiliç 6 June. He was arrested by police on suspicion of having links with the Fethullah Gülen movement. This movement is classified as a terrorist organization by the Turkish authorities. Detention orders were issued against him and 22 other lawyers in the western city of İzmir. The arrest comes in the wake of a very critical report of Amnesty International of the dismissal of over 100.000 public service workers left without income or access to justice.
EPSU’s General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan reacts “These arrests show that critical voices of government policies are not safe from arbitrary arrests and brutal harassment in Turkey. With each of such arrests Turkish authorities cross a redline and violate human rights. This government forfeits its place in the community of European values.”
Taner Kiliç has served on the board of Amnesty International Turkey for various periods since 2002 and has been Chair since 2014. During his decades of work for human rights organizations in Turkey he has consistently demonstrated an unswerving commitment to human rights. Taner Kiliç’s detention takes place in the context of an escalating crackdown on human rights by the Turkish authorities, following a failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016. Tens of thousands of public sector employees have been dismissed and hundreds of journalists and media workers detained. Hundreds of media outlets and NGOs have been shut down. Amnesty International and other human rights defenders have stood up for our union colleagues on many occasions.
EPSU is calling for Mr. Taner Kiliç immediate release together with the other 22 lawyers. The charges should be dropped. unless, as in all such cases, credible evidence is presented of involvement in an internationally recognized crime. The Turkish authorities are to end the arbitrary detention of civil society actors, including journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, activists and other perceived critics of the government. Taner Kiliç, along with all detainees including our union colleagues, must have access to sufficient information to be able to effectively challenge his detention.
EPSU has written to the Turkish ambassor with the EU to protest his arrest and to ask for the immediate release.