Today, the Secretary-General spoke to H.E. Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey, expressing his solidarity and sympathies to the Government of Turkey and the families of the victims of the 15 July coup attempt and seeking an update on current investigations and measures to hold those responsible to account.
While recognizing the extraordinary circumstances prevailing in the country following the coup attempt, the Secretary-General expressed his expectation that Turkey adhere to its international human rights obligations, upholding fundamental rights and universal principles, including the freedom of expression, freedom of movement and peaceful assembly, independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession, right to fair trial and strict adherence to due process.
The Secretary-General also expressed his concern over the extent of the recent governmental decree regarding the implementation of the state of emergency, which enlists a number of measures restricting the full exercise of individual rights.
While welcoming the announced release of 1,200 military detainees, the Secretary-General referred to worrying reports of mistreatment and abuse of some of those who are still in custody and their detention conditions, and underscored his deep concern about the scope of continuing widespread arrests, detentions and suspensions, which reportedly cover many segments of Turkish society and Government institutions. Credible evidence on those under investigation has to be presented swiftly to the judicial system so that legal determination could be made before the court of law.
Heartened by the Government and opposition rallying around upholding the Republic, the Secretary-General trusts that the Government and people of Turkey will transform this moment of uncertainty into a moment of unity, preserving Turkey's democracy.