Almost 150 bans on public protest have been enforced in Turkey between Jan. 1, 2019 and Jan. 31, 2020, the Turkey Human Rights Foundation (TIHV) revealed in a report based on United Nations data from Turkey’s 2020 Universal Periodic Review.
“In Turkey, where 147 protest bans have been enforced in one year, the constitutional right to ‘peaceful assembly and demonstration with no prior notice’ has become a meaningless expression,” said TIHV.
The bans were implemented in 22 different locations, most of which were southeastern provinces including Şırnak, Hakkari, Van, Mardin and Tunceli where Turkey’s Kurdish population is concentrated.
“Following back-to-back decisions by the Van Governor’s Office since Nov. 21, 2016, the ban on protests and demonstrations have reached 1,174 days and have turned into a state of emergency, akin to martial law,” the report noted.
The report noted that the shortest ban on protests lasted two days and the longest lasted 395 days, affecting 25,183,911 citizens.