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Despite one complaint per day, the commission is silent

1806 applications were made to the Human Rights Investigation Commission of the Grand Assembly in the last eight months. Most of the applications came from the prisons that remain on agenda because of human rights violations. In this period, 831 applications were made to the commission for the detainees’ and convicts’ rights. The Commission Member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu stated that because the commission acted with the political motives, it could not fulfill its mission.

Hayri Demir

1806 applications were made to the Human Rights Investigation Commission of the Grand Assembly just in eight months. As understood from the figures revealed in the Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Mustafa Şentop’s respond to Kocaeli Deputy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu’s parliamentary question, most of applications came from the prisons. 831 applications have been made to the commission about the prisons since July 2018.


The right to trial has taken second place among application about the prisons. The number of applications for the right to fair trial among the complaints and problems about judgment is 161. The applications about health and patient rights reached 110.

85 of applications to the Commission were classified as non-investigatable, while 67 of them were found unnecessary to be  proceeded because of various reasons. 1399 of applications were made from out of the Assembly, as 407 of them were brought to the commission agenda by the deputies.


Despite the dense applications to the Commission, it is remarkable that the respond to the parliamentary question stated that there were no ex officio denunciations made to the prosecution offices.

Meanwhile, concerning the prisons for which came most of applications, it was expressed that the Commission for Rights of Detainees and Convicts began to examinations on-site from January 17, 2019 on.


In his statement to halagazeteciyiz.net on the issue, the PDP Deputy and one of the members of the Commission, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu pointed out that the commission did not fulfill its duty despite these all dense applications. Gergerlioğlu set the ‘political motives’ as the reason for that situation.


Stating that most of violations take place at the prisons, Gergerlioğlu made the points that: “80 percent of applications are due to the violations at the prisons. Most of violations that take place at the prisons are being glossed over as if they are not violations and are out of our area of responsibility. We came to office on July 7. But the Commission could get together months later. Moreover the Sub-commission of the Prisons could assemble for the first time in the first days of January. There is such insensitivity. The situation in the prisons is calamitous. The capacity of the prisons has been exceeded by 70 thousand. Every minute the capacity is being exceeded more and more. The prisons are locked up. People travel miles away for 30 minutes visits to prisoners. The prison administrations cannot carry out the transfers, because there is a huge overcapacity. They do not know what to do. People are sleeping on the ground. As for the health, there are a lot of problems. People die because of this.”


Faruk Gergerlioğlu

Gergerlioğlu said that: “There is so much to do in such a situation, but nothing is done. The commission does not fulfill its duty. Because of some political motives, the commission is made not to work. Members from the Nationalist Movement Party and the Justice and Development Party do not even want to put the issues that we bring forth on the agenda. The commission meetings are being done with quarrels. We bring the violations forth; they do not want them to be talked about.”

Telling that they asked for establishment of sub-commissions for forced disappearances and mortal labor accidents, but they were refused, Gergerlioğlu spoke as follows: “We proposed establishment of a sub-commission for investigation of forced disappearances, but it was denied. In the period of the state of emergency, 20-30 people were immediately made disappeared. We asked for an investigation of this, but it was not done. If the commission does not do that, what will it do? We asked for an investigation for the victimizations caused by the decrees of the state of emergency, but it was immediately denied.”


Gergerlioğlu stated that despite all of these applications about the prisons, the commission, from the day it began to work till now, could have only investigated the claims about the cases at the Sincan Prison. Gergerlioğlu said that “There are prisons we have to visit and examine on-site. The meeting was able to take place after seven months and it lasted quite short. It was unwillingly. The visit to Sincan Prison was planned. We would have done three different prison visits in January. But only one was able to be done. We do not know what will be done in February. The Sincan Prison Administration has provided us with information, we asked questions. They were, too, complaining about overcapacity. They told us they have prisoners sleeping on the ground. When it is violation, the first thing that comes to mind is the prisons. But the overall picture is alarming about the freedom of expression. In this picture, the expressions of citizens are immediately being punished. We are observing important violations in the judgments. People are being detained for long times and treated badly at custody. We are observing that there are too many violations during judgments, and no fair trials.”

Pointing out that there are hundreds of applications that have to be investigated by the Commission but no necessary steps is taken, Gergerlioğlu added that “Unfortunately many issues could not find place on the agenda of the Human Rights Commission, since the members do not want to deal with them. The overall picture is unfortunately bad. No significant investigation is being able to be done. Indeed, if the commission did want, it could do unbelievable things and fix the victimizations. But since it is completely acting with political motives, it cannot fulfill its mission.”


Translation: Aydın Ördek

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