The latest report on the state of progress in negotiations on Turkey’s EU accession allows a welcome escape from the atmosphere of polarisation in Turkey, and gives us a measure of the progress our country has made. Indeed, while one can read that “the mass graves discovered in the east of the country have not been sufficiently investigated”, we cannot help but rejoice at the end of this nightmare we experienced during the 1990s [in the eastern regions with a Kurdish majority]. At the time, people were being killed every day and their bodies dumped in the street.
While the European Commission is pleased that the “activities in Turkey marking the anniversary of the Armenian genocide [on April 24] could take place peacefully and unhindered”, one recalls that not so long ago, in 2005, a academic debate on the Armenian question held in Istanbul caused significant tensions.
The issues addressed in this report are no longer the same issues as 10 or 20 years ago. And so, in the chapter on torture, the report mentions the excessive use of force and tear gas, and also that the systematic use of torture is no longer used. In writing this I obviously do not want to minimise the problems that still come up today in this area.
With this in mind – and this too does not figure in the European Commission’s report – human rights organisations cite many cases of rapes of young women in police stations during the events of Gezi. Six of our young people are dead, and all of this happened during and after the events of Gezi.
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