No: 66, 4 March 2017, Press Release Regarding The 2016 Human Rights Report Of The U. S. Department Of State

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 04.03.2017

Protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms and attaining the highest international standards are among the main targets of our country, as confirmed by the comprehensive reforms that have been achieved to date.

The U.S. Department of State's human rights report on Turkey is one of the routine documents being prepared annually for more than 190 countries to be submitted to the US Congress. The parts of the latest report regarding Turkey, as released on 3 March 2017, comprise unacceptable allegations, misrepresentations and interpretations that do not reflect reality.

In this period, when we are faced with unprecedented threats of terrorism posed against the survival of our nation and state, misrepresentation of our legitimate struggle against terrorist organizations, in particular FETO, PKK, DHKP-C and DAESH, in a way that do not reflect the realities have caused deep disappointment.

In this context, it is denotative that the report makes no reference to the role of FETO elements in the 15th July coup attempt as well as the fact that FETO leadership resides in the US.

On the other hand, description of our fight against the PKK terrorist organization as "internal conflict" is totally unacceptable.

We also regret that the report falls short of acknowledging the necessity of measures to be taken in order to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens; as well as our unprecedented efforts, under such circumstances, towards a total of 3.2 million refugees, the vast majority of which is constituted by the Syrians.

It is clear that this report, which ignores information and opinions provided by our authorities within the understanding of constructive cooperation, fails to claim any basis in terms of objectivity. This kind of approach, which would only serve to harm the credibility of the report, will have significant consequences for the continuation of the cooperation which were extended by us in the process of preparation of earlier reports.

Our efforts to further strengthen fundamental rights and freedoms will continue unabated, while our fight against terrorism, which in itself is a violation of human rights, is carried out in determination.

Mehmet Vakur Erkul Ambassador
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