Communications Director of the Turkish Presidency Fahrettin Altun, in a series of posts on Twitter states that the report of the US Department on human rights is far from reality.
Altun writes in English that Turkey does not consider human rights a domestic policy issue, but a universal one.
Human rights and dignity are universal values that Turkey cherishes and brings them to the agenda in all international forums. Our President Erdogan speaks fearlessly about unfair treatment and injustices around the world and calls regularly on world leaders to act.
— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) April 1, 2021
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has virtually been the only voice against human rights abuses in the region and around the world, Altun notes, adding that Turkey has made the greatest progress in human rights under the AK governments.
The report poses unfair criticism against Turkey, the Director of Communications tweeted out, underlining Turkey’s sensitivity to human rights in its struggle against terrorism.
“Turkey is conducting its fight against PKK, FETO and Daesh, mindful of the balance between security and rights and freedoms of our people,” he said.
Altun described terrorist organizations as the biggest obstacle before freedoms.
“Turkey has always kept wide open the door of political dialogue with the EU as well as the U.S. and continues to do so. Our red line, however, is our people’s safety and security.”
Altun notes that the State Department’s report on human rights is out of touch with reality and that unfair criticism of the government’s fight against terrorism and the government’s efforts to ensure the safety of citizens cannot be taken seriously.
Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the State Department’s report on human rights violations in Turkey, stating that it contains “unfounded” and “biased” allegations against the country.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry notes that the “Turkey 2020 Human Rights Report” “is yet again far from being objective and contains unfounded allegations and biased interpretations based on ambiguous sources.
The Foreign Ministry criticized the report for refraining from acknowledging the Gülen network, which Ankara blames for the failed 2016 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as a terrorist organization.
“This demonstrates that the U.S. still fails to understand our rightful fight against this terrorist organization, disregards the concrete evidence we have provided about this terrorist organization and is being instrumentalized once again by certain circles while drafting the report,” the announcement states.
The ministry also denied allegations of Turkish counterterrorism operations in Syria.
“There can be no explanation for repeating such allegations, despite the fact that they were previously rejected by Turkish authorities on various occasions.”
“On the other hand, it is worth noting that while various violations of PKK/YPG are mentioned in the report, its terrorist attacks against Syrians as well as separatist actions aimed at undermining the territorial integrity of Syria are disregarded,” the Ministry underlines.
“It is also unacceptable that the report contains allegations which ignore the fact that PKK is a terrorist organization and amount to extending support to the claims of terror affiliated circles.”
Finally, the Ministry reaffirmed Turkey’s determination to promote and protect human rights.
“On the basis of democracy and the rule of law, Turkey will continue its efforts to promote and protect the rights of its citizens as well as those of millions of persons it is hosting,” the announcement concludes. /ibna