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Statement by Minister Flanagan following the detention of Amnesty International Chair, Turkey


Following the arrest and detention of Mr. Taner Kiliç Chair of Amnesty International,Turkey and 22 other lawyers in Izmir earlier this week, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan TD said:

"I was deeply concerned to hear of the detention of Taner Kiliç, the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, along with twenty-two (22) other lawyers in Izmir, Turkey on the basis of their alleged links with the Gülenist movement.

"Their arrests come in the midst of the arrests and detentions of, quite literally, thousands of public servants, academics and journalists in Turkey under the State of Emergency imposed by the Turkish authorities after the attempted coup in July 2016. I repeat my grave concern at the scale of these arrests, and reiterate that it is critically important that full due process, including the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial is respected.

Ireland wants to see Turkey succeed as a vibrant, stable and prosperous democracy – it is clear that a healthy civil society and NGO sector is an important element of this.  These latest detentions are an extremely worrying development and have a further negative impact on democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law in Turkey. I urge the Turkish Government to respect the role that civil society and NGOs play in strong and stable democratic societies."