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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Turkey: Post-Election Human Rights and Strategies for Accountability

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 1:00pm
2325 Rayburn House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on Turkey’s post-election human rights situation and strategies for accountability.

In June 2018, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won Turkey’s presidency for another term allowing him to consolidate the new presidential powers approved in the constitutional referendum of April 2017. Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agree the elections were mostly free but not fair. Candidates did not have equal opportunities to compete or campaign, opposition groups had limits placed on their freedom of expression and assembly, and independent journalists were often silenced through arbitrary detention.

It is estimated that over 50,000 people remain in pretrial detention in Turkey since the failed coup attempt of 2016, including journalists, lawyers, judges, human rights defenders, teachers, academics, and NGO workers. Imprisoned American citizens include Pastor Andrew Brunson and NASA physicist Serkan Golge. Turkey’s purge has extended to three United States foreign service nationals who worked in U.S. diplomatic facilities.

As Turkey and the U.S. continue to level tit-for-tat tariffs against one another and Turkey’s economy declines under a faltering lira, the briefing will examine the strategies available to the U.S. and the international community for holding Turkey accountable for ongoing human rights abuses, including the arbitrary detention of citizens from various countries around the world.

This briefing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. For any questions, please contact Jamie Staley (for Mr. Hultgren) at (202-226-1516) or or Kimberly Stanton (for Mr. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or

Hosted by:

Randy Hultgren, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Opening Remarks

  • Rep. Randy Hultgren, Co-Chair, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
    Written remarks
  • Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
    Written remarks


  • Daniel Balson, Advocacy Director for Europe and Central Asia, Amnesty International USA
    Written statement
  • Alan Makovsky, Senior Fellow for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress
    Written statement
  • Gönül Tol, Founding Director, Center for Turkish Studies, Middle East Institute
    Written statement


  • Philippe Nassif, Executive Director, In Defense of Christians
115th Congress