The mission of the Turkey Tribunal is to assess and report in an independent and professional manner, based on the standards and principles elaborated by other international courts and tribunals and drawing on the experience of the best practices of national courts, all allegations of human rights violations taking place under the jurisdiction of Turkish authorities.
“However, the Tribunal is called upon to formulate an opinion on whether the acts of torture and abductions that in its view have taken place and continue to take place in Turkey are part of a specific, global context that would allow to qualify them as crimes against humanity under customary international law.
The Tribunal is of the view that, at least since the attempted coup d’État in July 2016, the acts of torture and enforced disappearances have occurred in a systematic and organised manner.
In this regard, the Tribunal particularly notes the following: the high numbers of reported cases; the existence of specialized teams for torture; the lack of effective investigations and the prevailing impunity of state officials; the deficient legal framework; the lack of enforcement of ECtHR decisions; and the serious, long-lasting impact of these gross human rights violations on the victims and their families.
In addition, the Tribunal observes that the acts of torture and enforced disappearances specifically target civilians perceived to be opponents of the government. As a result, the Tribunal is of the view that these acts of torture and enforced disappearances cannot be viewed as mere isolated occurrences. Rather, in the opinion of the Tribunal, they are to be considered as part of a widespread and systematic attack against any civilian population that has taken place in Turkey at least since July 2016.
Thus, the Tribunal is of the view that the acts of torture and enforced disappearances committed in Turkey, in applications brought before an appropriate body and subject to the proof of the specific knowledge and intent of the accused, could amount to crimes against humanity.”