Press Releases


Unjust trials in Turkey

Court proceedings against a human rights activist and a women’s rights platform

On January 11, court proceedings against human rights activist and medical doctor Sebnem Korur Fincanci will continue in Istanbul. The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demanded the German Federal Government to clearly condemn the arbitrary practices of its NATO partner, emphasizing that the renowned human rights activist – who has now been in prison for 80 days – must be released: „The head of the Turkish medical associations had been arrested at the end of October 2022, after she had called for independent investigations into an alleged poison gas attack against Kurdish fighters,” stated Dr. Kamal Sido, the STP’s Middle East Correspondent, in Göttingen. “If Turkey weren’t a NATO member, the other NATO governments would immediately assess reports like this as credible. However, as these are allegations against an ally, the German Federal Government is trying to block any investigations.”
In interviews, the 64-year-old professor for forensic medicine had called for investigations into allegations that the Turkish military had used chemical weapons. Videos circulating on the Internet are supposed to show that Turkish forces had used chemical weapons against positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the course of a military operation in the border region between Turkey and Iraq. In addition to Fincancı, other members of the opposition in Turkey had demanded independent investigations as well.
Alongside the lawsuit against Fincanci, there are also court proceedings against the Turkish women’s rights organization “Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz” (“We Will Stop Femicides”). The platform has been documenting cases of violence against women since 2010. “It is a good thing that some of the politicians in Germany are showing solidarity with this motto of the Kurdish feminist movement in Iran – Jin, Jiyan, Azadi. It is absolutely incomprehensible that solidarity should end where the human rights of the Kurdish people and the women in the country are trampled underfoot by Turkey,” Sido emphasized. It is not uncommon that the German Federal Government – on the instigation of Turkey – takes part in the persecution of Kurdish activists in Germany, with bans and criminalization.
Sebnem Korur Fincanci is an internationally renowned expert on the documentation of torture. In 1996, she had worked for the International Criminal Court, taking part in disinterments and autopsies. She received several awards for her work. In 2018, she was honored with the Hessian Peace Award.