Turkish Politics and Human Rights Law

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Turkey is regarded by some as a state not demonstrating a commensurate respect for human rights. But why? Our hypothesis assumes that if Turkey undergoes a transformation under the influence of Europeanization, a greater respect of human rights will flower. And without that transformation, advancement in the field of human rights would not be expected. Through literature research and interviews with experts, this article analyzes the relationship between Turkish politics and human rights law based on a transformation model of Turkey. Under its EU accession policy, the Turkish government has undergone a transformation to reform domestic law so that it would be in compliance with the European human rights legal system. The Turkish legal system has adopted nearly all human rights legislation of EU countries. However, in the opinion of some, human rights are not respected in Turkey. According to their argument, the Turkish government dominates the mass media and restricts freedom of expression, and the current situation in Turkey suggests that simply ratifying European human rights legislation has not necessarily led to a respect for human rights in practice. Five elements are inherent in Turkish politics, and those elements work structurally and are examined in this article. Some also argue that the Turkish democracy works in appearance but not in substance under the bias of the government, particularly in the electoral, media, legislative, and judicial arenas. Human rights law would fall in the legislative category.