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Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Briefing

Turkey: Post-Election Human Rights and Strategies for Accountability

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

1:00 – 2:00 PM

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.


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


  • Philippe Nassif, Executive Director, In Defense of Christians

Opening Remarks

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


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



Randy Hultgren, M.C.                                    James P. McGovern, M.C.

Co-Chair, TLHRC                                          Co-Chair, TLHRC

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Foreign Affairs

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