Free CeCIL public talk on Turkey’s state of emergency and human rights

The Kent Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) will hold a free public talk in Canterbury later this month, to address questions raised by the state of emergency currently in place in Turkey.

Entitled State of Emergency: On Turkey’s Gulenist Purge and the Defence of Human Rights, the talk will take place in the Friends Meeting House, Canterbury on Wednesday 31 May at 19.00.

The talk will be given by Dr Darren Dinsmore, expert in human rights law and armed conflict at Kent Law School, who will address the questions:

  • What limits can States place on human rights in times of emergency?
  • What is the likely response of the European Court of Human Rights to Turkey’s use of emergency powers?
  • What is the role of human rights courts regarding systematic violations of human rights?

The 15 July attempted coup d’etat in Turkey hit the world’s headlines, with widely shared images of soldiers surrendering to groups of ‘protesters’ and of discarded tanks on Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge. By the time the coup was put down, the Parliament building in Ankara had been bombed, 246 people killed and more than 2,500 wounded.

On 21 July the government declared a state of emergency and claimed the need to ‘derogate’ from its human rights obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights in the face of a ‘threat to the life of the nation’. A host of UN and Council of Europe experts have expressed concern at the scale and scope of Turkey’s response: mass suspensions, detentions and immediate closures affecting the judiciary, the army and police, education, trade unions and the media.

The talk is open to all and will be preceded by a reception (from 18.30), providing a further opportunity to discuss the topic. The event is the final one in a series of Canterbury public talks organised by the Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) during the 2016-17 academic year.

This is an edited version of a news item first published on the University of Kent News Centre

Image credit: Istanbul by Pedro Szekely CC BY 2.0