Turkey: Massive crackdown on NGOs casts shadow over civil society

Following an executive decree issued today by the Turkish authorities ordering the permanent closure of 375 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) under state of emergency powers, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen, said:

“The closure of nearly 400 NGOs is part of an ongoing and systematic attempt by the Turkish authorities to permanently silence all critical voices.

“The closures include lawyers’ associations working on torture, women’s rights organizations running shelters for survivors of domestic violence, local humanitarian organizations providing aid to refugees and internally displaced persons, and Turkey’s leading children’s rights NGO.

“Civil society organizations must be allowed to continue their crucial work without fear of punishment or reprisals. The work of NGOs like these is especially vital during the ongoing human rights crisis in Turkey, where flagrant misuse of emergency powers has cast a dark shadow over an already ravaged civil society.”