Syrians are flocking to Turkey to find protection and freedom from a brutal war that has engulfed the country, but internally Turkey is struggling with its own legacy of human rights abuses. The government vows to reform its laws and procedures and it has made some changes. But human rights activists say these measures are not enough. They complain bitterly about the journalists, union members, university students and lawyers in prison. They say the government wrongly punishes dissenters and opponents.
Tensions and human rights complaints have grown because of newly ignited tensions with Turkey’s large Kurdish population and violence from underground Kurdish fighters. Human rights activists say the government should not imprison those who support or who are linked to the Kurds. This a violation of their freedom of expression rights, they say.