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Turkey is currently at a very challenging juncture. After a short period as a relatively democratic State, it has clearly become one of the authoritarian regimes in the region. The decline in democratic values is illustrated by the assassinations of journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders, which happen routinely, without the perpetrators being brought to justice. Law enforcement bodies and the army enjoy practically absolute impunity. Several thousand civilians were killed during the curfew in the South Eastern provinces of Turkey during the last five years, without even one single effective investigation on any of those cases.
Moreover, after the failed coup d’état in 2016, the authoritarian grip over civil rights and liberties has become even tighter. The anti-terrorism legislation is widely used to silence and crack down on human rights defenders, activists, and political opponents. The repression against human rights defenders has taken an endemic character. Defenders are notably the target of intense criminalisation, in a country where the judiciary system is widely used to target any dissent, through criminal proceedings that blatantly violate the right to a fair trial.