Home Page
Introduction
Internet Course
Issue Statements
UPR Reviews & Follow-up
WUNRN-Womens's UN Report Network
SOROBAS – Separation of Religion
or Belief and State
1986 - Tolerance for Diversity of Religion or Belief
2012 - The Tandem Project Fellowship
Now is the Time

 

 
 

UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW: TURKEY


The First Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Surely one of the best hopes for humankind is to embrace a culture in which religions and other beliefs accept one another, in which wars and violence are not tolerated in the name of an exclusive right to truth, in which children are raised to solve conflicts with mediation, compassion and understanding.

There is increased dialogue worldwide today between religions and other beliefs to embrace diversity, but few persons, less than one percent of any population, ever participate. This is a challenge. The value of such dialogues is proportionate to the level of participation. For civil society increased participation would create opportunities for education on inclusive and genuine approaches to human rights and freedom of religion or belief.  

In 1968 the United Nations deferred passage of a legally-binding convention on religious intolerance saying it was too complicated and sensitive. Instead, they adopted a non-binding declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief. While very worthwhile, the declaration does not carry the force and commitment of a legally-binding international human rights convention on freedom of religion or belief.

Religions and other beliefs historically have been used to justify wars and settle disputes. This is more dangerous today as the possible misuse of nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction increases. Governments need to revisit whether religions and other beliefs trump human rights or human rights trump religions and other beliefs in the face of this historical truth.



THE TANDEM PROJECT

UNITED NATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS,
 FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF

The Tandem Project is a UN NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

TURKEY
Eighth Session U.N. Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (May 3-14, 2010)

The Tandem Project encourages a review of the Turkey Universal Periodic Review prior to the scheduled appearance before the UN Human Rights Council on Monday 10 May 2010.  The Governments of Turkey and Spain under the auspices of the United Nations founded the Alliance of Civilizations in 2007 with a global scope underpinned by a universal perspective, while placing a priority on addressing relations between Western and Muslim societies. The Third U.N. Alliance of Civilizations Forum will be held in Rio from 27-29 May 2010.  The Turkey Universal Periodic Review on 10 May 2010 and should be viewed and listened to in the context of real advances in dialogue on human rights and freedom of religion or belief between countries, cultures and civilizations, with the realization that advances still have a long way to go, as evidenced in the two attachments to this Preface to the Turkey Universal Periodic Review, From Clash to Alliance of Civilizations, and Veiled Democracy and the Republic of Turkey. Both report on the progress and the tensions that still exist in Turkey between the secular and the religious.

UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

The Turkey Universal Periodic Review will be held by the UN Human Rights Council on Monday 10 May from 14:30-17:30.  Open this link to access reports for the Turkey Universal Periodic Review: National Report; Compilation prepared by OHCHR; Summary prepared by OHCHR; Interactive Dialogue; Comments & Answers; Final Remarks.

Reports: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/TRSession8.aspx

HRC Web Cast: Monday 10 May, 2010.
Archives:  Monday 10 May, 2010

http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/

The live Web Cast of Turkey’s Reports and Inter-active Dialogue with the UN Human Rights Council can be viewed and listened to from 14:30-17:30 on Monday 10 May by opening this link for the 8th session of the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review, and clicking on the calendar date. The adoption of the Working Group report on Sweden will be on Wednesday 12 May from 17:30-18:00. It is always possible to go back to the Archives on these dates to see and listen for the reports.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process launched by the UN Human Rights Council in 2008 to review the human rights obligations and responsibilities of all UN Member States by 2011. Click Introduction to the Universal Periodic Review, Process and News:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/BasicFacts.aspx

The primary international human rights instruments on freedom of religion or belief are:

Article 18:  http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/9a30112c27d1167cc12563ed004d8f15?Opendocument

The 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief http://www.tandemproject.com/program/81_dec.htm.

THE TANDEM PROJECT FOLLOW-UP

The Tandem Project Follow-up builds on twenty-seven Community Strategies, action proposals by organizations in 1986 to implement Article 18 of the CCPR and the 1981 UN Declaration on Freedom of Religion or Belief: http://www.tandemproject.com/tolerance.pdf

These Community Strategies are consolidated for The Tandem Project Follow-up into three generic proposals on integration, dialogue and education for Universal Periodic Reviews and exchange of information worldwide with organizations on international, national and local levels. 

1. Develop model integrated approaches to International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief at national and local levels to test the reality of implementation as appropriate to the constitutions, legal systems and cultures of each country.

2. Use International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief as appropriate to each culture and venue for inclusive and genuine dialogue on freedom of religion or belief.   

3. Apply International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief in education curricula as appropriate in all grade levels, teaching children, from the very beginning, that their own religion is one out of many and it is a personal choice for everyone to adhere to the religion or belief by which he or she feels most inspired, or to adhere to no religion or belief at all.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Tandem Project Follow-up recommendations will be posted after reviewing the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Working Group for the Turkey Universal Periodic Review.
This link to the Alliance of Civilizations website can be opened and read in relation to the Monday 10 May Turkey Universal Periodic Review: http://www.unaoc.org/

The attachment From Clash to Alliance of Civilizations, it includes a statement on the founding of the Alliance and excerpts from The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, by the late Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard. The attachment Veiled Democracy & the Republic of Turkey, is an article on the tension currently experienced in Turkey between the secular and the religious, and the outlawing of the Burqa in France and Belgium and Turkey’s entrance into the European Union. The Parliament of Turkey rejected a proposal to the Constitution on Monday 3 May 2010 that would have made it harder to ban political parties.

EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION

Government and non-governmental organizations with expertise on Turkey will be asked for advice on issues of concern relating to international human rights and freedom of religion or belief after the Turkey Universal Periodic Review has been posted.


PROPOSAL: The Tandem Project requests an Exchange of Information on Universal Periodic Review to follow-up the rights-based approach to freedom of religion or belief found in Article 18: of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the: 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

Summary and Stakeholder Letters: Submitted for Turkey Universal Periodic Review:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRTRStakeholdersInfoS8.aspx

Alliance of Civilizations: http://www.unaoc.org/

FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2009/130299.htm

The full report by the U.S. State Department 2009 International Religious Freedom Report is available as attached to Turkey – Universal Periodic Review & Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Attachments: Turkey – Universal Periodic Review & Freedom of Religion or Belief; From Clash to Alliance of Civilizations; Veiled Democracy & Republic of Turkey.