Press Release - Abusive closure of the two Turkish member associations YAKAY-DER and MEYA-DER

Press Release

Abusive closure of the two associations YAKAY-DER and MEYA-DER by the Turkish authorities

After having their activities suspended by the Interior Ministry on 11 November 2016, following the declaration of the state of emergency in Turkey, YAKAY-DER (Association for Solidarity and Support for Relatives of Disappeared Persons) and MEYA-DER, members of the Euro-Mediterranean Federation Against Enforced Disappearances (FEMED) were permanently banned and closed and their assets were seized.

This suspension, followed today by the closure of the two associations, was ordered by the Turkish authorities without any reason being specified, and is not subject to appeal. According to Executive Decree No. 677 adopted by the Turkish Government on 22 November 2016, YAKAY-DER and MEYA-DER are one of the 375 associations and non-governmental organizations that have been declared officially closed. These include dozens of national human rights organizations, women's and children's rights organizations, local cultural associations, humanitarian aid associations for people in precarious situations, and students associations.

Founded respectively in Istanbul and Diyarbakir in 2001 and 2007, YAKAY-DER and MEYA-DER aim to shed light on the enforced and involuntary disappearances of those who have been arrested and to give the families of the disappeared the support and solidarity necessary for their struggle for truth and justice. The FEMED, on behalf of its 26 member associations, condemns this abusive act by the Turkish state to silence all the voices that oppose injustice and urge respect for fundamental freedoms, both collective and individual, especially for the rights of the victims of enforced disappearance.

The FEMED deplores the repression of the exercise of the right to freedom of association and calls on the Turkish authorities to repeal Decree No. 677 and to immediately reverse the decision to suspend and close these associations and NGOs. It also calls for national and international solidarity to deal with the repression of the authorities aiming to discourage the families of the disappeared and all those who support their quest for truth and justice.

Paris, 17 January 2017

Press Contact: Nassera Dutour,

President of the FEMED + 33 6 13 07 29 13 / + 33 1 42 05 06 22

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