What is the National Human Rights Institution of Turkey?
The National Human Rights of Institution of Turkey is not a conventional public agency because it is independent of the Government. Different segments of society are permitted to have pluralistic representation within the Human Rights Board, the Institution's decision-making body. It is, therefore, different from conventional public agencies.
The National Human Rights Institution of Turkey is neither a non-governmental organization. It was founded by virtue of a law and takes advantage of the government's resources. Conditions for membership and election process are set forth in laws. It is different from non-governmental organizations also in terms of its responsibilities.
The National Human Rights Institution of Turkey is not a judicial body. It functions to safeguard and improve human rights. Its role is not only limited to resolve a post-violation dispute. It has a function aimed at preventing violations and educating society.
Who Are Eligible To File Applications?
Any individual or an organization claiming that it has suffered a loss as a result of a violation of human rights may file and application in person or through a lawyer or a legal representative in accordance with the procedures and provisions set forth in Law No. 6332 on the National Human Rights Institution of Turkey and the Regulation on the Procedures and Guidelines for the Processing of Applications Related to Alleged Violations of Human Rights, which was published in the 29003rd issue of the Official Gazette dated 17.05.2014.
An application may be filed by a person whose current and personal right has been directly affected as a result of the claimed violation or by a potential victim.
Non-governmental organizations working in the field of human rights and professional organizations classified as a public agency are allowed to submit an application upon receipt of an application or a claimed violation that they have investigation at their sole discretion.
Which Issues May Give Rise to a Complaint?
An application may be lodged with the Institution, claiming that any fundamental right and freedom recognized under the Constitution, human rights agreements ratified by Turkey and applicable laws has been violated by an individual or a legal entity governed by private law.
An application may be directly filed with the Institution by submitting a petition.
It can also be filed by mail or facsimile or filling out an electronic form posted on the Institution's official website (after the completion of the necessary technical infrastructure) or through the E-Government Portal.
An application may also be communicated in person or over the telephone if there is an emergency.
If an application has been communicated by telephone or facsimile, petitions bearing a wet signature and related documents should be delivered to the Institution within fifteen days from the date when the application was recorded.
It is also possible to notify the Institution in order to ensure that an examination or an investigation is conducted in respect of any issue which falls into the Institution's jurisdiction and functions. Applications filed in the form of such notifications will be processed and concluded in accordance with the procedures and guidelines on the processing and conclusion of applications to the extent they are consistent with its nature.
The Institution will take actions in order to facilitate applications to be filed by disabled individuals.
Contents of an application
Claimed violation and supporting events should be explained the application in a clear and understandable manner in order to ensure that it can be efficiently processed and concluded. The place and time of the violation and the person or organization which has committed the violation should be mentioned in the petition if they are known.
Petitions should bear wet signatures. If, however, the application bears a mobile signature or an electronic signature or submitted by using a Turkish ID, a wet signature will not be required.
A petition must contain the following information:
- If the applicant is an individual, his or her first and last names, Turkish citizenship number if he or she is a Turkish national, date of birth, address, telephone numbers and email address, if any. If the applicant is a legal entity, its name, address, and the identity details of the person authorized to represent it, telephone numbers and email address, if any. If the application has been filed through a lawyer or a legal representative, their first and last names, addresses, and telephone numbers and email address, if any.
- Individuals who are not a citizen of Turkey should mention their nationality. If they are not the national of any country, it should be stated.
- The petition should be accompanied by Copies of videos, photographs, decisions, reports, and correspondence, if any, which may substantiate the alleged violation or they should be delivered to the Institution within fifteen days from the date of the application.
- A power of attorney or a certificate of authorization should accompany the petition filed by a lawyer or a legal representative or be delivered to the Institution within fifteen days from the date of the application.
Is it necessary to pay a fee for an application?
No fee or similar charge is required to be paid in connection with an application.
Is every application processed?
All applications will be subjected to a preliminary examination by the Application and Preliminary Examination Desk before they are referred to the related units for examining their merits.
An application will not be examined if it is clearly understood that the alleged violation of human rights is unfounded or exclusively falls within the jurisdiction of another agency or institution and is not related to the Institution's area of responsibility or concerns a dispute arising from interpersonal relationships governed by private law and does not constitute a human rights violation or does not comply with the procedures and guidelines for the submission of applications or contains an omission which has not been rectified within the specified period or is considered to be a repetition in terms of its subject matter or the applicant.
A decision not to examine an application will be made by the Board. The petition may be returned to the related agency if such a decision is made.
How are received applications processed?
The Coordinator will refer an application, which has been subjected to a preliminary examination and referred to the related Unit, will be assigned to the official responsible for the examination, who will examine and conclude the application. Members may also conduct an examination in accordance with the Board's decision.
Examinations are conducted by reference to the order of applications. Applications which have to be processed promptly or have special importance will be accorded priority. The President will be informed about applications being examined in terms of their merits. Any application which the President may consider necessary will be placed on the Board's agenda.
After the classification of an alleged claim following an examination of applicable laws and regulations, case law, Board's established decisions and academic opinions and the determination of the parties to the claim and loss incurred, if any, the claim will be notified to individuals, agencies, and institutions concerned and their responses will be received. Necessary information and documents may be sought and an on-the-site investigation may be conducted if considered necessary. The outcome of investigations and enquiries will be assessed and the Institution's decision will be notified to the parties to the application. Actions taken under the Institution's decisions will be monitored.
What happens if the alleged claim has been referred to a court?
If a lawsuit has already been filed with a court of law in respect of the application and the judicial process is pending or there is a judgment rendered by a court in connection with an application, no examination will be conducted pursuant to article 6/b of Law No. 3071. If the application contains any information or document which may be used as an evidence in an ongoing judicial investigation or proceeding, it may be referred to the public prosecutor or court of law concerned for making a decision. Complaints which may be considered under "the right to a fair trial may be referred to the Ministry of Justice.
Are the Institution's decisions binding?
Decisions of the National Human Rights of Institution of Turkey are not "binding," and only represent "recommendations." Notwithstanding, the Institution is authorized to draw up, publish, and disseminate annual reports assessing the performance of public agencies and institutions in the field of human rights.
Would any application filed with the National Human Rights of Institution of Turkey interrupt a period granted for filing a lawsuit or statute of limitations?
Individual applications to the Constitutional Court
Applications to the Ministry of Family and Social Policies
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Labor and Social Security
Ministry of Health
INSTITUTIONS AND AGENCIES FOR APPLICATION AND INFORMATION ON OTHER MATTERS