Yesterday, May 11, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament called on Turkey to respect fundamental human rights, democratic principles, freedom of expression and to implement more effective fight against corruption.
The statement also refers to the initiative of Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan to adopt a new constitution stating that hinder the promotion of a pluralistic and tolerant society.
But it is not only the European Union which raised the issue of the decline of democracy in Turkey. Recently the results of a survey conducted in 49 provinces in Turkey through personal interviews, showed that freedom of expression and human rights are declining in the country.
The results of the survey, conducted by scholars with support from the Open Society Institute, the Koç University and the Ohio State University School of Communication, were compared to 2011 and from there it appeared that the number of people who feel they can not express their opinion in Turkey without any fear, increased from 44% to 56%. Meanwhile, those who believe that Turkey does not respect human rights, increased from 38% to 45%.
This deterioration of democracy in Turkey may be due to different reasons, but certainly it has increased in the forthcoming elections. The Turkish authorities increased restrictions and controls on anyone who expresses a contrary view. Proof of this are the recent arrests of journalists and ordinary people whose messages on Facebook or Twitter “insulted” Erdogan or appeared to be “harmful” for the government.
Erdogan seeks a majority in parliamentary elections to change the constitution and adopt a presidential system in the country.