(Washington, D.C.) — The Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) calls on the UN, its member states, the international press corps, and Non-Governmental Organizations to question President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his abuses of power, oppression of political opponents and minorities, as well as his support for terror tactics at home and abroad.

The UN General Assembly kicked off this week in New York. The humanitarian and political situation in Afghanistan will be at the top of the agenda, and Turkey’s role in managing the crisis will take center stage.  But states must not allow President Erdogan to leverage the situation in Afghanistan for his own malign political agendas.

Turkey terrorizes its regional neighbors by exporting militiamen to oppress minority groups, such as Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and the People’s Democratic Party in Syria, the Kurdish group essential to American counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State.

Ankara undermines efforts by the international community to collaborate multilaterally, uphold human rights and leverages its geopolitical position to disturb global security. The United States and Europe must lead the charge to not only provide safety for Afghans fleeing oppression under the Taliban regime via Turkey, but hold President Erdogan accountable for abuses committed at home under his regime.

As such, the Turkish Democracy Project calls on the United Nations General Assembly to demand the following questions of President Erdogan after his speech on Tuesday morning:

  • How will the Turkish government commit to equitably manage the flow of refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan?
  • Will Turkey rejoin the Istanbul Convention to demonstrate its commitment to protect Turkish women against domestic abuse?
  • Does Turkey plan on investigating groups like the Grey Wolves for ethnically-motivated acts of violence at home, and for their attacks on journalists and Turkish citizens abroad?
  • How will Turkey combat political and financial corruption at home, cease the arrest of political opponents of the government, and restore rule of law?

TDP’s CEO and former Ambassador to the United Nations, Mark Wallace, asserts that “The Turkish government commits routine abuses of power, violates human rights, degrades democratic values, and behaves belligerently in regional affairs.

“Now, Turkey is militarizing its border to prevent refugees and asylum seekers from entering. The international community must not kowtow to Erdogan and permit the Turkish government to leverage its ancillary position in the path of refugee flows at the expense of holding them to account.

“By giving President Erdogan a platform under the UN umbrella, we have an opportunity to confront the Turkish government’s actions. The US and European countries sitting around the table need to put pressure on Turkey to recommit itself to its democratic foundations and engage once again as an honest partner and ally.”