When it comes to human rights in Turkey, the expectations are both high and low. Huge, so many and frequent violations have become, especially over the past five years. Minimal, both opponents and most NGOs seem to have lost hope in the ability of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in power for eighteen years, to renounce the authoritarian and liberticidal tendencies that characterize his regime. The “action plan for human rights” unveiled on Tuesday was therefore expected with a mixture of caution and skepticism, even, among some, with displayed disinterest.
The head of state agreed with the pessimistic forecasts. For more than an hour, he detailed dozens of measures, sometimes very vague or, on the contrary, very technical, without announcing anything of note in the areas where he knew he was expected at the turn. “No one can be deprived of liberty for having expressed a criticism or an opinion”, for example assured the leader of this country where a simple message on Twitter can lead to prison. But he hastened to add that this principle was valid “insofar as [les critiques ou opinions] respect personal rights ”.