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 General Information about the Human Rights Inquiry Committee

The Human Rights Inquiry Committee was the first mechanism at national levels to protect human rights. It was established with the law number 3686 issued on 5/12/1990 and functions in accordance with this law and the standing orders of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

The number of the members is determined by the Plenary of the Assembly upon Board of Spokesmen’s proposal. The political parties and the independent members are represented in the Committee relatively to their proportions in the Assembly.
The elections for the Committee membership take place two times during each session. The term of the office is two years for each period.

In proportion to the representations of the political parties in the Assembly, the Committee elects a chairman, deputy chairman, spokesman and a secretary. This election is held with the Committee gathered by minimum of the absolute majority and the decision requires the absolute majority of the present members. The election is carried out with secret vote.

Duties of the Human Rights Inquiry Committee

The second article of the law number 3686, which determines the field of operation of the Human Rights Inquiry Committee, states that “this law acknowledges the human rights defined in the Turkish Constitution and various international treaties and declarations such as the Human Rights Universal Declaration and European Convention on Human Rights”.
The duties of the Human Rights Inquiry Committee are defined in the fourth article of the law number 3686:

a- Following the developments regarding the human rights at international levels
b- Determining the amendments in scope of human rights required for the conformity with the Turkish Constitution and related international treaties and declarations as well as proposing constitutional amendments
c- Examining draft laws as main or secondary committee
d- Investigating the conformity of the implementations of human rights within the Constitution and the international treaties Turkey adheres as well as holding inquiries for improvements and making proposals
e- Investigating the petitions sent to the Human Rights Inquiry Committee and in case of a human rights violation, referring them to the departments or offices concerned
f- Arousing attention of the members of the parliament in foreign countries in case of any violation of human rights
g- Preparing a committee report on annual activities and results as well as the activities concerning human rights abroad

Competence of the Committee

The Committee has the right to obtain information from the ministries, general and annexed budget administrations, local authorities, village headmen, universities, all other public institutions and organizations as well as private institutions. Additionally, investigating those on-site and calling the persons concerned for a committee hearing are within the Committee's province.

If required, the Committee may ask qualified persons’ opinion and may work outside Ankara. The Human Rights Inquiry Committee may act autonomously and initiate inquiries without any present appeals.

The Committee may also form subcommittees to hold inquiries.

In case of any crime factor in the appeals, the Human Rights Inquiry Committee may file criminal complaints to the chief public prosecutor's office.

Working methods and principles

The Human Rights Inquiry Committee gather by minimum of the absolute majority of the members and the decision requires the absolute majority of the present members.

The reports prepared by the subcommittees are discussed at the Committee and are included in the Committee report upon agreement by vote.

The reports of the Committee are presented to the Presidency of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and are included in the plenum agenda with the advice of the Consultative Committee. By means of reading or general debate it is possible to obtain information.

The Committee reports are also sent to the prime ministry and to the concerned ministries. By this means any deficiencies or mistakes during the Committee’s work can be identified and informed to the executive powers. In that case, the Committee transmits the Committee report to the Presidency of the Turkish Grand National Assembly so that further inquiries for the alleged guilty individuals can be held.
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