Turkey is one of the original signatories of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act establishing the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was renamed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1995. In 1999, Turkey hosted the OSCE Summit Meeting in Istanbul, during which several major international agreements were signed, including the Charter for European Security, the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, and the revised Vienna Document (VD 99). In 2013, Turkey hosted the Annual Session of the OSCE PA in Istanbul.
In legislation, hearings, statements, and international travel, the Helsinki Commission has worked to address violations of human rights in Turkey that multiplied following the failed coup attempt. In particular, the Commission has drawn attention to the Turkish government’s abuse of INTERPOL, arrests of civic activists, and wrongful detention of American citizens.
Turkey has been a member of the Council of Europe since 1950 and has been a NATO ally of the United States since 1952. Ankara opened EU accession talks in 2005 but these have come to a standstill in recent years.
Staff Contact: Bakhti Nishanov, senior policy advisor