Tell President Erdoğan to End Turkey's Attacks on Civilians in Syria | Physicians for Human Rights

Tell President Erdoğan to End Turkey's Attacks on Civilians in Syria

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Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is deeply alarmed by reports of wide-ranging and severe human rights violations in Syria committed by Turkish forces, a dangerous escalation in an eight-year conflict defined by the egregious corrosion of international humanitarian norms.
 
We call on Turkey to immediately cease attacks on civilian targets and for all parties to the Syrian conflict to be held accountable for war crimes. 
 
 
Message
Your Message
Your policies are causing harm to innocent civilians in Syria
To President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan:

Dear President Erdoğan,

I am writing to express my deep concern at reports from the United Nations, individual governments, media, and humanitarian NGOs of severe human rights violations committed in recent days and weeks by Turkish or Turkish-aligned forces in northwest Syria.

I urge you to place the protection of all civilians and their human rights at the heart of your operations in the region, ensure that your forces provide humanitarian access for all those in need, and ensure the protection of civilian infrastructure.

Turkish forces should allow civilians to flee fighting in safety and should not mistreat those who choose to remain in their homes.

According to reports from many credible international sources, Turkish or Turkish-aligned forces have attacked residential neighborhoods indiscriminately, used incendiary weapons like white phosphorous and napalm in heavily populated civilian areas, shelled hospitals and attacked medical vehicles, killed civilians, and caused widespread displacement of civilians, fueling an already-critical humanitarian crisis in northern Syria.

The use of white phosphorous in civilian areas by Turkey would represent a grave development in a conflict that has already seen extensive use of illegal chemical weapons by the Syrian government. As you know, the Chemical Weapons Convention – which Turkey has ratified – prohibits the use of incendiary weapons like white phosphorus in civilian areas.

For more than eight years, civilians in Syria have suffered unspeakable atrocities at the hands of all parties to the conflict. Physicians for Human Rights has documented the wholesale destruction of the Syrian health care system as a strategy of war by the Syrian government and its Russian allies since the onset of the conflict in 2011. The reprehensible conduct of this war – from bombing hospitals to detaining and torturing or executing health workers – has no place in this world. I urge you to ensure that Turkey not employ similar criminal strategies and exert your leadership to prevent your military from similarly attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities, ambulances, and first-responders.

In addition, I urge you to ensure that the alleged use of incendiary weapons in civilian areas, as well as attacks on health care and civilian infrastructure in Syria, be investigated and that those responsible be prosecuted for war crimes.

The world is watching Turkey’s actions in Syria and their impact on millions of civilians who have suffered egregiously at the hands of military forces on all sides. I urge you to prioritize the protection of the civilians and their rights and dignity on both sides of Turkey’s borders.

Sincerely,
[First Name] [Last Name]