Former Belgian minister Johan Vande Lanotte is taking the Turkish regime before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The least that can be said is that lawyer Vande Lanotte – in collaboration with organization “Turkey Tribunal” – has worked very carefully before taking these crucial steps. It took him several years to collect all the testimonies of approximately 1300 victims.

The result is impressive, which was to be expected. Severe human rights violations with more than 200,000 cases recorded. Systematic abductions (enforced disappearances), torture and arbitrary arrests… With these charges, Johan Vande Lanotte goes to the International Criminal Court against the regime of Turkish President Erdogan. Whether Erdogan will also be personally indicted has not yet been determined, according to the Mediahuis newspapers.

According to Vande Lanotte, President Recep Erdogan’s Turkey fits perfectly into the definition of “committing war crimes and crimes against humanity”. “There is hardly a democracy. In terms of human rights, it is simply an authoritarian regime. Moreover, Turkey misuses allegations of terrorism or espionage to kidnap and torture dissidents.”

The Kurdish Institute has done its part and helped the Turkey Tribunal with access to testimonies. We now look forward with great interest to the next steps that the ICC will take. Although we are of course aware that this type of procedure can take years of time.

See also the press release of the Turkey Tribunal