Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish politics has taken on an increasingly authoritarian, one-man rule character. In May 2013, a wave of peaceful protest was met with severe force by the Turkish police. A Physicians for Human Rights investigation reported that there were 8000 injuries due to tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, beatings, and live ammunition.
Since the failed military coup in Turkey in 2016, there has been a crackdown against journalists, activists, human rights defenders, and public sector workers, especially supporters (or suspected supporters) of the Gulen movement, and the Kurdish-led HDP party.
According to Amnesty International, 50,000 individuals were in pre-trial detention in 2017 on charges linked to Gulen membership. Nine HDP parliamentarians were in jail, including its two leaders. 100 journalists were also in detention. Numerous human rights defenders were prosecuted on trumped-up charges of “membership of a terrorist organisation” and similar, including the Chair and the Director of Amnesty International Turkey. Detainees have reported the use of torture and sexual violence in Turkish prisons.