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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images.

A new report from the United Nations has detailed extensive human rights violations in Turkey and calls for an end to the country's 20-month state of emergency. The report's findings include evidence of large-scale arbitrary detentions, suppression of free speech and the use of torture by security forces, justified under the state-sponsored guise of "links to terrorist organizations."

“The numbers are just staggering: nearly 160,000 people arrested during an 18-month state of emergency; 152,000 civil servants dismissed, many totally arbitrarily; teachers, judges and lawyers dismissed or prosecuted; journalists arrested, media outlets shut down and websites blocked – clearly the successive states of emergency declared in Turkey have been used to severely and arbitrarily curtail the human rights of a very large number of people,”
— UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

The backdrop: President Erdoğan has extended the state of emergency six times since the 2016 failed coup in an attempt to purge the influence of Fethullah Gülen — an exiled preacher accused of masterminding the coup — from Turkish society.

Turkey's response: ""[The report] contains unfounded allegations matching up perfectly with the propaganda efforts of terrorist organizations. It completely ignores the severe and multiple terrorist threats faced by Turkey and particularly, the effects on the protection of human rights of the July 15 coup attempt that targeted the survival of our country and the democratic life of our nation."

Go deeper

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

Antony Blinken. Photo: Alex Edelman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.

2 hours ago - World

Former Google CEO and others call for U.S.-China tech "bifurcation"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new set of proposals by a group of influential D.C. insiders and tech industry practitioners calling for a degree of "bifurcation" in the U.S. and Chinese tech sectors is circulating in the Biden administration. Axios has obtained a copy.

Why it matters: The idea of "decoupling" certain sectors of the U.S. and Chinese economies felt radical three years ago, when Trump's trade war brought the term into common parlance. But now the strategy has growing bipartisan and even industry support.

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