The United Nations has called on Turkey to end the state of emergency introduced after the July 2016 failed coup that it says has led to large-scale human rights violations, but Ankara dismissed the call as "biased" and "unacceptable."
The UN human rights office said that since then, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued more than 20 decrees that had often led to torture of detainees, impunity, and interference with the judiciary.
Turkey should "promptly end the state of emergency and restore the normal functioning of institutions and the rule of law," the office said in a report issued on March 20 in Geneva.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said nearly 160,000 people had been arrested and 152,000 civil servants fired, "many totally arbitrarily," in the past 18 months, and called the numbers "just staggering."
The Turkish government blames U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen for the failed coup attempt during which 250 people were killed. Gulen has denied any involvement in the coup.
The 28-page report documents instances of torture and ill-treatment in custody, including severe beatings, sexual assault, electric shocks, and waterboarding by the security forces and the military.
In response, Turkey's Foreign Ministry slammed the report as "biased" and "unacceptable."
The report "contains distorted, biased, and false information" and is "unacceptable for Turkey," the ministry said in a statement.