NASAMER-KÜREMER and University of Essex Joint Workshop on Business and Human Rights – 26 May 2016

May 20, 2019
NASAMER-KÜREMER and University of Essex

Joint Workshop on Business and Human Rights


The purpose of this workshop was to explore the legal accountability gap in Türkiye for corporate related human rights violations with a particular focus on the energy and extractives sector. The workshop brought  together  experts on  various  areas of Turkish law,  including,  constitutional law, administrative  law, company  law, civil  law, labour law, criminal law. The compatibility of Turkish legal framework and case law concerning the human rights responsibilities of business enterprises with the approach adopted by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) was tackled in the workshop.


Focusing on then-current cases, such as Soma, Rize HES and Akkuyu Nuclear power plant; and past cases such as Bergama gold mines (cf. Taskin and Others v. Türkiye, ECtHR) the workshop aimed to explore the avenues for business accountability and identify legal gaps in law and in practice. The workshop participants assessed whether the current legal framework organised under civil law, company law and criminal law governing the Turkish energy and extractives sector meets the expectations of the UNGPs under the state duty to protect against harmful business activity within the concept of the positive obligations of the state under international human rights law. The organisers also aimed to identify the particular challenges faced in the Turkish context as an emerging economy, which is heavily reliant on small and medium sized enterprises.


The issue was analyzed from an interdisciplinary perspective by distinguished scholars, such as Bertil Emrah Oder, Başak Çalı, Anıl Yılmaz, Burak Oder, Nur Centel, Tankut Centel, Işık Önay, Emek Toraman Çolgar, Tara Van Ho and Valentina Azarova as well as by leading practitioners, such as Filiz Saraç, Deniz Bayram and Ümit Hergüner.