“Official Truth-Finding Without Transitional Justice: Commissions of Inquiry in Turkey” is the fourth publication of a series of analysis reports that we commissioned as the Truth Justice Memory Center. Each publication in this series deals with various dimensions of the Kurdish issue such as decentralization, the search for truth, and regional dynamics, adopting a comparative perspective to view the Kurdish issue in relation to other peace processes around the world.
In this report, academic Onur Bakıner documents and analyzes four parliamentary commissions of inquiry in Turkey, formed between 1997 and 2013. Turkey had neither a formal transitional justice process in general nor a concomitant truth commission. Nonetheless, the parliament and other state institutions have created various truth-finding bodies since the late 1980s to inquire into the conduct of state forces during the internal armed conflict in the Kurdish region, the human rights violations during that conflict and beyond, and the threats to democracy. The report examines the accomplishments and limitations of parliamentary commissions of inquiry in discovering facts, publicizing their message, and providing redress for victims. The overarching goal is to lay the groundwork for what a future truth-finding body can and should do to build upon the accomplishments of these past initiatives and surpass their limitations.